Trip on Quartette starting 2016-03-07 in BSAMar16
Got there by 1700 Sunday; the other crew Colin Hodges and Ewart Hutton a new member arrived by 1730. Went to Wetherspoons for supper as usual. Back on board by 2130.Early start breakfast by 0800 Monday and we slipped by 0910. Not one of my best departures, left Sue briefly stranded on the pontoon, but soon away. Wind was NW F4 and lovely and sunny. Got the main out quickly and headed out of the harbour before a large frigate got in the way. Took the Hamilton Channel inshore to Gilkicker Point. Wind a bit stronger here so put in a bit of a reef in both sails. Had a superb reach and a strong tide under us all the way to The Needles, we passed Yarmouth in just over two hours from slipping and we hardened up at SW Shingles buoy to cross Christchurch Bay. The wind now was NW 5 and increased to F6 for a time. It was a bit lumpy with some water crashing over the bow. It took about 90 mins to cross the bay, we got to 8.8knots through the water at one stage. Sue had managed 10.6 over the ground coming through Hurst. On reaching Old Harry rocks off Ballard Down we turned to enter Poole entrance channel. As we were now head to wind we put on the engine and furled the sails. Spellbinder joined us at the first inward buoy having taken the North Channel from Hurst and also having a better wind angle across the bay. It had now clouded over after having been sunny for the rest of the day.
We moored in Poole Quay marina by 1530 having had a cracking sail. Spellbinder joined us on the 'C' hammerhead shortly after. Tea and cake then showers for some. Quartette entertained the Spellbinder crew onboard for drink and nibbles before heading into Poole and the Alcatraz restaurant where as usual we had a good meal. No two for one this year though as it was now March.
The plan was to have an easy morning whilst waiting for the tide to go in our favour, around 1 o'clock. But the forecast for Wednesday didn't make good reading - cyclonic 6 to gale 8, occasionally severe gale 9, becoming N 6 - 7 rain then showers. The skippers made the decision that the prudent thing to do was to head straight back to Gosport for Tuesday night. So it was an early breakfast on board Quartette at 0650 and slipped at 0715. There was no wind so we motored out. As it was half tide and calm we decided on the East Looe channel inshore of the Hook Sands. An uneventful motor across the bay saw us at Hurst at 1030. This was after the tide had turned against us, but only just. So keeping no more than 50 metres off the castle we made our way into the Solent. We moored at Yarmouth at 1100. Showers etc for those who had been deprived of them because of the early start.
We slipped again at 1500 and soon had the jib out as the wind was now W4. At first the tide was against us, but slackening all the time. We had an excellent downwind sail and off Cowes we were able to put the main out. The visibility was now closing in as it started to drizzle quite heavily, this also caused the light to fade quite quickly as well. We put the motor on and furled the sails just before the Swashway into Portsmouth. We moored at 1830 and decamped to Spellbinder for drink and nibbles and then to Wetherspoons. Again! Steak night.Quite a blowy and rainy night followed. In the morning we cleaned ship and left at 1130.For the log book - 79 miles. Force 6 moderate sea. Night hours 1.