Trip on Quartette starting 2018-02-19 in BSAMar18

Solent sail 19-21 February 2018 – report by skipper Gordon Ogden

Skipper: Gordon Ogden; Crew: Don Hirst, John Hartland, Ewart Hutton and Jill Hunter

PYCMap Westerly Oceanquest 35 ‘Quartette

Monday’s forecast offered us S 2-3 wind with fine weather. This was how the day dawned and we had a lovely ‘quiet’ morning sail to Wootton CreekMap, mooring for lunch on a pontoon beside the Fishbourne ferry dock.

Taking the west-going tide to YarmouthMap in the afternoon, Jill was helming in the Western Solent and decided on some manoeuvres, pirouettes, freestyle sailing!! A nearby yacht, envious of our yachting ballet, copied our perambulations! Whilst this was taking place, a submarine sneaked up on us and, simultaneously with us seeing him, he called us up and asked, most politely, if we would be kind enough to continue on our present course for a couple of minutes and allow him to pass astern of us. We think that was polite code for ‘get out of my way’! A foreign-sounding officer suggested a European vessel.

Royal Solent Yacht Club was closed that Monday evening, so a quick appraisal of the pubs saw us taking G&T’s and a meal at The Wheatsheaf. OK, but standard pub fare.

Tuesday’s weather was forecast, N 4-5 increasing 5-6. Under reefed sails and grey skies, we enjoyed great sailing up the Solent with the tide behind us and watched a helicopter carry out some rescue exercises. Our plan was for lunch in the Itchen River, but, as we entered Southampton Water, we encountered strong conditions. 30kts of headwind, gusting to 34kts and not much progress with our tacking, plus the looks on one or two faces demanded a diversion into the Hamble RiverMap for lunch (some old cynics will say that a forecast of force 5-6 always means 30kts+!!).

Later, with the northerly wind behind us, it was a pleasant and easy run, under genoa, across to East CowesMap for the night. It was to be West Cowes for a meal and we found the new chain ferry (aka Floating Bridge) was no longer free for foot passengers, but £1.50 return!

Wednesday gave us steady NE 3 winds and, with the help of the east-going tide in the morning, we tacked along the IOW shore, passing through the 2m dredged channel south of No Man’s Land Fort. Lunch was taken on the run, east of the submarine barrier, before we glided through the ‘main passage’ and back to GosportMap.

A straightforward three days .... for once! Very enjoyable for my first trip on Quartette and I was suitably pleased!

Hasler Marina  50.7904,-1.1207
Wootton Creek  50.7322,-1.2184
Yarmouth  50.7061,-1.5023
Hamble River  50.8579,-1.3106
East Cowes  50.7529,-1.2917
Gosport  50.7904,-1.1165