Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Tacking my way back to Wareham

Saturday was a great day, the weather was perfect, F4 occasionally gusting F5. John and I left the mooring at about 11am with a half cocked plan to sail to Wareham for a pint.  The only fly in the ointment was the direction of the wind and tide :o))   The smart thing to do would have been to go to Studland, go out with the tide and back in when it turned, but as I went there last week I didn't want to go there again.
The tacking practise was welcome, we were quite rusty to start with but before long we were working as a team and the tacks became smoooth :)  It took along time but we made it up to Hamworthy before the strength of the tide made it impossible to continue sailing.  We started the outboard and motored around the headland past Rockley park.  The sailing school were bombing about in their Wayfarers shaming us into getting the sails out again.
As the channel got too narrow to sail in we put the sails away again and motored up the river towards Wareham. The keels touched down a couple of times on our approach to the town but as the tide was rising it was only a short delay before we were on our way again.
Eventually tied up on the Quay we went to... The Quay :~)  We now had another decision to make.  Should we stay on the Quay for the night or have a night sail back down the river.  After consulting the tide table we decided to have some food then get back down the river while there was still a tinsy bit of light to see by.

Well feed and watered we hopped back aboard and set our sights for Poole.  There was much more water now so no fear of running aground.  However the light was fading fast, no time to loiter.
While in the river proper, it was easy to keep in the channel, but once out of the reeds we had to try and pick out the stakes.  John went to the bow with the torch and picked out the stakes, not as hard as we thought it would be as they had reflective tape on them. Communication is key, with the torch in the cockpit I was often blinded, with John at the bow the torch was not an issue but hearing his instruction over the engine was, concentration clear instruction was all we needed.  We had one moment on the mud when I aimed straight for the next post when the channel actually curved.  Lots of reverse got us free again. We now had the luxury of lit buoys to guide us.
Always worth giving the Condor ferry plenty of room, even in daylight, at night I decided to keep well clear. Finding the mooring was a little harder than normal as many of the boats around me have been taken out for the winter.  Another successful day, it took us about six hours to get to Wareham, mostly under sail, and only two hours to return on the motor I'm starting to get used to being able to sail every weekend... lets see what next weekend brings.


  1. Nice! I already know what next weekend brings for me - lift out.... :o(

  2. Looks like you'll have a nice day on Saturday. Enjoy the trip around.