Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Rock & Roll to Yarmouth

The trip to Yarmouth was an absolute bonus.. I'd committed to Family duties but on the Friday I was told that I'd been double booked.. What could I say, I tried to look offended and said well I try and find something else to do instead ;)
The forecast for Saturday was pretty rubbish for going to Yarmouth.  F5 upwards coming directly from the East.  I decided to give it a go, if it looked like I couldn't make it it wouldn't take long to get blown home.
The Tern defenses that I'd rigged before going home last week seemed to have worked.. Much less poop on the boat.

Tern defenses
I got away from the mooring just before low tide and made my way to the entrance.  The harbour is well protected from easterlies so I would get a feel for the conditions until I got out of the harbour.   The wind was much weaker than expected and I was able to made way with full sail, deciding to take short tacks along the beach as I was pushing the last of the west going tide.  
An hour in and the wind had strengthened conciderably, I put a reef in the main a used the furler on the genoa to regulate as required.  As the tide started to flow with me I took a longer tack out to take me past the Hengisbury ledge.  The sea state out here was pretty full on, the boat would drop off the top of a wave, crash and judder into the trough, the bow would then dig into the next wave and as it came up it would toss gallons of water over the cockpit...  My brand new foulies are now completely caked in salt :) As you can appreciate there are no photos from this part of the journey!
I tacked back and made a good course along the 'right' side of the headland. 

Beating past Mudeford beach huts.  
Even though the wind was blowing at the headland the sea state was much calmer in Christchurch bay.  The sailing conditions where much nicer here, however time was getting on so I planned to sail as close to the beach at Highcliffe as possible then tack back and motor head to wind towards hurst. 

Motor sailing towards Hurst, time to put my feet up.
I furled away the genoa, started the engine and motor sailed to Hurst.  It was nice to be able to relax for a bit, the last few hours had been hard work.   Although not sailing side by side I had come across in company with Lapwing.  Pauls engine at this point was not pulling very well and was only making 4 knots.  We stayed together because if we got to Hurst too late we might not be able to get through so would have to find another destination.
Before entering Hurst narrows Paul refilled his outboard with fresh petrol, it was like magic, back upto 5 knots.  We got to Hurst at slack water, perfect,  the chop was building as we approached Yarmouth but who cares.. we were nearly there. Including Paul and myself four boat had made the trip.  We were welcomed with a large glass of Ardbeg on Gazelle then nibbles on Whisper before heading into town for grub at Saltys and a few beers.

The return journey was much less eventful,  we left Yarmouth a little after 9am and had a pleasant run back, goosewinged most of the way. There were various forecasts but they'd all over egged it,  F3 max from the east, Perfect.  Apart form motoring out of the harbour the engine stay off and out of the water, I even managed to pick up my mooring under sail.

Lapwing passing Hengisbury.. Much calmer than Saturday.


  1. Damn good weekend all round by the sound of it!!

  2. Oh yes, not sure I'll get out for another overnighter so that's not a bad way to end the season. :)