Last weekend the Club had planned a cruise to Newtown Creek, the forecast for the return on Sunday was pretty horrific so rather than abandon I decided to go to Christchurch in the morning, grab an ice cream then head back to Poole.
I was joined by Dom and Sarah on their Swift 18 called Tyger. This was great as they had planned to go to Newtown but had also been put off by the weather. We left the harbour around 06:30 with very little wind, I had to start the engine to push me through the East Looe channel as the tide was drifting me towards Hook sands. The rest of the sail over was very relaxed with a light westerly just pushing us on to Christchurch with unbroken blue skies.
|Lovely condition on the way over.|
I've not been into Christchurch for a long time and then I had little understanding of tides and charts so just blundered in with the tide turning against me.. Not a happy episode.. The run is quite a stretch of water, I was funneled in and spat out into the harbour like I was on a fairground ride.
The Almanac shows anchorage behind Mudeford spit but this is very shallow, even for Ciao Bella, and there is little room. I managed to grab a mooring bouy, I'm not sure of the protocol here so I left a note in the window with my phone number on it in-case I was obstructing someones mooring. Tyger came and rafted up with me so we pumped up the Coracle and ferried ourselves over.
|Rafted up and inflating the Coracle|
A pleasent couple of hours were spent outside the bar, sampling cider, pasties and coffee... by now it was getting a little chilly for Ice-cream :)
We prepared to leave around 3pm, by now the wind had picked up... this wasn't on the forecast! Back out in the bay and conditions were exciting to say the least.
|Time to get the sail up.|
The forecast F2/3 had become a solid F5/6 and the sea state was pretty lumpy. It was a uncomfortable beat back to Poole. I lost Tyger around Bournemouth Pier as they took a long tack out into the bay. Funnily enough as I approach the entrance through the East Looe Channel I could see Tyger making her way down the Swash channel.
|Some what different to the morning|
I was glad to be back in Poole as it had not exactly been fun but also it was good to know that I'm still capable of sitting out a few hours in pants weather. Unfortunately we took just a little too long to get back and had to drag the tender back to its outhaul :)