Friday, 24 October 2014

Harbour pottering

I'll start by apologising for the quality of the pictures... You'll be glad to know that the iPhone4 has now been replaced with an iPhone5s... We'll have to wait and see if the picture quality is better.   Lets hope we don't have to wait until next season :)

I had booked a cheeky Monday off in the hope that the weather would be ok for a sail.  The forecast was for a bit of a mixed bag but there was nothing scary in it.  The pic above kinda sums it up.. blue skies, dark clouds, sun and rain.

After re-attaching my boom, which had decided to go freestyle, I got away from the mooring around 11am. There was a good breeze, I had full main and about 3/5th of the Genoa out.  I should really have reefed the Main but struggled on as was.
Another sandbanks house bulldozed to make way for the next over the top incarnation.
Initially undecided about where to go I felt it would be nice to potter around the quieter areas of the harbour, so I headed straight on past the chain ferry and off to South Deep.  The channels are quite narrow in this part of the harbour and a great deal of tacking was required to avoid the use of the engine.

I seemed to be facing the on coming traffic as I went around Furzey and Green Islands.  There must have been at least, huh, eer four other boats out here.

All of them looking like they'd come straight from another era, although I suspect there was a substantial amount of GRP in their construction :)

As I turned the corner into South deep the clouds darkened and the breeze picked up,  with a Westerly there was little protection here so plans of anchoring were shelved and I set a course for Shipstal point.

The next half hour/ hour was particularly wet,   glad I'd brought my wet weather gear with me.   The approach to Shipstal, 'Upper Wych Channel'  can be very shallow and is quite narrow.  This was not made any easier by the arrival of a fleet of dinghies, each crammed with shouting and singing kids intent on crowding me out and aiming straight at me..  I felt ever so grumpy for a while and then realised that they were doing nothing wrong and I should be happy that another generation is out enjoying sailing.

I think this magnanimous feeling arrived shortly after the anchor had been dropped and the kettle had boiled.   Life improved even more when the sun made an appearance along with my Tomato soup.

Once I was warm and dry and no longer hungry I pulled up the hook and made my way back down Wych Channel with the intention of anchoring off Brownsea Island so I could go for a stroll.
The wind picked up again making the paddle in the Coracle a quick one to the Island but worrying me that I might not be able to get back to Ciao Bella if it increased while I was ashore.  It was also raining again.

Instead of setting out for a full tour of the Island I took a fairly direct route to the Cafe by the Castle. Coffee and comfort food was required.     One bacon, cheese and onion slice down and I was ready to go in search of my furry friends, the Red Squirrels :)

With the days getting shorter, I couldn't hang around too long so I quickly made my way back to Ciao Bella, fortunately the wind had abated a bit and the paddle back was both easy and dry.

I pull up the anchor again and made my last few tacks of the day back to pottery pier then had a nice easy sail at over 5knots back to my mooring.
The track below tells the story, 51 tacks... that's a lot of tacks and my shoulders felt it on Tuesday.  Despite the grumpyness I'd really enjoyed it and will hopefully have another installment before she gets lifted out on Monday.


  1. Ha - just look at that cloud - bloody malevolent! Nice shots, matey....

  2. Eh up, must have published before finishing. Also have trouble formatting for some reason. I can't get rid of the big gap at the start and between some of the pictures.