Ciao Bella is a Hurley 20 bilge keel sailing yacht, she is my second 'proper' boat. having had some great times in a Fantasie 19 called Jelly Bean I decided it was time to increase my sailing range with a boat that could successfully bridge the gap between the huge fun of being able to explore every nook and cranny of a harbour or estuary and proper sea going ability. I hope this will be the case :~)
Well a big adventure has sprung upon Ciao Bella. I was contacted a while ago to see if I would be willing to assist Dave Selby from PBO with his 'Marlin's Mission' quest. For those who don't know, Dave has sailed his Sailfish 18 from Maldon in Essex to Southampton to promote the pleasure of sailing small, cheap boats on a shoe string. A task made more difficult by the Viral disorder that Dave suffers from called Guillain-Barre syndrome.
I left Poole at about 11:40 on Monday on route to Warsash. Quite excited as I've never sailed into Southampton water before. The forcast was for very light winds but it was just about perfect. Force 2 from the south gave me a good run across Poole bay and Christchurch bay in 4 hours.
I had to tack a couple of times before dropping through the Hurst channel. There was a bit of a chop coming through but nothing to exciting. :)
Another two hours saw me approaching the entrance to Southampton water. Unfortunately the wind was dropping and time was running out so it was time to start the motor.
The sunset was absolutely fantastic over Fawley. Time to head for Warsash sailing club.
Dave was at Warsash to meet me, as was another Hurley owner, Dave Edwards and Justine with there absolutely stunning Hurley 18 called Womble. I never seen such a beautifully restored GRP boat. We spent the evening in the Rising Sun at Warsash.
The next morning we all set off together to sail to the town quay. The wind was very poor and we spend most of the time drifting sideways so eventually had to start the motors again.
On the way up Dave did a radio interview with Radio Solent and a photographer from Practical boat owner came to the quay to meet up and get some press photos.
Womble, above, is just stunning and pictures do not do it justice.
Ciao Bella getting dragged out at the town quay slipway.
The boat show stand starting to come together. On tuesday we were pretty much the only people here.
Dave working hard
By Thursday the site was much busier.. we are neearly ready to go. Come along and say hello. We are on stand A134.
Sorry Dom, I stole your facebook comment for the post title.
Not the most exciting bit of sailing footage but a huge thanks to Richard from Skitch pics for bringing your drone along. Would be nice if we could control the weather :)
Blimey, a week and a half late...I must try to keep this blog up to date :)
Anyway, after returning from Summer holiday I was desperate to get out on Ciao Bella. We'd been camping in Brittany which was lovely but also absolute torture as it is sailing heaven.
The view from my tent.
I persuaded James to come along for a saunter out to Studland, I new Lapwing Paul would be out there, so it would be good to catch up. We spent a bit of tie in the harbour as a Friend of mine had brought his drone over to do some filming. Unfortunately the wind around Brownsea castle was not very good so most of his footage was either just bobbing around or motoring :(
We motored out of the harbour and left the engine on until the end of the training wall. From then on the wind picked up abit and we could sail properly over to the moorings. With the weather being quite nice there weren't many moorings. I did get on to one not too far from Lapwing and started to pump up the dinghy.. only to see Paul jump in the water and start swimming towards us. He's clearly mad but made it in quick time.
We considered going ashore but that would have made us miss the tide and be very late back. Instead you just had a bit of a chat then Paul swam back to Lapwing and we set off back to the club.
The sail back was also pretty slow and eventually had to stat the engine.. It became a bit of a push to get through the entrance and I hugged the shallower water to get back to my mooring.
All in all a bit of a rushed trip but better out than not. :) James clearly enjoyed it, he took all the pics.
I've not been able to get out again since but hav been over to check on her... looks like the antifoul has given up and the Terns are starting to redecorate the whole boat Grrrrr.