No News is good news, when we do something it will be news!
This is news.
New (dry) Boat
This is not news
Repeat of last year's trip - go to Yarmouth or Cowes and be in time to watch the rugby. Get cold -but not wet - eat, drink, sleep, eat some more and get cold again.
We were 5 up in a Bavaria 38 which we chartered from Team Sailing at Haslar. She has roller furling everything which takes a bit of getting used to after the old fashionedness of Lady Emma. The good thing about all that is that there is no stumbling around on the fore deck when the weather is a bit iffy and the sea state is not dead flat.
Crew was Keith and Ray and Norm and Jeremy and me. Tides were springs which was great because given the temperature we got to Yarmouth before everyone froze. It only took 3.5 hours with a strong easterly blowing at 25. Everyone said how nicely the boat sailed but you do need long legs in order not to slip of the seats on the up side of the boat when at an extreme angle. And if you are on the down side there is not a lot to lean your back against. It was great to be able to adjust the sails from the cockpit and much quicker to get them away. When the tide is racing past the entrance to the harbour it is not necessary to start to stow everything as you pass Newtown Creek.
Yarmouth was nearly empty but I was not surprised given the date and the weather.
The return trip on Sunday was almost identical so far as time went and with the boat needing much less water than we have needed in the past Keith sailed closer to Ryde Pier than I have ever been except when going there in the hovercraft.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the time out and some of the RTI crew got to familiarize themselves with how the boat works and England beat Ireland!
Good weekend on the whole.
In March we had a delightful weekend when we went to Buckler's Hard in the Bavaria again. We sailed down to a point in the middle of the Solent and heaved (hove?) to within site of Lymington and had our lunch in the sunshine very gently being carried on the flood tide back up towards Cowes. By the time we had finished we were not too far off the entrance to the Beaulieu. A visit to the pub, a quiet night on the fueling pontoon, a trek to the shop to not be able to buy the Sunday papers ( starting in May papers will be available in the marina office) and a good sail back to Haslar.
At the end of April we joined up with the Oxted Offshore Sailing Club for their spring jaunt to the Southampton Yacht Club for a St. George Day dinner. Seven boats in all. There were a lot of red shirts but no dragon. We had been promised 2 OOSC members as crew but they didn't show up which meant that we were three up on the Sigma. We mistakenly believed that this boat was rigged the same way as the Bavaria, no she isn't! The management had taken an executive decision not to have a topping lift. Strange one that but hey s*** happens and then you die, as they say. If I never sail on a boat without a topping lift again in my life it will be too soon.
Putting a reef in is a particularly interesting activity without one. If you sailed on this boat exclusively than I am sure you would get the hang of it. But as it was our first time and with 2 missing crew members it wasn't a whole lot of fun. Just glad that we hadn't changed the foresail for a bigger one as there was hardly any wind in the Beaulieu on Sunday morning.
Once we sorted the sail out we had a lovely sail but very quick eastward so we decided to go as far as the entrance to Chicester. Jeremy wanted to go out around the forts but I pursuaded him to take the hole in the wall route as we had found a good angle of sail that would take us right to it.
When we got back to Haslar Jackie and I did a not too shabby job of flaking the main by ourselves as Jeremy did the hard work of driving the boat after dumping the whole sail on the deck.
John said that he was surprised we had not cancelled what with the lack of crew and I remember he said something about how much fun it would be hoisting and lowering sails shorthanded. We had not taken a lot of notice at the time - I wish we had. But we managed and we all got back.