BOA - New Members Rally
24th - 26th April
Arriving at PYC at lunchtime on Friday the weather forecast did not look good. SE winds F5 gusting F6 with the prospect of rain did not look inviting and promised problems not only leaving Poole Harbour but also approaching Hurst Point and the Needles.
After a quick lunch and a quick consultation we decided to make a go of it and shortly after 15:00 hrs we departed the buoy for Lymington.
Sure enough as we left the harbour we hit the breaking swell coming in from the SE over Hook Sand but as we approached the Bar Buoy the sea settled to a more tolerable state. We set a course out to sea and when the tide changed we tacked eastward hoping to make Hurst Point in a single beat. Following a short shower the weather cleared and we proceeded at some speed across Bournemouth Bay. At Hengistbury Head we made a further two tacks to round the Head and make the North Head buoy. At North Head we downed the sails and motored the rest of the way into Lymington. Conditions over the Shingles were surprisingly calm given the conditions. Earlier in the day a yacht had run aground on the Shingle and had to be rescued by the Yarmouth Lifeboat presumable to Lymington where we saw the Lifeboat leaving as we arrived..
We moored up at the Town Quay alongside the quay. It was after 20:00 hrs by the time we made it ashore so we elected to go for fish and chips and spend the remainder of the evening on Calero.
It rained overnight and on Saturday morning following a full English breakfast we set off early anticipating a hard slog up the Solent to Haslar against a strong SE wind. A SW F5 wind was expected later but we were not taking our chances. Once clear of Lymington Harbour, however the wind veered to the SW and we made our way at a full 7 knots (9 knots SOG) up toward Cowes. Cracking!
Arriving at Cowes somewhat earlier than expected we modified our plans and moored up at Shephards Wharf for a walk into town. Following the normal trawl around the clothing stores and chandleries, and following a march past of the Cowes St Georges Day parade we went to the Island Sailing Club for a drink. “Two pints of Goddards please.”
Returning to Calero we ate a quick lunch and set off again for Haslar. The SW wind increased briefly to a F6 and we made good progress, avoiding a number of racing fleets, to Portsmouth Harbour. We arrived at Haslar and moored up along side Hasler Lightship with the other Rally yachts overlooked by the Portsmouth Spinnaker tower.
The evening at Haslar was spent with the Bavaria Owners aboard the Lightship. Dinner was a “Sausage and Mash” buffet featuring Pork and Apple, Cumberland and Vegetarian Sausages. Sticky toffee pudding followed for afters.
On Sunday morning the wind returned to the SE blowing a F4/F5. In fine weather we set off early for Poole making excellent progress against the tide. Off Osborne Bay we picked up a favourable eddy to Cowes where the tide turned and we headed for Hurst Point.
The wind picked up and we arrived off Newtown Creek at about 13:00 hrs. We were making such good progress, albeit motor assisted, that we decided to stop for lunch at Newtown Creek.
We would have stayed longer but the clouds were gathering and the Weather Forecast was indicating a SW F6/F7 with rain. So after a short lunch we set off again for Hurst and Poole. The clouds cleared and we shot past Hurst at 10.5 knots SOG and made our way straight across the Shingles south of North Head (Yes, you know, where there is a deaper bit!)
With no sign of the pending storm we arrived at the Bar Buoy at 16:40 and to our home bouy at 17:15 just in time to pick up the PYC launch ashore.