Thursday, August 19, 2021

2021 Late Summer Cruise, Days 1 & 2.

 Off again!

And again delayed by the weather, I had planned to leave over the weekend for the best tides but delayed going to the boat until Monday because of high winds, ideally I would have left very early next morning but a forecast at 18:00 of winds F3-5 occasionally F6 meant I did not bother to set the alarm. The forecast at 06:30 ish looked a bit better having dropped the "occ F6" but with the tide going out I could not get off of the mooring, if I was to avoid an over night sail the best thing to do would be a short sail down the Solent to anchor behind Hurst for the night then head out on Wednesday morning at c 07:00 towards the west with a full 6 hours of helping tide.

The quickest sail to Hurst would be to leave early evening to take the Ebb tide down the Solent but I decided to leave at lunchtime rather than sit and twiddle my thumbs, with winds varying from 6 knots to c17 over the ground, it took 6 hours, rather than the 2 or 3 I usually take and it was a good reminder of the problems of beating against a 2 knot tide (& it’s usually more) in a small boat. 

Achilles 9 metre "Sancerre" at Hurst Point
The anchorage behind Hurst Castle that guards Hurst Narrows,
the western entrance to the Solent. There where 5 boats there
overnight and apart from a very nice and very expensive Rustler
37 all were less than 32 ft and I am fairly sure all were being
sailed single handed. I have seen at least 2 before, Dido
pictured here and Samsara.
Achilles 9 metre "Sancerre" at Hurst Point
"Samsara" a Rival 32 owned by John Passmore aka "Old
Man Sailing
" last seen in Baltimore, in southern Ireland in 2019
Wednesday dawned blustery living up to the forecast of F3 - 5, unfortunately it was from the west - southwest, not ideal going west. The quickest start would be straight down the Needles Channel to get the strongest tide, but it was already blowing 15 knots which against the ebbing tide could result in some very choppy seas and nasty over-falls so I went out using the narrow channel north of the Shingles Bank.
My track from Hurst to Studland, a well timed tack and a slight
wind change got me there by 11:45
With the westerly wind forecast to back to the southwest I stood out too sea, with a choppy sea even with a brisk wind with 20 knots over the deck progress was rather slow and it became clear that I would probably get past Anvil Point before the tide changed but I would not be able to get past St Albans which would result in a very late arrival in Portland so I decided to head for Studland.

19 miles over the ground in 5 hours.

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