Cold Shock

You might think that the major risk when sailing dinghies in cold weather is hypothermia, and while it is a significant concern, it takes a while to get into trouble and there are lots of signs.

You can die in less than 60 seconds from cold shock. 

There are a few Cody Sailing Club sailors who, for the first time this year, are planning some daysails during the winter – if you are a member and interested in joining us, you know what to do. If you’re not a member and fancy a bit of fleet dinghy cruising in the beautiful waters of the Solent and local harbours, follow the “Join Now” link.

The excellent article with more information is from the RYA.

Breezy and moist

Following weeks of hot weather, it’s a bit disappointing for the weather to deliver a wind of force 6 to 9 and 25mm of rain overnight. However, there’s every expectation of an outbreak of sailing this evening when the rain has stopped and the wind abates.

An overnight stop at Wootton

The sun had clearly got to four frazzled Cody sailors who decided it would be a great idea to sit in an open boat in near 30-degree heat for two days. There had been an ambitious plan for some time to attempt a ‘round the island’ but with the recent light winds the plan was scaled down to a sail from Lymington to Bembridge, with an overnight stop in Bembridge, making good use of the fair tides in both directions.

Steve and Zak (Comet trio), Ged and Simon H (Storm 17) arrived at Lymington car park early on the morning of Saturday 7th July – which was just as well because there was a regatta taking place at Lymington Town Sailing club and within half an hour of arrival, the car park was jam-packed with hundreds of trailers, boats, rigging, families, dogs and grannies etc. It felt like embarkation for D day (apart from the grannies). With light airs forecast but with the possibility of building to F3 once the sea breeze kicked in, we were on the water by about 10.15. Heading out of Lymington towards Jack-in-the Box, we were greeted by the magnificent sight of 1200 or so yachts in full sail, hugging the north shore of the Isle and gradually reaching their way West through Hurst point and on to the Needles.

Keeping out of their way, we chose to sail close to the north shore which also avoided the last of the west flowing tide. Once the tide turned an hour or so later we headed out into the main channel and benefitted from a gradually strengthening tide and stiffening breeze from the SW. We were looking good for the plan to make Bembridge by 6pm, so that we could land on the beach at high tide and settle the boats using fenders before readying them to sleep on. But the best laid plans and all that….

At about 3pm and after a delightful but uneventful sail East, the wind just died. We were about a mile East of Wootton Creek and clearly not going to make Bembridge. We had a conflab. Plan B was agreed. Let’s make for Wootton Creek and see what we can find. Steve was aware of a small shingle beach just up river from the Victoria Sailing club next to the Ferry terminal and we might be able to use the club facilities. Drifting to Wootton creek took some time and Ged and Simon resorted to the auxiliary power plant (oars). When we got to Wootton creek, sadly the beach had been ‘requisitioned’ and had become part of a swanky new house with equally swanky new signs, making it strikingly clear that we were unwelcome – not swanky enough?

Ged has rigged up an amazing sleeping arrangement on his lovely (dry) Storm 17, with boom tent and beautifully engineered sleeping boards, but the Comet Trio is not really set up for sleeping aboard, unless the boat can be beached and the water drained from the hull. Although there was space on the Victoria sailing club pontoons, we decided to beat up Wootton creek in search of a suitable landing site.

Sadly, or gladly depending on your point of view, we made it all the way to the Sloop Inn by the bridge at the top of the creek but without finding a suitable overnight location.

After 6 hours in the boats we, erhm, ‘re-hydrated’ and gulped down a delicious supper at the pub and enjoyed a quick run back down to the sailing club in a rather strange, late evening, fresh southerly – a katabatic wind off the Isle perhaps? The sailing club was quiet but very welcoming and there was space on the pontoon for both boats (£1.50 per meter for the night, facilities included). I’d say that we had a good nights’ sleep but Victoria Sailing club is cheek by jowl with the Ferry terminal to Portsmouth. I hadn’t realised that it runs every two hours throughout the night, and having been the Round the Island race, there were plenty of ‘well-oiled’ sailors enjoying a late-night excursion in both directions. The 5 am ferry however, was the perfect alarm clock so that we could make our intended launch time of 6 am, and again benefit from the west flowing tide to arrive in Lymington before the tide turned foul into the Harbour.


Sunrise over Wootton Creek


What a proper overnight camping boat looks like

Once out of Wootton creek and heading warily into the main channel, to avoid any possible wind shadow in Osborne bay, we were greeted by a very amiable F3 off the beam and were set for a very pleasant sail back. But this has been the summer of light airs to beat all others and after about an hour, and shortly past Cowes, the wind eased right off. In truth we got home through a combination of drifting (see left), rowing, paddling and with the occasional assistance from the slightest puff of wind. It was all very relaxing, convivial and chilled. Actually, not that chilled because as the morning wore on and the sun came up again, it soon heated up and by the time we made the slipway at Lymington, almost exactly 24 hours after setting out, it was getting decidedly warm. Once again, the carpark was crowded and we had an amusing hour or so observing various bouts of frayed tempers and carpark rage whilst de-rigging. The weekend was rounded off with a pint and a burger at the Mayflower, followed by another drink on the balcony of the Lymington Town Sailing club. All-in-all a fabulous couple of days.


Mirrored surface of the Solent

What did we learn?
· The amount of fun you have in a boat is inversely proportional to its length (but we probably all know that anyway)
· Stopping overnight somewhere adds a significant amount to the sense of adventure
· Stopping overnight somewhere next to a ferry terminal subtracts a significant amount to the hours slept
· Take ear plugs, like Ged did
· Youthful optimism and middle-aged wisdom are equally valid strategies when bedding down somewhere strange for the night

Lymington to Newtown Creek

Following an early morning departure for most of us from home we met in the Lymington Town Sailing club car park at around 8.30 to 9.00 am in the morning on what was a warm and sunny morning (definitely one for the sun tan lotion). Godfrey and Jan in their Comet Trio, Gary and David in a Club Trio, Andy & Vanessa in their RS Vision, Giles and Deb in a Laser 13, Steve & Mel in their Comet Trio, John and Edmund in the RS Feva.

Everybody was set up and ready to launch by 10.30 as we needed to get on to the water before the club Laser Racing started and to also ensure that we reached the entrance to Newtown Creek before the top of the tide.

After having the initial briefing, we launched from the slipway and sailed out down the Lymington River to rendezvous at the Jack in the Box platform ready to cross the Solent to Newtown Creek. With a flooding tide and north easterly wind we had a small amount of wind over tide as we set off across the Solent, maintaining a course slightly to the west of Newtown creek entrance, to allow for the incoming tidal stream.

After a pleasant sail all boats rendezvoused at the west cardinal maker outside the Newtown Creek entrance at around midday and it was agreed then to take the opportunity to go down the Creek to Shalfleet Quay. With almost a dead run down the creek we were able to moor just south of the key where we were tied the boats up on the bank and then walked down Shalfleet Quay Lane to the New Inn Pub for lunch. Sitting in the pub garden in the bright sun we all enjoyed a good lunch and refreshment for an hour, before John as our OOD for the day decided that we needed to return to the boats to catch the outgoing tide.

Unfortunately, the wind had failed to veer to the south over lunch, remaining from the north east and hindering the ability of a sea breeze to develop. With the wind dying this made it challenging for half the fleet to sail back down the narrow creek to the entrance beating against what little breeze still existed.

Eventually all boats managed to rendezvous outside the entrance to Newtown Creek ready to sail across the channel. However even though we had set an effective course to steer, to take account of the now ebbing tide; with the wind dying this meant that the boats were being taken further down the Solent than we would have liked. In order to counteract this and avoid being swept past the Lymington entrance we had to get the paddles out and provide additional assistance to make progress across the channel. After about an hour and half of sailing and paddling we were in sight of Lymington and the breeze started to pick up again which enabled us to sail in and around the entrance to the harbour and to then return down the channel with relative ease. Arriving back at the slipway around 4.15 pm the boats were then tidied away and made ready for departure and a rush to the pub ensued, for some light refreshment.
All in all, an excellent day and thanks to John for expertly undertaking the role of OOD for the day.


Seafarers to Burlesdon

Good, better, best? We had a really lovely sail from Seafarers to the Jolly Sailor, at Burlesdon, well inland up the River Hamble. This was a cruise that almost did not happen. Light winds, F2, were forecast and some members pulled out because of this. In the end we decided to act on the traditional sailor’s maxim that, “light wind sailing is more challenging than strong wind sailing” and we were richly rewarded. The continued heat wave meant that we were warm throughout and the conditions were very pleasant.

Andy and Vanessa sailed their boat with Andy acting as both AO and OOD; thank you Andy! Phil and Stephen took a Club Trio. We launched easily from Seafarers into a F2 as promised. This was Southerly in the morning with a touch of East in it. So, up went the spinnakers and whilst Andy and Vanessa sailed serenely on, Phil put his dinghy instructor hat on and gave Stephen some welcome coaching in Spinnaker techniques. The conditions were perfect for this and much fun was had and much was learnt. In the end we sailed all the way from Seafarers to the pub with the Spinny up. We guessed that probably few dinghy sailors had done this recently! The Hamble looked pretty as did the several million pound plus houses on its banks. Finally, we made the pub and had a nice lunch. Stephen believes that word of mouth is an important way to grow the Cody Club membership so when the nice barmaid told him that he she wished that she could do things like sail to the pub he immediately told her to look at the Cody website and join!



A dog expresses interest in joining Cody SC!

The wind had strengthened a little on the way back, to a F3, and it was a long beat out of the river, dodging moored yachts and pontoons as we went. Of course, it was not a race, but there were times when our two dinghies were only feet from each other as each sought to make the best of the available water. Exciting stuff!

Once out of the River Hamble we found that the wind had gone around more to the West and we began with a fast beam reach and eventually it was time for the Spinnakers to go up again. For the last few miles we were planing at times in near perfect conditions with the Solent looking lovely.

The two boat crews agreed that this had been a very special trip with great variety and interest and we were so pleased that we did it.

Beautiful evening sailing on Frensham Pond

This is the photo finish at the end of one of the short races this evening. Lovely wind, clear blue sky and a perfect end to workday. One of the current RYA L1&2 students joined us earlier and sailed on a Comet Trio with her daughters.
If you’re a club member and would like to join us on a Thursday please get in touch with Simon or Steve.

Spring Cobnor Camp

In addition to our usual camp at Autumn camp at Cobnor House, this year we organised a camp for the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. The weather was excellent, sunny every day with clear blue sky from horizon to horizon meaning there was sure to be a sea breeze even though the forecasted wind was only an Easterly F1-2. Each day we waited for the sea breeze to start, which gave a cooling and refreshing F3 Southerly breeze


across the harbour. Given the tide, the best place to go was to East Head, HISC and then home, on one day via Bosham for ice creams. We teamed up with First Sunday Sailing Group (FSSG) and enjoyed fleet cruising with them on both Saturday and Sunday. On Monday the sea breeze took longer to arrive than on the other days, and by noon we had solid wind. We had time to visit East Head for lunch, a chat and a snooze in the sun. Furthermore, we were joined in Chichester Harbour by the Cody Sailing Club yachts who sailed from Portsmouth and spent the night in Itchenor.

page5image20816We managed to do joint cruises over the long weekend with the FSSG to East head. We have invited them to join us at Poole camp and the next Bosham camp. A thoroughly good time was had in the sunshine and we look forward to meeting up with FSSG again.

Cody to Wootton Creek – 13th May

We set off from Stokes Bay in lovely sunshine and it was warm and very pleasant and we made good progress at first. The wind was light and we had already decided to miss Wootton Creek and go to Ryde sands for an ice cream. This new destination made sense given the tide and the wind. In mid-Solent the wind died away to almost nothing and for a couple of hours or so we got nowhere. Newcomers to dinghy sailing sometimes wonder if they will get sick and the fear of this can put them off. I have always said to them you cannot get sick in a dinghy because the motion does not allow it. Slopping around in the middle of the Solent for two hours though made several of feel quite queasy, so for the first time I realised that it seems that dinghy sailing can make one queasy. Eventually, we turned back before reaching Ryde and we had to paddle part of the way until a most perfect breeze sprung up making for a great reach back to Stokes Bay. The conditions were now so good that we went out again for half an hour just for the fun of it. On our return the tide was very low and it was a bit of a struggle to get the boats back onto the road. The rusting piece of metal sticking out of the water that is just off the beach was visible and made us wonder how many times we have sailed over it and missed it – so far! This was an interesting and fun day and conditions eventually became perfect.

May Day Bank Holiday Cruiser Rally

When the programme was put together the three-day two-night cruise was planned for a trip to Chichester Marina with the next night being spent in Island Harbour, which is up the Medina River. However, in the end the two yachts went to Itchenor and then Bucklers Hard, because of lack of available berths due to the glorious forecast and the bank holiday. The high pressure combined with neap tides also made access to Island Harbour unwise.

Saturday morning saw the now standard routine of coffee and cake before both boats slipped from Portsmouth. One yacht sailed a direct route to Chichester Harbour whilst the other played with their asymmetric in the light breezes. With the harbour being so busy plans to link up with those camping at Cobnor was abandoned and the two boats made straight for the Itchenor to secure a buoy for overnight. Whilst on the buoys, conversations were had with the passing dinghies as they harnessed the light wind to challenge the tide up towards Dell Quay.page3image20680

Meanwhile, on the yachts the evening started with refreshments in the glorious sunshine of chilled cider or Pimms – the only challenge for those sitting on the bathing platform of was to move quickly when the occasional big wash came through.

Sunday morning saw glorious sunshine and a relaxed start. A quick phone call to Island Harbour confirmed that with the high pressure they strongly advised us not to come because it was unlikely that we would have enough water over the lock to exit on the Monday. Some hasty phone calls did not identify many places to go but Bucklers Hard marina said they had space for both boats if we did not mind rafting on the fuel pontoon.

As the boats left the Itchenor buoys mid-morning there was not much wind but once out of the harbour there was enough wind for both boats to do some sailing. After a pleasant motor up the Beaulieu River both boats successfully tied up in time for tea and cake followed by some pre-dinner drinks.

With a change from the norm of eating out, and with the nice weather, a quick walk to the BBQing area, saw the men slaving over their hot stoves whilst salads and plates were put on the available tables. As the temperature cooled all returned to Emelita for dessert and cheeses suitably washed down with coffee, port, wine etc.

Monday again provided for a relaxed start
in some glorious sunshine. Most took the opportunity for a quick walk ashore and ice creams before departure. Who knew there was a little church next door to the Master Builders pub and in the ground floor of one of the cottages? As both boats exited the river one behind the other, following a motor down, it was time to become a sailing boat again. Following a VHF conversation off Cowes, it was agreed for a lunch time stop in a busy Osbourne Bay. There was too much swell for the boats to raft alongside each other but we anchored close enoughfor some goading between crews which resulted in them both going for a very short dip!page4image9152

It is not certain who got out the fastest after jumping in! – but they both lied saying it was “lovely”. (Note wet suits and dry suits were not included).

Following a leisurely lunch there was still enough wind for a gentle sail back towards Gilkicker and onwards
into Portsmouth. Following more tea and cake, boats were tidied up and the rally was once more over.

The weather gods helped make it a splendid weekend that was enjoyed by all. Watch out for the Autumn calling notice when this time the boats will head towards Yarmouth / Lymington.