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.