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!
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.