Chichester Harbour Summer 2021

Cobnor Summer Camp

This year we held a long weekend summer Cobnor camp and were fortunate to have excellent sunny weather. Thirteen families turned up and enjoyed sailing, paddle boarding and kayaking. The evenings were spend in sunshine chatting and barbequing. A diary of this long weekend is given below.

Wednesday June 10th

08:30 and Sarah Louise and Steve arrived, got Sarah’s Trio rigged and launched into a rising tide and the barest wisps of wind in blue skies and full sun. The drive down had been foggy, the IOW was obscured by fog, and yet just along the strip of coast the sun blazed down. We took 90 minutes of sneaky shallows sailing to make Chalkdock against the flood, and with an hour to go turned for Dell Quay. The SW F1-2 became a southerly F2-3 along the Itchenor reach and we then broad reached to the pub.

The pub required us to sit down and be served, and so we sat on an outdoor sofa which overlooked the water. We had a lovely chat with two canoe paddlers who were randomly assigned the sofa next to us. I’d say more salty than all of us; several transatlantic crossings in a Contessa32, and many salty adventures around the Bahamas.

Soon after the tide turned, we began the beat home in a F2-3, reached the Itchenor channel, and met Adri and Anna coming back from Bosham, where we returned to, took in Ice Creams and headed home in a sporty F4 for a bit of camping. Ginny and Phil arrived and camped.

Thursday June 11th

The plan was for Dell Quay for lunch and Bosham for afternoon ice cream, a tried and trusted crowd pleaser.

The plan unfolded as expected, we were in no hurry to launch as the overcast skies would lead to no sea breeze and the forecast was for more wind in the afternoon. Ginny in her Scow, John and Phil in Phil’s Versa, Anna and Adri in the club Versa and Sarah-Louise and Steve in Sarah’s Trio left the hard at 10:30, headed up-tide and got to Park (beyond Roman Transit) before turning at 11:10 for Dell Quay. We were making a good headway and were about 90 minutes off East Head as we continued onwards.

The broad reach, reach and run saw the fleet at the pub at about 12:15, and we got adjacent outdoor tables where beer, chips and cheesy chips were enjoyed before repairing to the beach for our sandwiches.

The ebb spurred us to action, the beat was good with the tide beneath us, the reach gusty, the run to Bosham slightly eventful. A patch of weed tripped the rudder on the Trio, and we gybed into a broach; fortunately, nothing was there to broach into.

The ice creams at Bosham were good. While I was holding all the boats I was interrogated by a Conservancy Officer regarding a lack of Conservancy stickers, and fortunately we had all phoned in and got a 5-day permit (for which no sticker is issued). Also note that BSC charge if you land on their slipway, but I was holding the boats while still in the water so apparently that does not count. (Also note that even if you have a conservancy sticker, it’s a further £7 per day to launch a dinghy from Itchenor).

The return to Cobnor was a challenging beat with the raging ebb, we reefed just to make it more handleable.

And now the sun has finally come out.

Friday June 12th

Overnight, Ged, Archie and Lisbeth arrived.

The crew were Steve and Lisbeth, Sarah and Ginny in Trios, Phil and John, Anna and Adri in Versas and Ged and Archie in the Storm17.

We launched at 10am into a SW F3 overcast and drizzling, and beat against the flooding tide to East Head where we stopped briefly at 11:15.

The journey to Mengeham Rythe crossed the incoming flood, and then we were carried by it and through the first moorings. It gets tight on the way to My Lord’s Pond, with boats in bow to stern trots and a dead end to avoid. All made it handsomely on the beat there, many tight tacks, and we settled in the now bright sunshine on the North shore for an hour of siesta, lunch and snoozing.

The start of the ebb jolted us into action, and we made our way out which was much easier on the broad reach and run. When we made North of HISC the VHF came alive with a hail from Cody members who have a yacht; Jenny and Roy had sailed to East Head on a whim, so we sailed over and said hello.

We stopped to regroup on Pilsey, passing the deep water Port Hand post the correct side, and just for fun sailed to “Star” racing mark before turning home. Ginny had her racing head on, and Sarah’s Trio was uncatchable. Some had interesting gybes on the way home, some sat majestically running dead downwind without a care in the world, upon cushions.

We arrived home about 1530.

Saturday Sailing

The fleet set off at about 11am after investing some time in working out the club Versa spinnaker.

Mel and Anna, Martin and Ben, Phil and Lisbeth in Versas, Edmund and Isabelle in their Trio, Ged and Archie in the Storm17 and Stephen and Jackie paddled canoes while John took his paddle board. Adri went for a walk, as did Andrea.

Wind was light and variable until Birdham Pool when the sea breeze set in. The sailing was good. The tide was still flooding, so the fleet was anchored. Dell Quay Sailing Club made us most welcome with legendary scones. The fleet left just after 14:00 into a S F3, which built to a F4 at times. In glorious sunshine we beat through Birdham Pool to a close reach along the channel past Itchenor. Steve and Simon joined the fleet for the Itchenor reach, then carried on to East Head for a play in the bigger winds as we broad reached with the spinnaker up home. Someone, not us, using the slipway was lowering their boat, having neglected attaching it to the trolley and the boat fell off the trolley pinning someone between the boat and the wall. We were fortunately out of the way and no major harm was done but it’s a reminder to keep the boat attached to the trolley.

Thanks to Phil for leading the daysail.

Saturday Paddling

Jackie and Stephen Deakin were in their sleek kayaks and John was on his 5th trip on his new Bluefin Cruise 10.8 (SUP).

The outbound leg was in ideal conditions; with the tidal current and in very light winds. The light winds meant that we took about the same time as the dinghies to reach Dell Quay.
By the time of our return the tide had turned and the sea breeze had set in at about 15kts which made for very different conditions. John decided to sit down on his board using the kayak seat that clips to his board, otherwise standing up would have been torturous. He also made use of the second paddle blade to make a double-ended set.

Overall we recorded a 7 mile round trip. It was only after we returned that Stephen noted Jackie was nearly an Olympic rower, which explains why she left Stephen and John far in her wake at times. Like any hard work it was a slog at times but a good achievement in retrospect.

Even in the windy conditions we made the return journey again in a similar time to the dinghies

Roll on future Cody paddling trips!

Sunday (14th) Paddlers

Phil on his kayak and John with his SUP set off from Cobnor at 0945, just before the slipway closed for the Oppy launching window. They had a very pleasant paddle to Bosham with the tidal current and the wind. Following the well established Cody tradition, they stopped at Bosham for an early ice cream. As the tide still had a way to rise and they didn’t fancy a long mud walk, they decided to chance the Bosham Sailing Club slipway and left their craft on the green.

Ice creams consumed, they returned to the green and were stealthily making their way to the slipway when a Bosham Quay staff member came out of his office to demand a fee (£5 each) for using the slipway. After relaunching they made their way further up the Bosham channel as far as they could go with the water available. As they turned to make their way back to Cobnor the tide was against them and there was a healthy breeze. It was hard going on his feet for John on his SUP, so he tried paddling from his knees. Using just the SUP one- ended paddle still made for slow progress, so he added the second blade. Not expecting a breeze John hadn’t taken his kayak seat for his SUP, so he had to sit back on his feet to paddle.

They made steady progress heading back to Cobnor, arriving about 1145 just as the Oppies were finishing their morning racing. It took John a while to be able to get his legs straight, but it was another valuable SUP journey to put in the experience bank.

Sunday Sailing

The weather on Sunday was light winds but gloriously sunny and hot. Seven Cody boats sailed from Cobnor to Dell quay late morning after a racing fleet of Optimists had launched. We found a bit of wind and it was a beat/reach to the pub

The weather on Sunday was light winds but gloriously sunny and hot. Seven Cody boats sailed from Cobnor to Dell quay late morning after a racing fleet of Optimists had launched. We found we needed to take into account the Open Meeting at Bosham SC where about 20 Mirrors and 35 Optimists were racing, so we left after the race fleets were on the water. Keith and Lois joined us from Itchenor in their Sport 14. Mel and Steve, Rob and Adri, Sarah and Simon and Lisbeth in Trios, Martin and Ben in their Versa and Ged and Archie in their Storm17.

We slightly entangled ourselves in the Optimist fleet, and mostly kept out of the way as the tiny humans battled with surprisingly different levels of ability to round their racing mark near Deep End. The clear blue sky did not lift a convincing sea breeze and we were left with puffs and patches of wind from the South as we took the flood to Dell Quay.

Lunch was taken both at the Pub, at the Sailing Club on their veranda and on the beach under the shade of a foreshore tree.

The return trip was uneventful, the wind dropping to barely allow us over the ebbing tide to Cobnor.
We packed up in a crowded carpark and headed home.

This posting was collectively created by the attendees of the camp.

Poole Camp 2021

Monday May 24th

No surprises that Jenny and Roy arrived first in sunshine but were soon followed by others. The weather soon turned colder, with heavy torrential rain and squalls. Some set up their camp in-between the squalls, and some set up camp with an intermission for the squall and torrential rain to blow through… The air was cold and damp, the forecast looked better for Wednesday onwards, but it was simply nice to not be staring at the inside of a house, and instead allow our gaze to fall on a horizon of beauty. Not even Jenny and Roy saying they were going sailing at 1800hrs was enough to entice others onto the water. You know the saying “there was wind and water”. The wind at that time was sailable and looking at the forecast the only chance for a blast with the kite all week. A squall blew through while they were out, and we were sitting inside the porch of Sarah-Louise’s tent facing downwind.

We very much hoped that they had landed, as the torrential rain was streaming horizontally off the violently flapping fabric of the tent while the squall screamed through. Poole YC has a weather station and the reading for those 15 minutes was 32 knots, which is a Force 7. They had an adventurous sail. They were off the NE corner of Brownsea when the wind came through beating – so only had the 2 white sails up. They practised their capsize recovery several times in 2 foot waves (flipping it 3 times totally) before getting righted and deciding to have a steady sail home (no kite). Roy discovered his dry suit was not so dry either.

Tuesday May 25th

Only Roy and Jenny went sailing again just after a quick breakfast. No one else could be encouraged to join them. There was wind, water and the 2k was rigged. What more incentive did they need? They decided to again sail around Brownsea and back to camp again with the intention of going the other direction – anticlockwise. With the kite hoisted off the north side of Furzey and the boat on the plane Blood Alley was calling. The harbour entrance could have been the next destination but the kite was dropped ready for the beat up the east side of Brownsea. The wind was not so bad off “windy corner” but still piped up a bit but they had an enjoyable and uneventful sail – not like the day before.

Roy and Jenny returned to find people sat relaxed drinking coffee before a plan was hatched to head to Swanage for a fish and chip lunch. We sat by the rowing club huddled behind the sea wall in light rain. Whilst the weather was grim the fish and chips were superb – and Roy got away with counting it as going out for a meal for their 5th wedding anniversary!

It was at this point that Mike turned up at the campsite, less boat due to a tow-hitch problem, and having been scared off by Monday’s weather forecast. By mid-afternoon the rain had really set in so in the evening we gathered in tents for a blend of alcohol and a pleasant few hours of sharing stories.

Wednesday May 26th

The ebb was full on, so we decided on a race to Pottery Pier, with the Kayak going straight there down Blood Alley, and the dinghies going to the North of Brownsea.

Andy stopped off at the first permitted landing point half way down the South shore of Brownsea to go and buy sandwiches, leaving Vanessa to paddle on alone, arriving first at Pottery Pier. The dinghies sailed into a wind hole at the north west end of Brownsea which saw us walking, paddling and motoring for a while, with a paddle-less Trio narrowly avoiding a moored catamaran (a paddle is on order). The breeze filled in from the South, Roy and Jenny took full advantage and headed home in their Lasers and we gathered at Pottery Pier for the return to our launching place.

The beat was fun in full sun. We needed to be back at the top of the second high tide and achieved this with unusual precision.

The heat in the sun was in contrast to the chilly wind, some boat fettling was achieved, Andy and Vanessa rigged their Vision ready for the next day.

Friday May 28th

The day dawned grey, windless and cold. At 7am no sailing was promised so the duvet called out to me to sleep under it a bit longer. Roy and Jenny explored using canoes but failed to find the seals. By 9am the forecasted Easterly F3 had established and Bournemouth called out with a promising upwind adventure. Sarah-Louise and Mark, Anna and Mike, Mel and Steve in Trios, Andy and Vanessa in their Vision set off about 10:15, and Roy and Jenny in their 2k about 20 minutes after, having changed from canoeing to sailing clothes. We made the entrance to the harbour for 11am, and beat to the west of Bournemouth Pier by noon where we beached the boats to keep them from the surf and began to enjoy a packed lunch. An official from Bournemouth Council shooed us off the beach, but was kind enough to give us the 10 minutes that we were looking for to finish lunch and pack up. The broad reach home saw some spinnakers aired and pulling in the increasingly sunny weather.

Roy and Jenny took to the North of Brownsea and the rest headed home but arrived too early for the second tide so extended towards Pottery Pier. We all met up by the West of Brownsea, then split up finding at least three different routes home. We were home by 15:15, with enough water to recover.

Saturday 29th

The overcast morning soon gave way to a bright day with an Easterly F3.

Roy and Jenny 2k, Anna and Mike, Mel and Steve, Sarah-Louise and Mark in Trios, Martin and Josh in their Versa and Andy and Vanessa in the Vision, with Jacki and Stephen each in a kayak, slipped at 10am. We broad reached/paddled round the back of Round Island, with some of the group spotting the famous local Sammy the Seal, and landed at Shipstal.

For the second time in two days we were shooed away, this time by the RSPB warden. (Now we know that there is no landing allowed on most of the south of Poole Harbour beaches, and it is documented at https://www.phc.co.uk/environment/the-harbour/map/ )

The dinghies sailed to Rockley and moored in a safe location away from the swimmers for lunch and ice creams. Meanwhile Jacki and Stephen paddled back to find Sammy – and had a closer encounter than they expected! Jacki was slightly worried, ‘girlie screams’ were heard when it climbed on the back of her kayak, as it moved closer to the cockpit than she expected, and she was waiting to feel its whiskers on the back of her neck and smell its fishy breath. This was a strange experience, delightful since the seal was so close, but also a bit worrying in case he thought that kayakers were worth a bite or two.

Also, Stephen and Jacki feared that the seal would make them capsize and then mistake them for a tasty fish lunch. Stephen, helpfully, said to Jacki, “Hit it with your paddle”, but it was just a friendly, inquisitive seal and its intentions seemed to be honourable and no seals were harmed although the same cannot be said for husbands who suggested beating harmless animals. There is a film on the net, that Andy found, of a similar seal at Littlehampton and it is climbing onto paddleboards. This one may be the same one. This was simply an amazing experience that Jacki and Stephen will never forget. Thank you Cody, they say!

At Rockley, lunch and ice-creams were enjoyed. Two Trios returned directly to the field, the others beat with the ebb tide through a very busy harbour of racing and boating in a steady F4 and bright sun to the Shell Bay Seafood Restaurant and took afternoon tea on the balcony, before returning to the field by way of a spinnaker broad reach.

Sunday 30th

Roy in a Laser, Mike and Stephen, Anna and Steve in Trios, Vanessa and Andy in their Vision, Josh and Martin in their Versa. We launched as soon as there was water into a F3 SE steady breeze and full sun. Getting out the creek was difficult with several boats ending up more West in the shallows than planned.

We mustered at Cleavel Point, then began a broad reach towards the western end of Brownsea Island. Behind me Vanessa and Andy capsized, so Anna got a crash course in getting the spinnaker down in our boat and we collected as a fleet at the capsize. By using the Trio as a safety boat would manoeuvre on Frensham, to get a mast out of the mud by following the forestay up, plus Andy hanging his whole weight under the centreboard we were soon on our way, having gathered a considerable weight of audience as one of the Poole Harbour tourist boats had stopped, and also a gaggle of safety boats and other craft. We became part of the voiceover on the boat “…and that shows how shallow the harbour is…”

We continued to Brownsea, mustered again and Roy reported that the gooseneck on his Laser was loose so he nursed the boat back to the field directly. We continued on and made it to the beach by the Shell Bay Restaurant by 13:00. Knowing that we also needed to catch the tide at the field for 14:00 we missed out on a beverage (although the location was packed with people so who knows how many would have been queuing), and headed straight home. We arrived close to 14:00 and recovered the boats.

Monday 31st

All the remaining campers, bar Roy, spent the low-water morning packing up tents and dinghies. By noon there was enough water for a paddle. Stephen, Jacki, Rob, Andy and Vanessa set off towards Round Island and Arne. Jacki’s navigation left a lot to be desired as they all ran aground in very shallow water. No sign of Sammy this time. Lunch was taken afloat so as to stay legal, followed by a hard paddle back against the headwind. On return to the site, Andy was about to lead the way with an impromptu dip, but sadly the water level had dropped just a little too far and he soon found himself ankle deep in goo. Mike, meanwhile, enjoyed an insanely long walk from the campsite to the Studland beaches, the Old Harry rocks, and return. All that remained was to complete the final packing, say our goodbyes/au revoirs (till next time…) and head home in the intense bank holiday traffic (except for Jenny and Roy who stayed over another night to miss the traffic no doubt, and sail another day….).

Tuesday 1st June

What a lovely summer morning. One could almost (and we do say “almost”) feel sorry for the workers. Jenny and Roy spent the morning leisurely packing up. There was a debate whether to pack the 2k or not because with the wind in the East there could well be water for sailing from about lunch time but the mast came down mid morning. By lunchtime they were all packed with only the kayaks left. There would have been enough water to beat out the creek but instead they decided to paddle to the harbour entrance. Positive paddling into the wind was necessary but the incentive of an ice cream was all that was needed. Once consumed it was a nice paddle back with the wind behind. A couple of hours on the water to finish a splendid week. Back at the field the kayaks were put on the roof of the car and it was time to find that traffic queue for the journey home.

Another Poole camp was over with more stories to add to the Cody history book. Weather, with the exception of the first two days, was marvellous, ideal for sailing. Mike would like to give special thanks to Anna and Stephen for being such good crews/helms. What stories will next year bring …..

We all would like to thank Gordon and Steve for making the camp happen.

This posting was written by many members of the club.

Lake Road to Sandbanks

Two boats took to the waters of Poole Harbour from the Lake Road slipway on Saturday 4th January.

The forecast was for F3-4, overcast, 8C and with a chance of rain. We slipped at 10am, and sailed to Cleaval Point (not enough water to be able to get to land), then a long and lovely run onto Sandbanks for lunch at the Caff Cafe. We were all a bit chilly, and a sit down in a warm cafe was just what we needed. Food was hot and good, service excellent. With about 3 hours of daylight we chose to sail not the direct circumnavigation of Brownsea Island, but back through the more interesting Blood Alley, where the chances of a wind shadow were less. The wind was variable in both direction and strength as drizzle clouds passed over Hamworthy and Poole, changing the wind direction. Since the second ebb had gently started, it was an intellectual battle of minimising oncoming tidal currents and squeezing everything out of the gusts to get to the Western end of the island. The others took their sail down and rowed into the wind, then hoisted for the long single beat back to Lake Road.

On our way to Cleavel Point

We returned four minutes before the passage plan had suggested. Surprisingly, we sailed 10 miles during our tour of Poole Harbour.

Having packed up we repaired to “The Yachtsman” Public House for soft drinks and chat before heading home.

Bikes and boats

Two boats and many bikes were used in the rendezvous event on the 28th December. Thirteen members of Cody SC cycled from West Dean to Chichester Marina, while two boats and five members enjoyed a sail from Itchenor. The weather was grey and overcast all day, dry, SSE F0-3. We sailed towards East Head against the incoming tide having launched at 09:30, and then turned to sail with the tide to Chichester Marina where we met up. The venue was the Boat Yard Cafe, and their service and food were excellent. Having warmed up over hot chocolate/coffee, and lovely food, the cyclists headed back to West Dean. The sailors sailed to Itchenor, packed up the boats and met the cyclists at West Dean before we all travelled home. We certainly made the best of the daylight, having left and returned home in the dark. An excellent day both on and off the water.

Mind the laundry – adventures on the Exe.

A last minute decision to take a trip to Exmouth on the evening of Friday 5th October saw Mel and Steve travel to Exmouth to join Nick and others on a daysail in the estuary on Saturday.

The forecast had been for F4-5 from the East and Topsham would have been an easy destination, but as the week progressed the forecast abruptly changed to zero for Saturday morning.

The millpond of the estuary – paddling only…

And it is onto a millpond of reflection that four boats began the paddle; Nick and his crew in his beautiful Trio, two people in the Wayfarer and two in an RS Vision (I apologise, I am useless at remembering names). After an hour, and with 20 minutes left of the flood tide it was clear that Topsham was not a likely destination, and we diverted to the unbelievably picturesque Lympstone. This is where the laundry comes into the story – the dwellings in Lympstone have no gardens, and the locals have taken to hanging their washing on the shoreline on ropes strung between great wooden poles to dry.

Foreshore laundry.

We avoided the laundry as we made land and shortly afterwards enjoyed the hospitality of Susannah’s Tea Room, a lovely traditional coffee-shop cum centre-of-village-life walkers cafe with yummy cake and drinks.
While we were enjoying the good company and coffee, the wind built to a F3 from the SW. The other boats headed back, and we followed the navigation marks to Topsham. As it happens, the twists and turns of the navigable river forced us to enjoy some lovely spinnaker broad reaches.
The water gets shallow in Topsham, and without local knowledge we chose not to land, because it looked like it would be easy to get stranded; at one point it looked as if we were in the middle of the channel and were in only in 70cm of water with 40m to the shore…

The beat back to Exe SC was in F3-4 was with the ebb tide under us. We briefly stopped at a secluded beach just north of Lympstone, nestled between the red Triassic rocks of the area, and mused that a Cody SC expedition to this estuary should include a stop here for lunch. In total, we sailed about 14 miles.

Triassic Rocks and Trio.

Thanks to Nick for arranging the facility at Exe SC, and pies, Laura for helping us drop the boat at the sailing club late on Friday, the skippers and crew of the other boats (I should have taken a pad and paper with me) for their engaging and knowledgable company at the coffee stop, and apologies again to Annie for shying a soft drink all over her just after she’d provided it to me at the bar.

The wind on Sunday was forecast F4-6, and when we got to the club, also blowing a F4-6 so we left the racers to it.

Bosham Camp – Twice to Dell Quay

On Friday a couple of boats made a tour of the harbour, from Cobnor up to Dell Quay, then on the ebb to HISC and out of the harbour, then back to Cobnor on the early flood, arriving as the sun went down.
The evening social was lovely, around communal BBQ’s which then turned into camp fires (far enough off the ground to leave the the grass unharmed).
Saturday the camp started in full, and at 11am, 5 boats sailed to Dell Quay, in the flood through the moorings against the easterly wind. We were made very welcome at Dell Quay SC, and sat on their sunny verandah, eating lasagna and cake. The return journey was a drift for most of the way, with a southerly wind picking up near Deep End, so we decided to run to Bosham for an ice cream. We arrived at Bosham SC’s concrete slipway in the teeth of the ebb tide, gained ice cream and made the beat through the moorings for home just as the fierce ebb was slowing, arriving at about 17:00.
The evening was again a lovely gathering, with two members joining us for the campfire on the field from their yacht that they sailed around from Portsmouth. We finally found out how one of them broke their finger.
Sunday morning saw six boats head out into a westerly wind, and the spring flood was too fierce with the little wind to make out to Chalkdock, so we settled happily for Dell Quay again, with the wind from completely the other direction. A dead run in very light winds, and the sea breeze built behind us and we arrived at Dell Quay at noon. Fortunately their racing fleet was just away and we were welcomed for a second lunchtime to DQSC’s verandah, more lasagna, piri-piri chicken and lashing of hot tea and coffee. We left at the top of the tide, 13:20, and the breeze stiffened to a F3 for the beat through Chichester Pool, and the reach along Itchenor Reach and back to the camp.
All this on both days was in horizon to horizon sunshine, and dry sailing in shorts and t-shirts.
Good weather, good company and lovely sailing.

Six hours out, one hour back. Lymington to Alum Bay.

The journey to Lymington was blighted by a 45 minute traffic jam on the way, which caused a few of us to be not as early as we had planned. Had we been able to launch at 09:30 we might have made it to Alum Bay straight away, but the Merlin Rocket Open Meeting commandeered the public slip just as we hoped to use it, and we got away at 10am. Three Trios, a Laser 2000 and a home built boat took to the river.
The northerly wind drove us nicely out of the river and we made it to the centre of the ebb tide in good time, but not early enough to get beyond Hurst Castle, and we found ourselves adjacent to Totland Bay.
One Trio towed the Laser2000 to the beach, the home built boat rowed beautifully, and the other two Trios had outboard problems (one, user error, and one a blocked breather hole starving the engine) so they paddled in. Totland Bay is a lovely place to visit, with a good cafe and a public loo, a mermaid and shoals of tiny fished making dark patches in the clear water across the fine white sand. It’s not somewhere on our usual list of places to visit, and it is now.
After about an hour on the beach the predicted SW F3 blew in, and we headed for The Needles against the wind and tide, knowing that if we couldn’t get there we were up tide and upwind of our launch place.
By keeping at the very edge of the channel it was possible to make against the flood tide, and all bar the Laser2000 got to the choppy waters off The Needles by 4pm when we turned for home.
We were back in Lymington by 17:20, having the neap flood tide and SW F4 behind us, especially the exciting bit of the sail through the jumpy waves that form at the Hurst Narrows. Boats packed up, social conversation at the pub, then we headed home.
Approximately 17 miles, the first 10 taking six hours, and the last six taking about an hour.

Cobnor to the IOW and back, via Langstone Entrance

The Saturday of the Bank Holiday Weekend had a superb wind forecast, F3-4 from the SE, good sun and warm temperatures. The DCA were in the middle of their two week camp at Cobnor, and Simon had circulated an invitation from Tudor SC to join them on their outing to Priory Bay.
Putting all these together created a passage plan that we knew would be ambitious.
Starting from a slightly chilly Cobnor at 07:15 we took the ebb with a lovely F3 spinnaker run to reach out of the harbour, past West Pole and picked up the ebb, deliberately sailing offshore on a spinnaker broad reach to maximise the help towards Langstone. The visibility was hazy, and when roughly the entrance was abeam we gybed onto the starboard broad reach that took us to Langstone Fairway and into Langstone Harbour.
The tide was ebbing, and by staying close to the eastern shore we took a series of back-eddies and anchored at the pub and cafe. We arrived at 09:30. Hot drinks at the cafe, and a change out of the drysuits were welcome.
We contacted Simon at 10:15 and he confirmed that the white sails we observed up the harbour were Tudor setting out. As their first boat passed us we joined in for the close reach to Priory Bay. Tudor sail with safety boats, and it seemed that any boat was welcome, including a Laser, several Wayfarers, Simon in his Trio, a Lightning, an RS Vision and so on. The safety boats made sure that crossing the main big ship channel was safe, and herded us to the beach.
I’ve not been to Priory Bay before, and it’s lovely, if lacking basic amenities. The gently shelving sandy beach is predictable, and has good holding for the anchor. We stayed with members of Tudor and Simon, Adri and Anne until 13:30, when we took to the water to sail the 8 miles back to Chichester Entrance. The visibility was poor with haze, so we used the compass to guide us, past anchored large ships, over the big ship channel and eventually we picked out the big hotel on Hayling seafront which illuminated briefly through the patchy haze to confirm our pilotage. At the deep water channel we hoisted the spinnaker to get across the channel quickly, then continued in light and patchy winds to the harbour entrance. The wind picked up a little and by 17:00 we were in the pub at Bosham having taken the whole flood tide to our advantage. The short sail back to Cobnor completed the 33 mile sail.
Simon reported that Tudor SC had very light winds on the way back. Some boats had a tow for a bit. They got back to Tudor at 17:15 pm having left about 14:00.
Our thanks to Tudor SC for inviting us to tag along, and to Simon for organising the Cody SC bit of the sailing.