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.
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.
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.
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.