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.
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.