Torquay to the Hamble

Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Sat 11 Jul 2015 20:50
We left Torquay on the 1st July, too late to make the tide round Portland, so we just popped round to Dartmouth, but at least we had made our escape.  Dartmouth to Portland was an interesting day with firstly no wind and poor visibility then a reasonable sailing wind. When the wind veered and the rain came down we should have been ready for the squall, but it took us by surprise and chaos reigned for a while until we had double reefs in the main and genoa.  We then tanked along for about half an hour, but by the time we reached Portland we were motoring again, and just in time to get through the inside passage.  The next day to Poole, we were not so lucky with the tide and got it wrong round Anvil Point, so we ended up going backwards.  Three hours later we made it round!  A reminder of how easy West Country tides are compared to the south coast.  That night, in Poole, there was a spectacular thunderstorm, with almost continuous lightening and tremendous thunder and rain.  But all was clear for the next day, with a lovely sail out of Poole, and afternoon at anchor in Studland Bay before catching the evening tide up through the Needles Channel to Yarmouth, where we picked up the last operational visitor’s bouy.  Then finally, on Sunday, we made the short trip to Mercury Yacht Haven on the Hamble, experiencing the Solent’s triple challenges of strong tides, racing yachts everywhere, and container ships manoevering.

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