So far

Slipstream Web Diary
Bill Cuthbert
Fri 4 Sep 2009 16:55

Monday 31 August:

Enjoyed cooked breakfast at with Richard and Harry.  Then off the moorings at Shepards...first upstream to fill up with diesel then eventually off down the Solent.  Beautiful sailing in a South-Westerly force 3-4 sunny.

We were accompanied with much noise by the tender, Richard and Harry until just past the Needles (not sure that Richard has ever been described as tender before)  They escorted us down the Medina.  We parted just west of the Needles.

Good sailing till we ran out of wind just past Old Harry. Then drifted aimlessly South a little (at least not East back towards Poole!). Through this time we caught two (but dropped one) fresh Mackerel. The unlucky one was gorgeously pan-fried by Nick and consumed by all those apart from those who were a little queasy.

Following discussions in the late afternoon with the shore-based weather team (Mike), predicting severe weather we put the engine on and headed for the new Olympic Marina in Portland Harbour. Berthing was accomplished without problems in a fine marina by about 10ish. Crew all tired out.

Breakages: one drawer ably fixed by Nick Very gusty through night.

Tuesday 1st September:

Showers in the plushest shower block seen by any of us. (Except Nick, of whom more later) and out of the Marina by 10.

Wind force 5 in the harbour promised at least reasonable winds to push us to our destination.  We started with three reefs and made fine progress down around Portland Bill, dropped around it and headed across Lyme Bay aiming for Dartmouth. Lovely run along the Lyme Bay coast, but then, as we turned south, the wind and the waves blew up making the conditions arduous and the Homan boys green.

Last couple of hours under power towards Teignmouth (with slight concerns about the entry and tidal bar) were unpleasant. Wind and buckets of saltwater in the face continuously.

Tied up to a pontoon by 8ish. Neither harbour master nor harbour taxi in evidence so confined to the boat. Nick (who'd been confined to bunk by flu) was much disappointed to be denied the opportunity to stand on land.  He had to make do with a pontoon. Fortunately through the day our concerns about Nick's condition were alleviated by the stertorian snores emanating from his cabin.

Afternoon excitement ensued when the skipper requested an apple whilst on port tack. Once open, the cupboard yielded apples, potatoes, parsnips and brussels sprouts amongst other fruit & veg; pouring out faster than they could be replaced. Fine mess on floor...all ingredients for a vegetable soup including salt water.

Supper on the boat & then bed early for an early start on Wednesday (over the bar.

Breakages: one table, one pair of sunglasses, one nautical protractor

Wednesday 2nd September:

Off the mooring breakfasted by 7 (Again Nick chose a day in bed.), aiming to get over the Teignmouth bar before it was too sporting.

We started with 3 reefs into a fine breeze. Reasonable conditions improved as the sun came out. We came close hauled down past Dartmouth (which was one of the proposed targets for the day), shaking out one of the reefs.

Sadly the fine conditions encouraged the crew to venture on  to Salcombe past Start Point. As with the days before, this proved to be almost a step too far. The wind blew up (to force 8) the swell grew bigger and the rain poured down. The sailing became less enjoyable; separating one of the boys from his breakfast. The final blow struck as we arrived at Salcombe.

Although there was sufficient water height to cross the tidal bar in normal conditions, the height of the swell put sufficient concern in the Skipper's mind to lead him to suggest we motor around for an hour or so. The resulting mutiny was easily quelled.

An hour or so later (by about 2ish), having seen a similar sized-yacht emerge, we traversed the bar uneventfully and moored up on the pontoon in the Bag. A water taxi ride joined us to the hot showers in the Yacht club, followed by a beer in the local pubs all empty now that the summer has ended.

Baines is still wearing the same swimming shorts and base-layer that he started with. Nick may be but is not prepared to admit to this judicious conservation of resources.

Water taxi back and supper on the boat closed the day. Fortunately by this stage Nick had fully recovered to his usual self, and participated fully in cooking and eating (and visit to the pub).