Category Archives: UK

Report on a passage to Southsea Marina (2019)

The BBQ Weekend is one of the highlights of the BTOSC Sailing Programme. In Sep, for the first time, we chartered both Sea Essay and Freyja from Channel Sailing Division and East Coast Division of the CSSA as well Viola from Hamble Point Yacht Charters.

Freyja was chartered for 3 days from 1200 Thursday 13 Sep until 1800 on the Sunday. We took her over at Hornet Services Sailing Club. The outline itinerary for the event was:

Thurs PM: Hornet to Southsea Marina (Langstone Harbour)

Fri: Passage to Newtown River, Cowes or Beaulieu

Sat: Passage to Lymington for Annual BTOSC BBQ

Sun: Return passage to Hornet

This report covers Thurs 12 Sep – our passage to Southsea Marina.

Before embarking on the 8NM passage to Southsea Marina in Langstone Harbour we took the opportunity to do some boat handling practice north of Burrow Island in Portsmouth Harbour itself.

Continue reading Report on a passage to Southsea Marina (2019)

Report on Xmas Jolly (2018)

I am sure that just thinking about the Christmas Jolly makes some people shudder. However, once again we were not disappointed either by the weather or the level of enthusiasm and support from members.

We chartered three yachts for this event. Appaloosa was booked for the weekend. Sea Essay for the Fri, Sat and Sun and Viola for Sat, Sun and Monday. Our pre-booked Christmas meal was on the Sat night in Hythe.

Continue reading Report on Xmas Jolly (2018)

Report on Channel Islands Adventure (2018)

This Channel Island Adventure was in May 2018

Outbound Passage

We gathered on Sea Essay moored in Mercury Marina during the Friday afternoon/evening, but with the Hurst Tidal Gate open 22:00 – 02:00, or 10:00 – 14:00 on the Saturday, an evening meal ashore and early departure was the preferred option.  After an excellent breakfast of the hoof we made Hurst by 10:30 and then turned leftish by Fairway Buoy for Guernsey on a good downwind sail. Roy D had done the detailed navigation planning and routing via Casquets Light then South of Guernsey was preferred as arrival was expected to be in darkness.

After an on-board meal of boiled gammon, new potatoes & green beans we approached “Watch Time”. However at 22:00 an Imminent 40+kt wind warning with hail made us rethink. Roy D  stayed up for both watches as did Mike G. For safety and comfort we motored the rest of the way to St Peter Port. The crew that actually did sleep reported the engine noise was soothing.

St Peter Port – Guernsey

In the event neither 40+kt winds nor hail put in an appearance and we approached St Peter Port from the South just before 06:00. We moored at the Visitors Waiting Pontoon awaiting the HM instructions, then rafting alongside a very large, very green, carbon fibre shrouds, and unknown manufacturer German yacht! Made sure we did not hit it!!

At low tide we marveled at the height of the reinforced Victoria Marina sill.

The rest of the day was spent at leisure (or sleeping). We replenished some victuals as Alderney was expected to be closed on the Bank Holiday and then ate ashore with a wonderful view over Victoria Marina.

Passage to Alderney

Monday saw another early departure along Little Russel towards Alderney. Circumnavigating anticlockwise we made Braye with a 4kt tide trying to make us miss the entrance. While moored to one of

the many visitor buoys we asked the question “Is this number 19 or 61?” as both appeared to be marked on it.  We went ashore by water taxi (operated by an antipodean) and sampled the atmosphere of the Alderney Performing Arts Festival followed by a walk inland via an old Northern Line Train, a different Post Box and some

liquid refreshment in St Anne. Returning to the boat we ate again on-board trying to reduce the hoard of on-board food.

Passage to Poole

We had yet another early departure Tuesday morning, heading for Poole. We played an interesting game of miss the TSS traffic – lots of red flashing AIS targets but no near misses. During the passage the strong West going tide made us consider Weymouth as an option for the evening but this was discounted after the re-calculated Poole ETA was well before Closing Time. At Poole we had a very good Thai meal with accompanying beverages.

Sea Essay at Poole Quay Yacht Haven

Pool to Yarmouth

The penultimate day saw some reduced visibility for the trip to Yarmouth via Poole Bay, the North Chanel and Hurst Narrows. The whole crew opted for a final meal ashore rather than the emergency meal which lives to see another sail/day. From Yarmouth we sailed East up the West Solent with a light wind behind us. This gave us some gybing practise – some of it planned.

Yarmouth to Hamble

On the last leg, going North from Cowes to the West of the Bramble Bank, the topside crew saw a very large container ship in Southampton Water. Not completely sure if it was “coming” or “going”, we inquired of the below navigation people what it was doing. “No vessel there” came the reply. Again we asked the question because the Mark One Eye-Ball surely wasn’t mistaken. Again came the reply “No vessel there”. After one further round of this humorous exchange the topside crew went below to change the range setting of the plotter/AIS to reveal a large Red Flashing target. A lesson for all of us when using AIS.

We reached Mercury Marina shortly after this and prepared the yacht for the next incoming crew. Overall this was a very enjoyable cruise; many thanks to all the crew, especially Roy D.

Many thanks to the Skipper, Mike Griffiths for this report.

Crew: Roy Demery; Roy Cullers; Nigel Wiltshire; Jonathan Peters; Phil Edwards

Report on Skippers’ Refresher (2018)

The original plan to hold the Skippers’  Refesher in March had to be cancelled due to forecast gales and blizzard conditions.

Not wishing to be beaten we re-convened a month or so later on a Atlas a Halberg Rassy 34 chartered out of Hornet.

As usual, the objectives were to dust off the cobwebs after the winter; practice essential skippering skills such as mooring, boat handling and MOB.  Here we are successfully lassoing a buoy in the confines of Portsmouth Harbour before sailing to Chichester Harbour and Northney Marina where the last leg requires a precision approach to avoid shallows either side of the narrow approach channel.

Next morning we explored the area around the  marina and discovered a BBQ area that could perhaps be useful in future years.  We then practiced boat handling skills and tested out a number of short-handed berthing techniques that did not lend themselves to photographs before exploring other areas of the harbour.

First stop was a visit to the Emsworth Visitors pontoon which was quickly followed by an opportunity to calibrate our very erratic depth gauge over a gentle but unplanned lunch stop while we waited for the flood tide to work its magic.  We then took the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with visitor moorings at Itchenor before heading back to Portsmouth.

Over the weekend we were also able to share a number of experiences and ideas and to familiarize each other with a number of less frequently visited moorings, anchorages and marinas.

We were also able to get the lie of the land at Hornet Services Sailing Club where we would be berthed during the AGM Spring Rally.

Many thanks to all the skippers who could make this rescheduled event.  It was a most worthwhile weekend.

James Savage

Chairman BTOSC

Report on Spring Rally / AGM Weekend (2017)

For the AGM weekend the weather and tides were favourable and we all enjoyed some good sailing and some healthy competition.

We chartered three yachts this year.  Rudeknot2, Empowered and Sea Essay.  Sea Essay was chartered for three days 11-14 May whilst the other two yachts were chartered for two.  On Sea Essay we had a brief passage to Cowes for the Thursday evening. On the Friday we had a passage to  explore Bembridge and Chichester before returning to Cowes.  On Saturday we  visited New Town Creek en-route to Yarmouth.  On the Sunday we returned to Hamble via Lymington and Bucklers Hard.  Our GPS track is shown below.

Just a quick reminder that our next event is the Round the Island Race.  The details for BTOSC crew are here.

Also for those who haven’t booked ahead, please make sure you have the BBQ weekend and Christmas Jolly in your diary and pay your deposits now.

Kind regards,

James Savage (Chairman)

 

Report on Xmas Jolly – Two Yachts to the Ship (2017)

The 2016 Christmas Jolly took place on the weekend of the 3rd/ 4th December, with Mike, Roy, Hazel, Chris and Roger onboard Appaloosa and James, Mick, Andy, Steve, Adele and Ed on Sea Essay heading to the Ship Inn in Lymington..

On the Friday afternoon most of the crew of Appaloosa met up at Hamble Point Marina and enjoyed a social evening in the Ketch Rigger joined briefly by Mick, the event manager, delivering a mainly cheese based quiz.

Saturday morning started cold and bright with a 15-20 knot easterly, Hazel arrived just in time to do the breakfast washing up, and fully crewed Appaloosa slipped from the marina and under full sail headed west for Lymington.

Sea Essay had spent the night in Mercury Yacht Harbour and inexplicably headed east along the Solent. Were they headed for Littlehampton, or was it a case of civil service chart failure? When pressed, a desire to make most use of the tide and visiting Osborne Bay were reasons offered.

On Appaloosa sailing downwind towards Lymington posed and answered a number of questions: main and jib faster than jib only- barely, goose winging faster than jib only-definitely, but much harder to helm.Ed20161203_145047

Picking up a buoy outside Yarmouth for lunch was abandoned due to the 30 knot wind and resultant swell, but a quick reef and a short battle with the tide bought us into Berthon Marina in Lymington. And as the sun set, we were joined by Sea Essay in an adjacent berth.

Mulled wine, cheese related questions and showers occupied the crews before we headed to the Ship for dinner.  A number of non-sailors, joined us for the festivities and having wined and dined well the evening finished with a port or two and a vast selection of cheeses on board Sea Essay.

After some early morning pontoon bashing courtesy of the frost and with all trousers located, we followed the IOW ferry back into the Solent. 35 knots of wind necessitated 3 reefs but with tidal assistance we tacked back to Hamble in a reasonable time.  Sea Essay saw a bit less wind for some reason but was back in Souhampton Water by 13.30 and dropped anchor for a leisurely lunch on deck in the sunshine near Netley before heading back to Mercury Marina.

Netley for Lunch 20161204_134800
A leisurely lunch in sunshine on Sea Essay

With great sailing, good food and company, it was, all in all a very enjoyable weekend. Thanks to Mike and James for skippering and Mick for the organization.

Roy D

‘Poo Sticks’ – A report on the Round the Island Race (2014)

Here are some photos from the Round the Island Race on 21 June 2014.  When you click on one of these you should enter a carousel viewer.

How to register your interest in taking part in the RTI in 2015

Whilst there was ample sunshine and merriment one key ingredient was missing from the RTI this year – the wind. The BTOSC crew in Laita, retired shortly after Bembridge when it became clear that it would not be possible to finish within the time-limit. However, on the plus side we had a good opportunity to fly the Cruising Chute whilst drifting with the tide. It was rather like a game of Poo Sticks most of the time. Many thanks for all the good wishes we received prior to the event and special thanks to our Commodore Andy Shrimpton for coming down to support us.

James

 

 

 

Report on the BTOSC Spring Rally and AGM Weekend (2014)

This weekend could so easily have been a washout. Everyone had expected it to be windy having seen the forecasts earlier in the week.  Our objectives were not ambitious.  The club had chartered 3 yachts for the weekend. One these yachts was the yacht we have chartered for the forthcoming RTI- that crew were hoping for some practice in preparation for the big race.

The passage to Cowes was uneventful. We were encouraged -no instructed, by our charter company to motor across given the expected conditions; however, as a precaution, we elected to rig the Storm sail so that it was ready for use if we had needed it.  All 3 yachts had a safe and uneventful passage with the only real challenge being to get along side in about 25kts of wind. Suffice to say, this provided good learning opportunities for all with no harm done.  The following photo was taken a little later when the wind had eased somewhat.

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The AGM was held in the the Classic Boat Museum in East Cowes. This provided an opportunity to inspect the Chain Ferry close at hand.  The museum is located in the old sea plane hanger that you cannot fail to see when looking across the river from West Cowes.  The museum had some interesting displays and looked like it deserves a return visit one day.

At the AGM the Chairman welcomed our new Commodore and expressed thanks to John Wells for his support to the club during his tenure.  The Chairrman then presented a review of the club’s activities, the Treasurer presented the club accounts and a number of cups were awarded.  See minutes for details.

The Commodore's Cup
The Commodore’s Cup

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Roy Cullers receiving the Commodore’s Cup

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Our Chairrman receiving the Colin Foggatt Memorial Trophy

 

Following the awards ceremony we all adjourned to the top floor of the Red Duster for an excellent meal, some rather good Merlot if memory serves, in fine company.

After a leisurely start, the return passage saw the three yachts go their separate ways.  We had a brief diversion to Osborne Bay and took the opportunity to sail with the Storm Sail.

All in all, although we didn’t do as much sailing as we all would have liked. However the company and some choice victuals made up for this and I certainly feel that we made the most of it.

Thanks all for a good weekend. Roll on the RTI.

James Savage

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Report on the Christmas ‘Jolly’ – December 2013

The Christmas ‘Jolly’ event took place in weather conditions that you would never believe possible in December—particularly given the gale condition earlier in the week.  The writer wore gloves for less than five minutes over the whole weekend!

Following a social get together in The Ketch Rigger on the Friday evening, three yachts set sail in sunshine with a good wind on Saturday. We followed a competitive course that kept us busy with lots of tacks and gybes, whilst at the same time trying to solve a 25 question quiz based on pounds, shillings and pence, together with some Cockney rhyming slang. We finished at Cowes mid-afternoon. Congratulations to Mike Griffiths, Hazall Bagnall, Roy Demery, Andrew Hemphrey, Roy Cullers, Allan Goodfellow and Chris Webber on Loxley B who crossed the finish first. We motored up the Medina and moored at The Folly Inn in time to see the sunset, finish off the quiz and meet up with Alan and Lynne Franklin who had sailed up earlier, ready to join us for the evening celebrations.

The Tenacious Buchaneers, (Brendan Hanvey, Derek Underwood, Roy Evans, Steve Hamilton and David Bartlett), didn’t get the quiz until they moored at The Folly, but their wisdom shone through and they completed it in record time.

There were twenty one of us eating the meal at The Folly in the evening. The quality and quantity of the food was excellent, as indeed was the company and it was great to meet up with so many old friends. When it got to the stage where the other tables were being used as dance floors, we made our excuses and slipped back to our yachts for a nightcap.

We woke up to another perfect day for sailing and sailed round to Osborne Bay, where we anchored for lunch before returning in stronger winds to the Hamble.

Mick C

report on a Cruise to the Scilly Isles (2012)

Steve Webber reports on this cruise to the Scillies 3-10 August (2012)

Lunch-time on a sunny Friday seemed like a good omen when four of us – skipper Nigel Watsham, Mike Griffiths, Roy Cullers and myself Steve Webber – assembled at Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth.  A leisurely lunch in the bar while waiting for the boat, Ocean Whisper – a Sunfast 37 – to be prepared was marred only by a torrential downpour. But by hand-over, the sun was out again.

Then it was off in a SWly F4 for a quick familiarisation sail to Newton Ferrers. Interesting approach using two sets of leading marks to negotiate the dog-leg. Tied up on a pontoon for the night, electing to eat on board rather than get the dinghy out.

Next morning, with the continuing SWly, we sailed out to the Eddystone lighthouse, then turned to head towards Falmouth. Sailing close-hauled on the port tack gave us the heading we needed, and we were able to settle back and relax for the next 30nm, watching the downpours happening all around us but never on us. Engine on and sails down as we headed up to Mylor, only for the engine alarm to go off as we were within sight of the yacht haven. An anxious half-hour sailing around on the jenny while we failed to find out why there was no cooling water coming through. Having decided that now it had cooled we could run it for long enough to get into the marina, it promptly decided to work normally.

A day of mixed sailing and motor-sailing with distant views of St. Michael’s Mount as we crossed Mounts Bay brought us to Penzance dock. Rafted up next to a much larger yacht which turned out to be operated single-handed by a 76 year-old. Just time to shin up the quay ladder, dash to the shops and replenish the beer supplies.

The forecast was for continuing S-SWly F4-5, so the decision was made to go for it. Out to Wolf Rock, then another long port tack, pausing only to put the 1st reef in, brought us in sight of the Scilly Isles. Wisely, the skipper decided to put the engine on early – no water again. An hour spent dismantling the inlet filter and impeller to no avail, then at the third time of asking it worked. Into Hugh Town harbour and pick up a mooring buoy, inflate the dinghy, and into town. Managed to find a restaurant with a free table before the deadline of 9pm, and enjoyed a welcome steak to celebrate our arrival.

A dodgy engine and manual anchor was agreed to make the option of exploring more of the islands unwise, so next day we headed back. While piloting the channel to clear the islands, we passed a tall ship on its way in – made us grateful that our rigging wasn’t quite so high. On a broad reach with a following moderate sea and occasional F6, we made good progress – the prize for speed going to the skipper who briefly achieved 9.94 knots with the 1st reef in. Into Falmouth and raft up for the night.

Off to Fowey on a calm sea with no wind in time for a cream tea and a glass or two of wine, then dine on board. Next day back to Plymouth, again mirror sea, no wind and sunny. A prize was offered for the first person to spot a yacht motor-sailing with a cone up, but of the many we passed, not one (including ourselves!) were conscientious enough to comply. We obviously passed the quick inspection by a naval patrol vessel as they didn’t board us, so back into QAB and relax.

An interesting week: several brief sightings of fins – possibly porpoises, enough light-houses to lose count, some drama and even some good sailing. But don’t assume that because an engine looks brand new and has just been serviced that it’s going to work!

All in all, very pleased to have made it to the Scilly Isles.

Quotes of the week:

Nigel – boats are better when you’re sat on a patio with a glass of wine.

Roy – you always do what the skipper says.

Report on the BTOSC Spring Rally & AGM

Mick Curran reports as follows on the BTOSC Spring Rally and AGM weekend:

Despite some of us being keen to sail to the Isle of Wight on the Friday evening, the decision was made to stay and eat at the Ketch Rigger. This turned out to be an excellent choice because a large table was prepared for us which made it easy for new members to get to know everyone. There was lots of laughter and we headed of to our bunks looking forward to a great day sailing.

The conditions in the morning  were better than expected and the three BTOSC chartered yachts headed out into a number of yachts that were racing and cruising out on the Solent. We sailed in company – initially towards Portsmouth and Gilkicker Point.  When the wind eased a challenge was set to be first to the Needles. There was still enough wind and with a calm sea, we all had a great sail before mooring in Lymington for the AGM. This took place in the magnificent Royal Lymington Sailing Club which has a grand view over the Solent from a balcony, although with the cold weather, the seawater pool looked far from inviting. The evening was chilly for the time of year so it was a good thing that Sue, our Social Secretary, had booked us indoor tables at the Mayflower for our traditional evening meal, where we can select our choices from the extensive menu. The evening was another successful social event.

The following morning we sailed around the Solent with a good wind which allowed us to practice our skills before having lunch up the Bealieu river and returning to the Hamble later in the afternoon.

If any of the other crews wish to add to this report or have any suitable photos of the event, please advise  James Savage.

Report on the 2011 BTOSC Cruise to Weymouth

Mick Curran reports on the recent long weekend cruise to Weymouth:
On the Friday fairly strong westerlys were forecast so we ate in the Ketch Rigger and then dashed off to Tesco’s for the vittles. Early the next morning we set off for a long sail to Weymouth but we were not early enough to get the most favourable tides through The Needles. With a strong wind against us and some cooling rain, the sun-block stayed in our bags. Eventually we saw Portland Head but by that time we had run out of the best weather, so we resorted to the ‘donkey’ to get us into Weymouth Bay.

The view coming into Weymouth was a glorious – the row of old coloured houses and the trip up the estuary to the marina made the long trip well worthwhile. We dined out and slept peacefully after our long journey.

The next morning the sun was trying its best to break through as we made an early start through the lifting bridge on our first let home. The first few hours was a glorious sail, but then the wind turned against us and we had to fight a 4 knot tide. Some brave helming was done but little progress was made. As the tide eased we found ourselves at The Needles, very much alone with just a handful of sails on the Solent. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find ourselves a berth and had to settle on returning all the way to Hamble. On went the ‘donkey’ again and we arrived in a dark mid-evening at Hamble.
We weren’t deterred and some very creative cooking resulted in the best meal of the weekend on board. It was probably a good thing that we had had a second long day otherwise I’m sure we would have partied into the early hours. On the Bank Holiday Monday morning, we awoke to the most ideal sailing weather you could hope for.  So we sailed out to the a crowded Solent and made the most of it and had a fantastic end to an adventurous Bank Holiday Weekend.
We got off to a fine start on the Friday expecting fairly strong Westerly’s, by staying in Southampton and eating in the Ketch Rigger before dashing off to Tesco’s for the vittles. Early the next morning we set off for a long sail to Weymouth. Not early enough though to get the most favourable tides through The Needles. With a strong wind against us and some cooling rain, the sun block stayed in our bags. Eventually we saw Portland Head but by that time we had run out of the best weather, so we turned to the dagger dagger to get us into Weymouth Bay.
The view coming into Weymouth was a glorious row of old coloured houses and the trip up the estuary to the marina made the long trip well worthwhile. We dined out and slept peacefully after our long journey.
The next morning the sun was trying its best to break through as we made an early start through the lifting bridge on our first let home. The first few hours was a glorious sail, but alas the wind seemed to turn against us along with a 4 knot tide. Some brave helming was done but little progress was made. As the tide eased we found ourselves at The Needles, very much alone with just a handful of sails on the Solent. At which point we couldn’t find ourselves a berth and had to settle on returning all the way to Hamble. On went the dagger dagger again and we arrived in a dark mid-evening at Hamble.
We weren’t deterred and some very constructive chef work resulted in the best meal of the weekend on board. It was probably a good thing that we had had a second long day otherwise I’m sure we would have partied into the early hours. Which would have been a shame because on the Bank Holiday Monday morning, we awoke to the most ideal sailing weather you could hope for. So we sailed out to the a crowded Solent and made the most of it and had a fantastic end to an adventurous Bank Holiday Weekend..  

We got off to a fine start on the Friday expecting fairly strong Westerly’s, by staying in Southampton and eating in the Ketch Rigger before dashing off to Tesco’s for the vittles. Early the next morning we set off for a long sail to Weymouth. Not early enough though to get the most favourable tides through The Needles. With a strong wind against us and some cooling rain, the sun block stayed in our bags. Eventually we saw Portland Head but by that time we had run out of the best weather, so we turned to the dagger dagger to get us into Weymouth Bay.
The view coming into Weymouth was a glorious row of old coloured houses and the trip up the estuary to the marina made the long trip well worthwhile. We dined out and slept peacefully after our long journey.
The next morning the sun was trying its best to break through as we made an early start through the lifting bridge on our first let home. The first few hours was a glorious sail, but alas the wind seemed to turn against us along with a 4 knot tide. Some brave helming was done but little progress was made. As the tide eased we found ourselves at The Needles, very much alone with just a handful of sails on the Solent. At which point we couldn’t find ourselves a berth and had to settle on returning all the way to Hamble. On went the dagger dagger again and we arrived in a dark mid-evening at Hamble.
We weren’t deterred and some very constructive chef work resulted in the best meal of the weekend on board. It was probably a good thing that we had had a second long day otherwise I’m sure we would have partied into the early hours. Which would have been a shame because on the Bank Holiday Monday morning, we awoke to the most ideal sailing weather you could hope for. So we sailed out to the a crowded Solent and made the most of it and had a fantastic end to an adventurous Bank Holiday Weekend..

Report from Arc Angel on the Xmas Jolly (4-6 December 2010)

A weekend sailing on on yacht Arc Angel in December – surely this would be sun filled and fun filled? Suitably blind to the possible outcomes, I joined up as a new BTOSC member and paid my money to join the Christmas Jolly. Packing on the Friday as several inches of snow was already on the ground (with more falling) pointed me to the lack of need for shorts!

Continue reading Report from Arc Angel on the Xmas Jolly (4-6 December 2010)

Report on the Thames Crossing Weekend: Friday 20th -Sunday 22nd August 2010

[topcollage images=2 start_with=1]This event came perilously close to being cancelled due to an insufficient number of people expressing interest. To make it viable the cross channel trip to Cherbourg, also in doubt because of too few people, was cancelled. Having originally booked a place on the Cherbourg weekend, I was a little disappointed not to be going there but the challenge and excitement of the journey rather than the destination is what it’s all about, isnt’t it? Continue reading Report on the Thames Crossing Weekend: Friday 20th -Sunday 22nd August 2010