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.