Category Archives: South Coast

Report on Introduction to Sailing Weekend (Fri. 28th. – Sun. 30th. May)

Kieran Madigan reports on a rather wet and windy introduction to sailing:

Why did we do it ?  Because we could!

For some years now we have, as a family, wanted to give sailing a bash. Having previously only encountered life on the waves on a Cross Channel Ferry it was a desire to see what made people want to get out and onto the water. Would we be bitten by the bug and become sailors? The BTOSC Introduction to Sailing weekend was the perfect opportunity to find out. Continue reading Report on Introduction to Sailing Weekend (Fri. 28th. – Sun. 30th. May)

Report on S.W. Coast & Scilly Isles Cruise (2nd. – 9th. July 2010)

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The 2010 cruise to the Scilly Isle was a 7 day event (Friday to Friday), on “Ventis Secundis”, a 40ft Delphia hired from Trisail of Falmouth. ( With skipper Chris Price, and crew of 6 – Roy Cullers, Richard and Trudi Kidd, Chris Webber, Jonathan Peters, and myself, John Kelly. For most of us, the main attraction was the allure of the Scilly Isle, so we were pleased to spend most of the week there, with several very pleasant afternoons ashore. For Chris the main objective was to handle the very tricky pilotage around the Scillies without adding to the huge numbers of wrecks in the area – an objective he met in full, giving us all a lesson in charts, transits and pilotage. And lessons on navigation apps on Chris’s iPhone, but that’s another story.

Overall we had a most enjoyable week; perhaps not as much sailing as we would have liked (due to winds), but it was a great way to see the Scilly Isle. If we could be guaranteed quiet weather, then there are many islands and coves yet unvisited that would justify a second visit. But if the weather is unsettled, then be warned that the mooring options are limited.

Continue reading Report on S.W. Coast & Scilly Isles Cruise (2nd. – 9th. July 2010)

Cross Channel Cruise 1-4th July 2010

The event was organised by James Savage to with the aim of completing a cross channel voyage from Hamble Point to St Vaast and complete two YachtMaster qualifying passages. We arrived after 1700 on Thursday to be greeted by James and Mike who were checking the inventory before taking over the boat, a Halsberg Rassey 36 “Aeolus”.

Casting off at 1900 the plan was to exit the Solent at the eastern end, round Bembridge and then head south for St Vaast,  Continue reading Cross Channel Cruise 1-4th July 2010

News Flash

NewsFlash HeadingNOW DRAFT for use as a Template (Last Updated  23  May 2010)

Forthcoming Events and Bookings Status

Channel Isles (poss. incl. St. Malo) (30 May – 6 June) – £265.–

What better place to visit than the Channel Islands, one of the many attractions being the Duty Free possibilities, but what about the scenery and the challenging tidal conditions?

Sadly it has not been possible to fill sufficient berths to make this event viable.  If anyone is interested in pursuing something similar before the end of the summer please let the committee know.

Long W/E Poole/W’mouth. (8th. July) – £213.–

The date for this event has now been fixed as above, and with six berths confirmed the event is now full.

This is a change from the confines of the Solent and offers different scenery and some open water passages coupled with the challenge of navigating in less familiar waters and “Races” to be circumnavigated!

Last year’s event was very much enjoyed! Bookings as usual via ‘yours truly’

Meanwhile with best regards.


BTOSC Cruising Secretary

Skipper Refresher Weekend – Practice Rescue

The Coastguard Helicopter in formation with Yacht Vis
The Coastguard Helicopter in formation with Yacht Vis

Skipper Refresher Weekend – March 19th to 21st 2010

(an extract from BTOSC Spring 2010 Newsletter)

The BT Offshore Sailing Club season often starts with the Skippers’ Refresher Weekend, if no one has been intrepid enough to take on the “Frostbite” racing that starts a few weeks earlier. This is an opportunity for the Club Skippers to undertake a variety of exercises to keep their skills fresh and sometimes to develop some new ones. Continue reading Skipper Refresher Weekend – Practice Rescue

Cruise to Portland and Poole (25-28 June 2009)

Thursday 25 June 2009

We assembled on Bagadeus, a 34 ft Bavaria, at Hamble Point Marina by 1900. Dinner in Ketch and Rigger where the Ketch Burger won the popularity stakes. Little wind forecast for the days ahead. We agreed on objectives – namely Portland and Poole – and an outline plan for the weekend.  The state of the tides meant that we needed to arrive at the Needles at around mid-day, and providing we had made sufficient progress by late afternoon we would press on to a new marina in Portland Harbour for the night and the make for Poole the following day.

Friday 26 June

After light breakfast we slipped from berth I2, raised our mainsail and motored out of the Hamble.  We headed west along the north of the Solent to minimise the effect of the still rising tide.

Once we were through Hurst Point Narrows and clear of the Needles the wind become more favourable and we made good progress in the direction of St Albans Head.

After negotiating the overfalls around the headland we dispensed with the Genny and motor-sailed towards Portland. We had Lasagne for supper while on the move. We neared Lulworth as the sun was setting and we entered fog so the approach to Portland was done with the assistance of RADAR and GPS.  Once within the harbour wall, the challenge was then to find the new marina which was not accurately shown on the charts or the chart plotter. This turned out to be more difficult due to missing bouys, but by 2250 we were alongside ‘N’ hammerhead in Portland Marina.  We found excellent facilities in the marina which is being readied for the 2012 Olympics.

Saturday 27 June

Next morning we were all up at 0730 for breakfast – bacon and eggs and fried bread for all. The fog had made way for brilliant sunshine and a light breeze.  Our initial destination was Lulworth Cove where we anchored amongst a small number of other boats for a morning snack. lulworth panoramic 2008 We left Lulworth and soon entered fog again. We had sandwiches again on the move.  The fog cleared in time for the overfalls around St Albans Head and we then enjoyed the spectacular cliffs leading to Old Harry’s Rocks and Studland Bay before entering Poole Harbour.  Unfortunately the Town Quay Marina was full so we had booked a berth at Cobbs Quay which is 30 minutes beyond the Swing Bridge in the town.  This only opens for about 15 minutes every 2 hours except for commercial traffic.  Approaching Cobbs Quay, the charted depth reduces to about 0.4m; however, we made it through with a minimum of at least 1.5m below the keel.  In the evening we wandered into Poole town centre and enjoyed a good meal at a pub on the Town Quay.

Sunday 28 June

A 0500 departure from Cobbs Quay was called for to ensure adequate water in the river and to catch the bridge opening at 0530.   By 0630 we were clear of the harbour and entering fog for the third time. Breakfast was very traditional – sausages, tomatoes and scrambled eggs for all. Sausages and tomatoes were baked on a tray at top of the Bavaria oven (no grill). Attempted to make toast on the tray below – but directly above burner burnt the bread straight away and elsewhere it was not quite hot enough to toast the bread properly. The fog eventually cleared as we approached Christchurch.  We sailed close-hauled past the Needles, through Hurst Point Narrows and up the Solent towards Cowes.  We then anchored in Osborne Bay for Lunch before returning across East Knoll to the Hamble for refuelling and cleaning.All in all, it was a very enjoyable cruise in which we achieved all our objectives, we saw some of the most picturesque coastline on the South Coast, we all learnt lots and most importantly of all: we all returned safely.  Thanks to Andy and the rest of the crew for what turned out to be an excellent weekends sailing and good preparation for our forthcoming charter in the Ionian.James and Thomas Savage

29 June 2009

AGM Weekend (15-17 May 2009)

The club had chartered 2 yachts for the AGM weekend out of Hamble Point Marina: Dumbledore a Sun Odyssey 37 and Jasper a Dufour 36.  As a new club member I was asked to write a few words about the event.   This was my first practical experience on a Yacht the size of Dumbledore.

Friday Evening

The joining instructions got me down to Hamble Point easily enough and I soon found Dumbledore’s berth in the marina.  After brief introductions I was shown to the Marina Office where I hired some foul weather gear. After taking over the respective boats we all lubricated our vocal chords over dinner in the Kedge and Rigger. The skippers also took the opportunity to agree the rules for the pre-AGM competition planned for the following day.  This was followed by a friendly but rigged game of dominos.  It was then back to the yacht for coffee and some delicious cake and after many a yarn we all turned in. Earlier in the day the 24 hour forecast for Selsey Bill to Lyme Regis had promised: Wind: Southwest 5 to 7, occasionally gale 8 for a time.  Sea State: Moderate or rough.  Weather: Showers.  Visibility: Moderate or good. The weather gods were clearly at work.  Indeed over the course of the weekend they not only delivered 95% of that forecast but surpassed themselves by playing the odd joker without the need for either skipper or crew to make any peace offerings, sacrifices or apologies.


Next morning were all up again by 08:00 and after a morning shower, lashings of bacon and a welcome cup of tea for breakfast we prepared for the day ahead.  We had a thorough safety brief from our skipper before carefully slipping from our berth in the marina at 10:05 and motoring out into Southampton Water.  By 10:40 we had 3 reefs in the main and ¼ genny up which become the default for the weekend.  Our route was planned to maximise training value and average speed through the water.  It took us west along the Solent for a time.  We then made for Cowes and some close quarter manoeuvring to a berth at Shepherds Wharf Marina at 12:15.  By this time the weather had improved so we were able to have a leisurely sandwich lunch and complete the quiz whilst alongside in what was by then glorious sunshine. By 14:10 we were comfortably sailing again in a strong breeze, making for Portsmouth Harbour and arriving via a brief detour circumnavigating Spitsand Fort.  We saw the war memorial and church spire that form the transit for the swatchway and then motor-sailed into the harbour before mooring in Haslar Marina for the night. The AGM was held at the Landers Bar and Restaurant just outside the marina.  I won’t attempt to duplicate the minutes except to mention for the record that the quiz competition held earlier in the day was won by Jasper; however, following careful scrutiny of the skipper’s log, Dumbledore was declared the winner with the highest average speed. By now the harbour was like a mill pond and the sky was clear.  The weather gods were teasing us.  Although dinner after the AGM was excellent the cake and coffee was again calling out to be eaten.  John and his crew from Yacht Jasper also came over to put the world to rights.


By next morning the still calm waters of the harbour had given way to more lumpy conditions and some rain.  The forecast had worsened to SW /S 5-7  Occ 8.  After another excellent breakfast of sausages and scrambled egg, we slipped at 10:00.  We motored out into the Solent making use of the transit for the swatchway and once clear of the shipping we made the most of the strong SW wind with 3 reefs in the main and 2/3 genny.  Given the conditions at the time the original plan had been to head straight for Hamble Point; however, we made such good progress that we decided to have lunch  in the shelter of Osborne Bay.  By 1230 after a little difficulty with the electric windlass we were at anchor. After an uneventful lunch we set sail for Hamble Point once again.  This time with the wind from the South we opted so sail with about 2/3 genny taking care to stay well clear of the Bramble Bank.  By now the sea was very confused.  I was particularly taken by the fact the boat was so stable and was able to make such good progress in such conditions.   Most of the crew were wearing their hoods by this time due to the spray and we were often surfing along. As we approached Hamble our skipper made a point of warning everyone about the danger of ‘cutting the corner’ at the entrance of the Hamble estuary.  We then motored in to re-fuel and by 14:45 we were once again at Dumbledore’s berth in the marina preparing the boat to be handed back to the boatyard. The weekend exceeded expectations in so many ways – both in terms of giving me much needed experience at sea, providing so many learning opportunities and probably more importantly in demonstrating the camaraderie within the club.

Some learning points that I have taken away

  • Excellent safety culture all round – Good Safety Briefing
  • Planning, communication and teamwork prior to and during any manoeuvres
  • Checking rigging including reefing lines before departure
  • A main with 3 reefs can provide a lot of thrust
  • The genny on its own was surprisingly powerful
  • Uses for the bowline knot
  • Lookout – it can be hard to predict what other yachts are going to do next and other traffic from behind can quickly become a problem.

BBQ Weekend 26-28 Sep 2008

Forever after to be known as “The Inuendo Cruise”) – Bavaria 34 “Bagadeus”

As I was unloading my rather small weekend sailing bag containing, 2 pairs of shoes, 1 Pair of seaboots, thermals, mid layer, oilies, hats socks – you are getting the picture? Well this is the Solent in September!! I was accosted by an old acquaintance who appraised me of the weather forecast for the weekend!!, shall I just take a pair of shorts and a couple of shirts??? Nah, as I already said, this is the Solent in September!

Our skipper and some of the crew were already on board and after introductions the obligatory kettle was put on. Soon after another member of the crew joined us and we then adjourned to the Ketch Rigger for our evening meal and a small glass of Sherry, and then we were joined a little later by the 6th and final member of our crew who has an affinity to Prince Charles as he has the unusual claim to fame of also being at both of Charles weddings!! The evening degenerated as the effect of the Sherry kicked in, and the small talk went from, how much sailing experience you have to what washing machine and vacuum cleaner you own and even what sort of lawn mower !!!

‘Bagadeus’ the kettle was once again put on, and out came  homemade cakes! Coffee and Walnut and Lemon Drizzle!!, Now call me shallow if you like but I was really beginning to like this particular crewmember by now, especially as Coffee and Walnut is my favourite, and I made a mental note to ensure that there would be none left by Sunday.

Saturday dawned cold damp and very foggy, this is not good we thought. However, after an expertly cooked breakfast, the sun began to burn off the fog and a gorgeous day looked in prospect.

I was offered the honour of acting as ‘Mate’ for the day, so with myself at the helm we slipped Hamble Point without too much stress and headed out toward the Solent. The wind was really light and quite fluky so motor sailing was the order of the day with each crewmember having a half hour stint on the helm. Our original plan was to anchor in Newtown Creek for lunch, but on approach it looked like a motorway service area on a Bank Holiday, so we decided to use the anchoring area outside. All was calm and serene as we made our approach and the order was given to drop the anchor. After a relatively short time all hell broke loose as the windlass tried to follow the anchor and chain into the murky depths!! The decision was made to cleat the anchor chain off and reassess the situation after lunch (assuming we were still afloat!) On further inspection it was discovered that the base mounting for the windlass had already been repaired, and this is what had failed again.

The wind had filled a bit by now and we were able to make reasonable headway across towards Lymington with a view to tacking back to Yarmouth where we had a berth booked. As we approached Yarmouth we were greeted by the spectacle of numerous Gaff rigged boats with their multi coloured sails being picked out in the bright sunlight, it really was special.. Passing the sign saying “Harbour Full”, we found our pontoon and rafted alongside a Westerly Consort with not too much drama and broke out the beers.

The Mate had arranged all the food for the BBQ and we made our way to the BBQ area, surprise surprise, lovely summer evening and all of the BBQ areas were taken, a-ha time for another beer!. The Mate being as resourceful as ever found a large stone near to the shoreline, which was perfect to house our coals, so we fired up. The BBQ consisted of Steak burgers, Ferociously hot Lamb and Chilli burgers, chicken and lamb kebabs and sausages all cooked to perfection, thank you Chef!

We returned to Bagadeous for the obligatory night cap and slab of cake, I now was on a mission as I had heard that a potential robber was back in the country and may be parachuting in to stake a claim on my cake.

Now, when we were discussing sleeping arrangements on the Friday night, I was very honest and said that I snored, a lot! However my companion in the saloon said that he didn’t, needless to say I was a little concerned that I may keep him (And the rest of the crew) awake! Can I just say – you is a fibber!!!!

Our neighbours had said that they were leaving early so the decision was made to get up about 7 and beat the rush for the showers

Sunday morning was again still and misty, and we all managed to get up on time and undertake the trek to the toilet block, which was really quite busy even at this ungodly hour. On our return a conversation ensued regarding the inordinate amount of time that a woman can take to shower, at which time our skipper made his feelings known in a way that only a chap can!! However this was taken as a compliment that quite clearly our skipper felt comfortable in her presence.

We left Yarmouth with the Mate at the helm and Mate for the day and started our way back to the Hamble in very light airs, motor sailing became the order for the day again. We picked up a buoy on the lead in to Power Station creek and sat in awe at the size of the container ships that were going in and out of Southampton. After a short break for lunch we proceeded back to the Hamble in a really busy procession, which got quite exciting at times as only the Hamble can on a busy Sunday afternoon, but a perfect approach was made as was departure to and from the refuelling berth at Warsash!

The weekend seemed to pass all too quickly and before we knew it the decks were scrubbed, heads cleaned and we were all heading towards our respective vehicles for the trip home.

I must say that I, for one, had a FANTASTIC weekend, the crew demographics were amazing and I hope that my fellow crewmembers enjoyed it as much. This sort of event makes me wonder why I do not sail with the club as much as I did anymore.