Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A trip to the Solent and a meeting with "Marjory" - July 2013

I decided to take advantage of a spell of settled weather to attend an impromptu gathering of boats from the Old Gaffer's Association in Newtown Creek on the Isle of Wight.  Setting sail from Poole on Thursday 4 July, I ran in front of a F4  and spent Thursday night anchoin Christchurch Harbour, before heading for Hurst Castle and the entrance to the Solent early on Friday morning.  Those who know these waters will be aware that, ideally,  you need to get to the Hurst race with the tide either slack or gently beginning to move in your direction - especially in a small boat like mine.  Through lack of wind, I motored most of the way and got through with the tide just beginning to run against me.  From there it was a gentle two hour motor to Newtown Creek.  

Those reading this who have been there will know that it is a beautiful spot and very popular with people from all over the Solent. Here are a couple of Pictures of the scene around my National Trust Mooring (£15 per night)

One of the objectives of the weekend was to meet up with Tom and Catherine Taylor, who I had made contact with through this Blog and who now own "Marjory", which is Shilling number one. Phil Swift's Prototype, she was built in 1998 for Roger Boxall and, after spending time with him around Milford haven, is now based in Chichester.  This is how she looks, with the Yawl rig that most Shillings have.  Very Pretty.

It was interesting to compare the two boats, built 10 years apart. Mine has more built-in bouyancy and hence less space below, but I have a lower centre box top which makes it easier to move about in the cabin, I think.  Overall though, it was encouraging to see how well Marjory was ageing - well done Phil!

later in the day I motored to the other end of Newtown Creek and met up with a number of boats from the Old Gaffers Association, Solent Group.  All very friendly and welcoming , we had a BBQ on the shore in the evening.   This is "Roma", owned by Mike and Jessica Warren, with "Helen" anchored behind her.

On Sunday, I followed Roma and Helen across the Solent in a dead calm and up the Beaulieu River to Bucklers Hard, where we spent the day enjoying the sunshine and exploring the village and museum. The Master Builder pub proved a crashing disappointment food-wise, the only good thing being the view. 

The Beaulieu River is beautiful.  After Roma and Helen departed on Monday morning, I motored 2 miles or so up river to Beaulieu Abbey, home of Lord Montague, which is the limit of navigation. Amazing houses on the river bank.

Motoring back down to the river entrance, I raised sail and tooled around in a good breeze and heading westward with the tide, I anchored in Keyhaven for the night.  

On Tuesday, I motorsailed from Keyhaven and until I got to Bournemouth Bay, when a day breeze enabled a fast sail to Studland Bay to wait the rising tide needed to get into Poole, where I moored up in Bramble Bush bay for the night.  

On Wed July 10th, I sailed around for a while before mooring in the shallows off Brownsea and cleaning ship.  Then back to the mooring. A great trip all round, with 6 nights on board and new friends made.