Who are our heroes?
Erm? They're Clive and Les aren't they?
Yes, but wouldn't you like to know more? Read these biogs.
New: Chat with Clive and Les via our message board.
Read more about Quintet, the boat that will carry our adventurers on their journey.
New: See the boys in action sailing Quintet outside Poole
Poole 14th July
14th July, 2005
When I looked at the forecast and the tides in the Solent, I realised that a late start for Poole was not my finest decision. However Ian 'Grumpy' Grant (he's not really 'grumpy' actually. He can be quite cheerful, sometimes!) had sent a text message to say he would join us for the day, so we were going. I think we'd have probably gone anyway, so don't feel bad about it, Ian. And it turned out to be a very nice day.
Ian turned up promptly at 10.00 as promised, and was immediately despatched with Clive to shop! Poor Clive, but at least he had a shopping goal: food and beer.
As they came aboard, we were hailed by another member of the Cruising Association, a Dutchman, wanting a telephone number from the Association yearbook. He'd forgotten his copy. I'd always been led to believe that the Dutch were efficient and organised.
Well, we couldn't find the telephone number he was looking for so we went alongside him at the dock and gave him the book. He couldn't find it either!
Just before midday we passed the 'Jack in a Basket' marker post and hoisted sail. But we might as well not have bothered. Steering 210 degrees, we were making about 100. That's not having the right tides for you. So we tacked back and steering 310 we made 009 degrees. So we had an excellent idea. Once into water shallow enough to anchor, we anchored and opened the beer.
We had duck pate with warm brown toast and a selection of cheese with fresh white bread, for lunch, all the time dropping crumbs over the side to estimate whether the tide was diminishing any.
Eventually we got bored with waiting and switched on the engine to motor down to Hurst Castle, after which the tide slackened and we were able to motor sail into the eastern end of Christchurch bay and start to sail properly.
Clive showed some concern when the errant depth sounder sprang into life and displayed a depth of just 0.01 metres. So we looked at the chart and found that we were crossing a sand bar which, at a later state of tide, would have been sticking above the water. Whoops!
We were a little more careful as we crossed the Chritschurch bay, especially as the fog came in. What a great country to sail in the SUMMER!
Soon after 5.30pm we could see the fairway marks for Poole and had a great sail, dead downwind, just outside the starboard hand marks into Poole harbour. The risk of gybing was pretty high, so I stayed in front of the mast, preparing to drop the sails when we finally reached the chain ferry. And what a chain ferry. It's huge.
We had decided on the Parkstone Yacht Cub for the night and turned into the North Channel with Ian piloting, using the plan in the almanac.
Suddenly we were surrounded by boats, starting the evening race. So we ducked and weaved, trying to keep out of their way but attracting the usual abuse that rude racers give. The J24 fleet took me back to my days racing Js in Sydney. One of the boats even completely stuffed his and his neighbour's start by luffing and going through the wind. Such fond memories! But eventually we escaped their hectic rush for sea and were busy, counting off the navigation marks to locate the channel which turns northwards into Parkstone. The channel spotted, we followed the marks round the breakwater and into the marina.
Having tied to a temporary berth, Clive went of to negotiate a permanent berth for the night and after a couple of false starts, being offered berths already occupied, we moved to a permanent berth and tied up.
The formalities completed and money, large amounts, passed across the bar we settled to a pint of Ringwood and chicken jalfrezi all round. A pleasant end to a great day's sailing, in excellent company.
Ian caught his taxi to the station and Clive and I wobbled our way back to Quintet while the sky was filled with the flashes and crashes of a firework display on the Poole town quay. How nice of them to welcome us.