Who are our heroes?
Erm? They're Clive and Les aren't they?
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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 16th July
16th July, 2005
Another beautiful morning.
Annie and her sailing chums were planning to leave at 0700 from Hamble Point for Poole, and, sure enough phones rang and we were advised that they were progressing down the Solent and expected to be in Christchurch Bay by early afternoon ready to take pictures of Quintet.
So Clive and I had a light breakfast of 'sweet cure' bacon sandwiches, probably an acquired taste we think, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and coffee, before tidying the boat and setting off for the photoshoot. We debated sailing off the anchor from our idyllic mooring in South Deep but decided that the wind was a bit light and fluky for such a narrow and winding channel so we motored.
Clive was happily following the channel marks when I interfered, demanding that he was taking the marks out of sequence. We would be aground. He took my advice and immediately we were aground. I went below, my head bowed in shame. I thought I heard Clive say 'Interfere in last heard!' or something like that.
We finally hoisted sail just upstream from the chain ferry and started to drift seaward, but the contrary current was too frustrating at this point of sailing, dead downwind, so we fired up the engine and got clear of the main traffic by turning into the East Looe Channel. Suddenly we were beam reaching in a solid little breeze and heading out into the bay. We called Mr Rhino, the Hallberg Rassey, and asked them for a position and we changed course to rendezvous with our portraitists.
Actually I did think we sailed fairly fast against them for a while but then they started to concentrate and showed us to be the relative slowcoach that we are. Sigh! For a moment there I thought that we had really learned to sail Quintet properly. Well, we'll keep trying. These wonderful photographs will appear in a later edition. Having showed off in front of the cameras we turned for home.
Our shallow draught, a little more than 1.2 metres, allowed us to take a short cut across the southern tip of Hook Sands, while Mr Rhino sailed a good half mile to the south of us to make sure she cleared the shallows. We bore away and run up the western side of the approach to Poole Harbour and I cobbled up bread, cheese, still the French supplies, and a very pleasant bottle of English dry cider, for lunch which we consumed on the run.
We didn't notice that the chain ferry was leaving as we blithely sailed across her path but she gracefully pulled up for the grand old lady, Quintet, and didn't even toot. What a nice skipper. We do apologise. We then sailed up the Northern Channel, dropped sails and motored into Parkstone Yacht Haven, which we had left just thirty six hours before.
Much of the rest of the afternoon and evening is a bit of a blur. The crew of Mr Rhino turned up as planned and partook of a Pimms or two, much of which they kindly provided I would add, and the tiny saloon of Quintet was filled with laughter and bon homie. We then adjourned to the bar of the Parkstone Yacht Club where beers and curries were consumed. Our guests finally decided they should wend their way home to the Poole Town Quay Marina and left Clive and me to one last beer for the road.
Looking at the photographs later I pondered why digital cameras take so long to register a picture meaning that action shots are frequently ruined. Try taking a picture of leaping dolphins with a digital camera. No chance. As an example here is the group photograph taken with a conventional camera...