A Sailing Weekend Diary
Loading the Supplies
Seven intrepid souls arrived in the car park at Haslar Marina on Friday. The
weather forcast was not good but we had signed up and paid so were determined to
have our money's worth. Haslar Marina is in Gosport and on the edge of
Following the cabin assignments and moving our bags onto the boat, the next
job was to load the supplies and all hands were pressed into stowing the
various food items under the seats in the main cabin. As soon as the paperwork
was complete the boat was made ready and we went out under motor for a quick
tour around Portsmoth Harbour. This gave everyone a chance to find out a bit
about the boat and what it was for.
On our return to the pontoon Kevin, the skipper, took everyone along to
the Mary Mouse, a lightship now moored in the Haslar Marina. It has
been pressed into service as a restaurant and bar.
The food was excellent and following the hearty meal we all felt ready for
the next day's sailing.
Gary takes the Helm
During the weekend everyone got a chance to learn some sailing skills from
helming to tying knots.
Saturday morning was sunny (not at all as we had expected) so we set
sail and made our way out of Portsmoth Harbour into the Solent. The crew were
introduced to pilotage as we lined up the war memorial with the side of an
office block to get the course right for the swash channel.
The wind was on the nose so we had an introduction to tacking as we made our
way up the Solent past Cowes and then over to Beaulieu for lunch.
Anchoring for lunch in the Beaulieu river was much more exciting than we
expected as both attempts failed and we found ourselves first drifting toward
the cahnnel marker and then toward another boat. Finally we gave up trying to
get the anchor to bite in the mud and went further upstream toi find a suitable
The weather for Sunday was forcast to be wet and windy so we were pleasantly
suprise to be woken by the sun streaming into the cabin. After a breakfast of
Bacon and Eggs we made our way out the harbour and began sailing back to
Portsmouth. The wind was excellent and the sailing was very good.
With such good conditions in the Solent we decided to go past the forts and
back to Portsmouth via the gap in the Submarine wall by Southsea. At this point
the wind increased to 40 knots and we had to take the sails in a lot to get
comfortable control of the boat.
We made it through the hole in the wall and once on the other side hear a
Yacht calling "Pan Pan" which is a distress call. The Yacht in question had left
Portsmouth, the motor had failed and it was now being swept toward the sea wall.
The action was all happening about a half a mile away.
Luckily there were two motor vessels on hand to help and we had a ringside
seat to watch the rescue.
We made our way into Haslar Marina for Lunch.
After a lunch of cheese, tomato and ham sandwiches prepared by Pat we set
sail again and had a great sail down to Osborne Bay. By this time the tide
had turned and with the wind and tide together the boat was riding along the top
of the waves and we were making excellent speed.
We turned around in Osborne Bay and made our way back to Cowes and docked for
the night. Spent a pleasant evening drinking and eating in the Anchor and the
Island Sailing Club.