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Sailing Weekend:    Basingstoke Friends

Basingstoke Friends Group


Basingstoke Friends is a member of the AIVC network of groups.
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 Portsmoth Harbour.

Mary Mouse

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

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 mooring bouy.


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.


Sail Surfing

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.

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