Fri 5 Aug – Sun 7 Aug – Summer Rally to Poole

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Thanks to the 18 members of Oxted Offshore who made it to our summer rally, we don’t usually have a rally in August as most members have holiday plans and there is already a lot in the sailing calendar, so I was pleased with the turnout. In the end we had four boats making the trip down across to Poole which is always a popular destination.

  • Azanti – Stewart Coia – Crew of 5
  • Faux Pas – Jeremy Taylor  – Crew of 8
  • Magus Tao – Peter Puttock – Crew of 3
  • Nick Nack – Nick & Gail Leaver – Crew of 2

The tide ebbed out of the Solent on Friday evening and early Saturday morning and most boats choose to set off late on Friday and spend the evening on a buoy outside Yarmouth or in our case Newtown Creek. Yarmouth only has a few bookable berths which were already taken and the remainder are available on a first come first served basis so late arrivals tend to end up on a buoy.

I had secured Faux Pas a space on a raft outside Sheppard’s Marina in Cowes so we could attend the Cowes Week festivities, however as there were no fireworks this year the crew had little appetite for it so we pushed onto the Creek instead.

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Newtown Creek was busy; all the buoys were taken however after some circling and aware of the falling tide we managed to anchor in a clear spot behind a row of other sailing yachts. I would love to say I managed to draw a tidal curve with secondary port adjustments to work out a safe low water anchoring depth given our 2m draft, however a quick Google search was far quicker. It was tight though and as the remainder of the tide ebbed out of the creek that evening the land became worryingly close.

The calculations were fine and we spent a peaceful night in the creek having dinner (thanks Fran) and numerous sundowners. The sunset was particularly spectacular that night.

Next morning I heard from Peter Puttock on Magus Tau that they were leaving very early from Portsmouth to make maximum use of the tide and would potentially meet us coming out of the creek. We decided that would not be acceptable and left around 08:30 to ensure they were behind us and not in front. Peter later confirmed however Magus Tao had managed to reach 9.5knots (SOG) with the tide and had shot past Newtown Creek earlier than expected.

Leaving the Needles behind we headed straight for Studland Bay were we hoped to catch a spare eco-mooring and have lunch as it seemed too early to head up the channel into Poole. Anchoring in the bay is now frowned upon as the eel grass is home to a population of long-snouted seahorses. We managed to find a buoy on the south side of the bay and shortly after jumped in the water for a swim.

The water was cold, but the weather was hot and it didn’t take long to acclimatise. After swimming we soon dried off, had a very pleasant lunch (Thanks Bill) and headed into Poole for showers, shopping and Commodores Cocktails which was set for 18:30.

For dinner I had booked the Guildhall Tavern which has an excellent reputation and although expensive brought out some very tasty dishes.

Over dinner the now well lubricated crews put together plans for a race back to Portsmouth. The forecast however was for very light winds fading to nothing in the afternoon and given Faux Pas was a charter boat that had to be back at its berth for 16:30 we opted not to take part.

After the restaurant some of the crew headed to go back to Magus Tao for an afterparty where Peters 1st Mate Pedro dished out copious amounts of Dark and Stormy cocktails.

Many thanks to Kevin Roberts the next morning for cooking up an excellent Full English. We were washed up and ready to leave at 10:00 and set off after Magus Tau who had made race plans with Nick Nack and Azanti.

Magus Tao

With the winds dying and a favourable tide we motor sailed most of the way home only slowing down for lunch on the go.

Faux Pas Crew

As mentioned, Faux Pas didn’t have the luxury of time in order to take part in the race however I did receive an uncorroborated email from Peter Puttock claiming victory for Magus Tao.

Jeremy Taylor


Force 9 South Coast Lutine Charter

Last October we were able to charter Lutine from Lloyd’s Yacht Club for an out of season four day weekend which proved to be quite eventful due to the weather. Working through the weather windows we managed to get to Weymouth via Poole from Gosport.

The trip was enjoyed by all and so early in 2021 I booked Lutine again with the plan of getting to the Chanel Islands. Due to Covid it was decided that the Chanel Islands wouldn’t work and Dartmouth would be our destination.

With the weather closing in and the forecast looking grim we departed Gosport and had an uneventful sail down to Yarmouth.

05:30 Saturday 2nd of October. After a lovely meal in Yarmouth involving hot rocks and raw meat we were up before day break in order to reach Weymouth before 12:00 at which point 55kn gusts were predicted.

Lutine berthed in Yarmouth

Safety tethers were issued to the crew partly because of night sailing but also because of the poor forecast.

Five hours and 38 miles later after a very wet, windy and bumpy sail into 30kn of wind we arrived in Weymouth around 11:00. With two reefs in the main Lutine managed the conditions with ease and reached speeds upto 12kn. Special mentions go to Bill who had prepared Marmalade rolls for breakfast and also to Peter who navigated us safely around the live firing range in Lulworth Cove.

Mark looking after the Starbord Winch

Weymouth wasn’t very busy so managed to secure C2 berth which is located right in front of the Harbour office and facilities. The afternoon was spent catching up on sleep and drying out our gear.

Drying out

After a lazy afternoon and several pints in local hostileries we had an excellent dinner in Ming Wha, although 9 hungry sailors in a Chinese restaurant is always a recipe for confusion as you can imagine.

We have been using the Splitwiseapp app to divi up the bill between us, if only we could work it out.

After a tot of navy 100% proof rum we headed to our bunks for a good rest.

Next morning we woke to the smell of bacon and sizzling sausages being prepared by Kevin R who gets a special mention as odly enough he doesn’t eat meat.

Breakast for Hungy Sailors
The perks of being Commodore – Coffee in bed

We departed at 11:00 and set sail downwind for Lymington in what promised to be another fast sail in strong winds.

We were not disappointed, sailing under a reefed jib alone we reached speeds of 15 knots surfing down building seas in severe gales that gusted 45 knots.

Back in Lymington we strugled to find a restaurant open late on Sunday until eventually striking lucky with an excellent Sunday roast at the Ship Inn

After more heavy rain overnight we set sail East back to Gosport making the most of the persistent 27kn winds blowing in from the West.

OXO Lutine Crew back in Gosport

From gale force gusts to becalmed – a typical autumn rally!

We only mustered enough interest in the autumn rally weekend to charter one boat, so the planned ‘Points Makes Prizes’ challenge was postposed until next year. But the nine on board were up for a last sail of the season and we met up at Hamble Point marina on the evening of Friday 6 October and boarded Reunion, a very spacious 46ft Bavaria cruiser. Our crew comprised Jeremy and Catherine, Stuart and Mags, Richard Aust, Kevin Ludbrook, Jeanne Frazer plus Fran and myself.

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Yarmouth Harbour updates for 2017

Yarmouth Harbour have established some new features for visiting yatchsmen over the winter months:

  • ‘MOOR and enjoy Yarmouth’ is an overview film about Yarmouth town to ensure visitors get the most out of their stay. Watch it here
  • FREE showers are now included in the price of the visitor mooring.
  • Cockpit Essentials is a new visitor refreshment lounge with freshly ground coffee, bags of ice, local products, 24 hour news, Wi-Fi and charging points.
  • Their new website now includes an updated ‘Yarmouth Directory’  http://www.yarmouth-harbour.co.uk