Saturday, 8 October 2011

Round the Island ... Redux!

So yesterday the guys and I got together for another attempt at the Round the Island trip that we had all so looked forward to on the race day earlier this summer..

Brilliant day had by all, but a long one, and only four of us as one of the Dave's had to duck out due to work commitments, still the other Dave, Chris, Rod the owner/skipper and I had a fantastic trip...

Dropped the mooring in Port Solent at 7'ish, and at just after 8 we started down the Inner Swashway heading towards Cowes on the first leg..

I think we were at Cowes by about 10:30'ish - big beats in a strong force 5, using the entire width of the Solent, but the boat was going like a train and never felt out of control - Rod had picked up some hints and tips on sail trim and they definitely suited "Ami-Ly" - two reefs in the main though and a few rolls in the genoa...

From Cowes down the Needles we got a lucky wind shift and managed to make it almost in one beat - think we got there by about 14:30'ish...  pushed on  through Hurst Narrows (above - I never realised how narrow it was! Click on any of the pictures in this post for a bigger view by the way) and out into the Channel (as in English) proper, so as to leave the Needles (below) well to port. I can't tell you how brilliant it is to do that in a sailing boat for the first time..

We then bore away, down wind, towards St Catherine's Point for what was the most uncomfortable leg of the trip...   ...there was a big roll'y swell coming on the aft port quarter while sailing down wind - good speed but not comfortable and we were all happy to bear round St Catherine's (below) and head towards Ventnor/Bonchurch..  guess this must have been about 1600'ish...

Personally, this was my favourite leg - the sun was out, the sea had smoothed, the Island was looking beautiful, wind was steady five, the reefs were out and we were steaming.... over on the mainland (below) we could see huge sheets of rain, but the rainbows were superb...

Past Bembridge at about 1800'ish, lovely view of the new lifeboat station, (below) and dusk was coming on as we headed into the Solent...

Past Ryde as the sun was setting (below -  you can just see the church spire...)

It was dark as we entered the harbour through the small boat channel and the Spinnaker Tower was lit up like a large lit-up-thing - stunning (my picture was rubbish, an altogether better effort at the top of the post)....

We finally picked up mooring at 20:30'ish so about 13 hours after we left...  a long day but hugely satisfying and certainly worthy of the bubbles that Rod cracked open after we'd tidied up - and yes, I slept well last night!!

Partial track only I'm afraid as the log was so big that it blew the memory on my little hand held so I only have from Newtown to the end - you're missing the first part for the track from Port Solent, past Cowes to the track start... typical really as that was the bit I helmed on most...   On the map above I've used GoogleEarth to add in the missing path in red..

Distance: The track shows 56.28 miles, the missing track I added manually (in red) comes to about 19 miles so call it 75 miles in all - the vast majority of it under sail (I've not included it in my sailing miles as it wasn't on my boat...)

Wind: WNW or NW - didn't drop below a four all day, and most of the time was a 5 or 6..

Speed: Get this, and this was under sail - max speed was 8.9 knots (!) and the average for the track period was 5.7! Lots of tidal assist but we were absolutely flying from St. Catherine's round past Bembridge..


  1. Extremely jelous!

    One of my goals for the next 2 or 3 years!

    You must be pretty pleased with yourselves!


  2. Absolutely made up... was our goal for the year.

    Next year we're thinking Cherbourg is a distinct possibility as it's only another 14 miles... :o)