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They said summer was coming…

So we planned a short week long cruise towards Weymouth at the beginning of June

We set off down Southampton Water on Friday with 2 reefs in the main and several rolls in the genoa, It was blowing its socks off!

Fortunately, by Calshot it had started to moderate, and as we bore away down the west Solent, we were able to creep up to full sail for a fast passage past Hurst and the Needles Channel to South Deep in Poole Harbour. There we sat out a warm, sunny Saturday - even though it was still blowing hard.

Our plan to go on to Chapmans Pool was thwarted by a threatening forecast, and we sat out a wet and windy Sunday, during which I established that my main batteries were in urgent need of additional distilled water. So on the Monday we set off on a grey morning with not much wind. It was forecast to go NW then SW, which should have given us a broad reach. We set the cruising chute having motored through the Looe Channel.

Needless to say, after an hour, the wind headed, rather than freed, and we had to hand the sail and turn on the engine. We were in Yarmouth for a late lunch. There we were able to get the battery water, but the wind was freshening now so we opted to stay the night there.

On Monday we trickled up to Newtown under genoa only in a rapidly freshening SW breeze, and sat there the rest of the day while the wind howled, and it was very cold.

The only positive thing was that the wind generator did test our batteries , now properly charged with water. We also had a grand sunset.

On Tuesday, we planned a leisurely trip home on the afternoon flood, but an unexpected gale warning sent us scurrying home to Marchwood under genoa. Once on the mooring we shut down the boat prior to going ashore. Then the outboard would not start, and it poured with rain as we rowed ashore in the rising gale. On the drive home all the traffic lights were red.

It has to be our least successful cruise ever. The only saving grace was that I re-read Ian Mitchell's 'Isles of the West' which reinforced my distaste for bureaucratic conservation. But that is another story.

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