CAT 190 Half Term Solent Explorer

Wednesday 30 May – Saturday 2 June 2018

Entry One

Today we were going to Portsmouth to do sailing for 4 days. On the first day we took a tour of the boat and had a safety briefing, then rigged up the boat to get going and set off into a very foggy Solent. We spent three hours on our way to Bucklers Hard Marina and on the way covered tutorials on points of sail, knots, steering the vessel and following a compass course, among other marine basics. When we reached the mouth of the Beaulieu River we motored past moored boats up to the marina. After mooring, we looked around the boats in the marina, picking out our favourites (Reef and I (Lukas). We then prepared a fajita dinner and had to do the washing up, which was rather a disaster and not fun, all to the accompaniment of Sam’s rather bad music. Thankfully he has changed to a better playlist now. We are now settling down for the night after writing this.

Reef & Lukas

Entry Two

We woke up in Buckler’s Hard marina, on the tranquil Beaulieu River. After a breakfast of bagels, we took the RIB tender up the river and looked at the opulent houses discreetly nestled by the river. We each had a go with the outboard engine, all under the rain, which was somewhat of a comedown. After the little cruise upriver, we set off towards Poole. It was a very foggy trip, and on the way out of the Beaulieu River we spotted a deer on the bank, which was a nice surprise. After an uneventful morning, we had lunch, and afterwards Sam took us through buoy markings and later through IRPCS (International Rules for Preventing Collisions of Ships). Reef and I took the wheel when we steered through the Needles, and we also saw the Old Harry rock outside of Poole, where we are spending the night. Although Poole was very foggy, and we saw little during our approach to Poole Quay Yacht Haven, we did see a tanker making its way out of port. We are moored almost opposite the main Sunseeker factory in the UK, and we saw many different but expensive yachts under construction. We then visited a little ice cream and sweet shop during our brief stroll in town, then came back to the Cat and ate a sausage and chips dinner. After dinner we took showers, and are now settling down on board.

Reef & Lukas

Entry Three

We woke up to a harbour still blanketed in thick fog, with almost no change from yesterday apart from even less visibility. We set off almost immediately after getting ready, and ate a breakfast of bacon butties on the way. Thankfully although there was extremely low visibility in the fog, it was only patchy. We managed to get the sails up for around an hour or so, before motoring with sails up through the Needles, sounding the airhorn every two minutes, which was rather amusing. However, although visibility was only around 500 yards or so, the sea was very placid and there was a decent breeze, so we managed to average around 5 knots of true speed with 6.5 knots of true wind. After we passed the Needles however, and entered the Solent, the fog lifted to give us good visibility, and we motored past the Isle of Wight with enough visibility to see it this time round. The route we took to Southampton Water was packed with other, smaller leisure craft, and we had to steer very carefully and even put the IRPCS rules on overtaking and avoiding collisions into practice on some required occasions. On the way up to the Hamble, where we are moored now in the main harbour, we saw several large tankers, some cargo vessels and even a car carrier on our way in. Lindsay also taught us several knots, which we practised tying using strawberry laces and strawberry pencils, and also ran through man overboard drills and effects of cold water shock. We are now moored on a harbourmaster’s pontoon in the middle of the river, in a good berth. After dinner we played the After Eight game, which involves putting an After Eight on your forehead and trying to get in your mouth using only your facial muscles, which was very fun and quite messy. After writing this, we will settle down for the night.

Reef and Lukas