On Tuesday last week (5th April) Slipstream and Calypso yachts synchronised our day sail plans to sail from in company from Gosport Marina into the Eastern Solent for a few hours. The weather was forecast to be west 12-15kts average wind with sunny intervals. The passage plan was to sail to Bembridge for lunch. We left Gosport Marina mid morning, exiting the harbour entrance on the tidal stand a few hours into the flood. We on Calypso cautiously started with two reefs in the mainsail whereas the larger Slipstream opted for 1 reef. It was a Reach then Broad Reach to near Bembridge entrance. The sea state was not too choppy so progress was very good. On Calypso we checked the tidal heights carefully, Heaved To dropping the sails and prepared to enter. Then Slipstream hailed us with a loud whistle to change plans and instead anchor in Priory Bay. The wind had picked up a little and it was Spring tides, but there was just enough shelter from Seaview to anchor for lunch. On Calypso we found a spot with 0.5m under keel and used the light weight Fortress anchor which was perfect for the sand. A third yacht appeared and joined us anchoring in the bay. Our lunch in the cockpit was fine but the wind crept up a little more. With the anchor up and sail hoisted it was then a Close Hauled course back to Portsmouth Harbour. By now the TWS had climbed to around 21 kts in the exposed area by the forts and briefly a little more. Hence was pleased to have two reefs in both sails. It was a super sail back which needed crew on the rail, the Traveller eased down and the genoa sheeting point ease aft a little. I managed to get drenched by a surprise wave that came over the bow. It was a gusty in the entrance but found a spot near Haslar Marina to drop Calypso’s sails. We parted company with Slipstream as they (motor?) sailed back to their summer mooring up by Hardway.
Our Log on Calypso recorded a max speed through the water of 6.8Kts, which is pretty good for Calypso in that chop. It did not rain on us and we had the right sail area up to suit the conditions. With three of us on board was ideal for a potter. Prefect. More of a Shake Up sail as opposed to a Shake Down sail.
We are looking forward to the 1st yacht race of the season on the 23rd April in Hayling Bay.