Posted by: Ray | September 20, 2009

Return Home, Poole to Lymington. (Video of arrival)

Passage: 26M, 1 harbour visited, Max wind F5.

Sailing Trophy presented by friends on arrival back home.

Sailing Trophy presented by friends on arrival back home.

 

The alarm went off at 0500 on Friday morning. Brian, Liz and myself hauled ourselves out of our bunks on board Christine Marie and quietly set about getting ready for sea. A quick cup of coffee and we slipped our lines and departed Poole Quay Haven Marina in the dark at 0600 as scheduled. Our departure had been determined by the need to pass Hurst Castle before the strong tidal flow there turned against us at 1015.

Outside of the marina we raised the main sail and navigated out of Poole Harbour, using the engine against a strong flood tide. In the dark, the buoys marking the channel at Poole can sometimes be hard to pick out against the bright shore lights surrounding the harbour. We carefully navigated along the channel, picking out the red flashing port buoys, rounding ‘Aunt Betty’ ECM before heading towards the harbour entrance.  We saw the lights of a large ferry entering the harbour ahead and passed port to port with Brownsea Island Castle on our starboard side.

The chain ferry was stationary just off South Haven Point as we crossed the channel to round Sandbanks to navigate the narrow, shallow, East Looe Channel. I had checked the depth of water to be expected in the channel between 0600 and 0700, 2.5m would give me 1m under my keel. With a swell running this margin was required. The depth was as expected and we passed safely through the channel, setting sail due east towards the green North Head buoy marking the Shingles Bank between the Needles and Hurst Castle.

It was an overcast day with winds F5 from the NE as forecast. Dawn was breaking as we sailed ‘best to wind’, dodging the occasional lobster pot on our track across Poole Bay towards Hengistbury Head. 🙂

By 0800 we were off Hengistbury Head and keeping a close eye out to avoid the many lobster pots laid off the coast here. Our course was taking us too far south, heading towards the Shingles Bank, so we tacked back towards the shore at Highcliffe. I telephoned my family, staying with my Mum whose flat at Highcliffe overlooks the sea, and told them we were heading for them! They could see us out at sea, closing the shore, before we tacked to head towards the North Head buoy.

Passing The Needles in the haze.

Passing The Needles in the haze.

 

 

For a while I thought we were getting tight on time to make the tidal gate at Hurst, the Needles could be seen through the haze as we passed close to the North Head buoy and sailed past Hurst Castle with a strong fair tide still pushing us along.

 

Sailing past Hurst Castle.

Sailing past Hurst Castle.

 

With Brian on the helm and me handling the winches and sails we approached the IOW coast before tacking towards Lymington. As usual in the narrow entrance to the Solent, we passed through some turbulance and Brian managed drentch me with spray as we hit a wave. 🙂

 

  

We were off Lymington Starting Platform by 1000, too early as I had told family, friends and the press we would arrive at 1130! 

We came onto port tack and headed back across towards the IOW coast. We made several passages between the IOW and Lymington. On one approach to Lymington it was interesting to see one of the new large ferry waiting across the entrance to the harbour, we made one last tack across to the IOW to keep out of its way. 🙂

Arriving Lymington Yacht Haven.

Arriving Lymington Yacht Haven.

 

At 1115 we furled the head sail and headed down the channel into Lymington Yacht Haven. Dropping the main at the entrance, a few friends and family were on the pontoon near to the entrance waving and taking photographs of our arrival.

As we made our approach to the mooring we passed reporters from the Daily Echo taking photos and a video and then had a great welcome as we came alongside by the family and friends gathered there.

Christine Marie moored back home in Lymington.

Christine Marie moored back home in Lymington.

 

A cheer went up as Liz and Brian stepped ashore with the lines and we came to a stop. As we came in I was focused on bringing Christine Marie alongside the mooring. Job done, it was an emotional time for a while as I stepped ashore and greeted those welcoming us home. I felt quite choked for a few moments.

Ray being interviwed by press on return home.

Ray being interviwed by press on return home.

 

I was then interviewed on board by the Southern Daily Echo who covered my homecoming in their paper and on their website. The link to the video is below.

 

 

 

Lymington Town Sailing Club (LTSC)

Lymington Town Sailing Club (LTSC)

 

The celebrations continued with lunch at the Haven Restaurant and friends, family and crew joined me for a Welcome Home get together at my sailing club (LTSC, Lymington Town Sailing Club) in the evening.

 

 

Ray at Welcome Home party.  :-)

Ray at Welcome Home party. 🙂

 

The club had laid on a lovely surprise buffet, bar and staff for me and my friend Brian presented me with a glass sailing boat trophy marking my cruise 2008-2009. Later in the evening I was able to talk briefly to other members of LTSC who were attending the Cruising Club Dinner in the restaurant above. During the dinner they had held a raffle that collected £150 for my charities. It was really appreciated.

 

A BIG Thank You to all my friends, family, press and LTSC for the great welcome home. On behalf of the charities and myself thanks to everyone who supported me throughout the duration of my adventure. Donations for the three charities are still coming in and with gift aid look like exceeding £5000.

Thank you all   🙂

Ray

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This video was taken by the Southern Daily Echo who covered my homecoming. Click here

This article appeared in the charity RETHINK supporter news.  Click here:

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