A few weeks of Cruising

We’re just back from about three weeks of sailing on the South/Central coast of England.  We spent more time enjoying individual places instead of hopping quickly from port to port.

Starting from Gosport, we spent several nights in the Newtown River, followed by a sail to Poole Harbour and anchoring behind Brownsea Island.  After that, we sailed to Weymouth to spend four nights (a new destination for us). We then did a long 60 mile run home back to Gosport to miss some bad weather.

After a weekend break back in London, we sailed from Gosport to Chichester (and swung out around Nab Tower for fun) for several nights on a guest buoy at Itchenor, followed by several nights at a long-time favorite, the Folly Inn on the River Medina, Isle of Wight.

Last summer our cruising plans were cut short by work, so it was much fun and very rewarding to take a more leisurely trip this summer.  Kids got to enjoy hiking and beaches and fishing and dining out.  We got to enjoy honing our sailing skills and pretty much having a lot of time on the boat with no thrills or spills to speak of.  Just a good time.

One one dicey bit– passing back into the Solent past Hurst Point, against the flood.  That wasn’t overly fun…

Full photo gallery:

Summer Sailing 2011

Here’s a chart of our overall travels:

Son launching the dinghy from our Rival 34 at the Newtown River, Isle of Wight:

Wife sailing us to Poole Harbour:

Our children, reduced to heads:

Our Rival 34 at anchor behind Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour:

We wait for a bridge lift in downtown Weymouth:

Sunset at Itchenor, in Chichester Harbour

Low water at Chichester Harbour:

Night falls at the Folly Reach, Isle of Wight:

Wife driving us home from Isle of Wight to Gosport on our last morning:

I’m back to work for two weeks, and my family is off for a week in the Lake District.  My brother is going to visit, so our next sail is for a week at the beginning of August.  We’ll go cross-channel if the mood strikes, maybe for a visit to Cherbourg.

Getting Things Done

Long time, no post.

The career has taken over my life a bit for the last year, but the major projects I’ve worked on now look to be growing more tame.  Thus, it’s time to think about sailing again.

One important change– I’ve revamped the entire photo gallery for this site.  It is now located at

Sailing, Travel, Life

It also now contains the very popular “Cal 20 Restoration” galleries that document the 3 month renovation of our 1967 Cal 20.  Go over and check it out.

It also contains some of our older galleries going back to 2003, including when we visiting the San Juan Islands for the first time with our bicycles on the ferries, and wondered aloud how one would be allowed to sail those sailboats around from island to island.

One other need for the revamp– the old gallery fell off of Google images, and this new gallery should be visible again to those searches again in a few days.  Yeah!

How did I find time to do all this?  I got sick over a four day weekend, and I’ve been stuck in bed.  Not a bad time to putter on such things.

An October Sail

Just back from an enjoyable four days of sailing.

Saturday and Sunday were a bit of a challenge– the Solent was packed, and we ended up anchoring outside of the Newtown River in some bouncy conditions on Saturday night.

On Sunday, we had plenty of wind for a reefed sail to Cowes and up to the Folly.

After that, we were lazy and hiked the island for a day, and then we enjoyed a relaxed sail back to Gosport this morning.

Some pics:

More pics:  October Sail

Also, we gradually learn more.  In 18 to 20 knots of wind, SR has less weather helm if we have two reefs in the main.  Our daughter is more comfortable on the starboard settee sea berth than crammed in the V-berth.  Mooring starboard side-to is the only way if reverse is going to be used to stop the boat.

So it goes…

A week of sailing

Just back from our spring break cruise.

Full photo gallery:

Spring Break 2010 Sailing

Basically, we were pinned by some weather, but a week ago we did a 3 a.m. start and sailed across the Solent and across to Poole (for two nights anchored behind Brownsea Island), followed by a sail back to Lymington for a night, and then two more nights at the Newtown River before sailing back to Gosport:

Pretty cold at sunset as we approach the Needles Channel

The type of boat you see at Poole

We had some fun on the passage to Poole,  but once there we had a great time on Brownsea Island:

SR at anchor

Using the bird blinds

Recording the birds seen

Sunset at Brownsea

Brekkie next morning

Brownsea Castle on the way out

On our sail from Poole to Lymington, we had the best sail of the trip.  The English Channel was calm, but there was enough wind for a fun sail all the way back into the Solent, using the full Needles Channel.

We took the inside channel route out of Poole Harbor, and we cleared with only a meter of water under the keel.

The English Channel on a calm and warm day.

Can you spot the Needles Lighthouse?

There it is.

We arrive in Lymington where my son spends an hour in the dinghy.

That night, we have a shower and a great dinner in the Ships Inn pub/restaurant on the water front.

After a night on the town at Lymington, we sail to the Newtown River on the Isle of Wight for two nights.

We had splendid weather for the sail across the Solent.

We picked up a mooring ball for £13 a night.

The kids explored on their own for hours.

A rare photo of the pater familias.  (I’m bona fide.)

My daughter’s impression of my sailing ability…

We hike inland on a public footpath, using an Ordinance Survey walking map.

At low tide, we had .8 meter under the keel.

Our kids map the river and illustrate the birds they see.

A gaff rig ghosts by us near dark for a night sail.  She had sailed off her mooring, of course.

The next morning, we motored to Gosport.  There was plenty of wind, but it was directly on the nose, and the tide soon turned to also be on our nose, so we putted back to our home slip and a warm train ride home to London.


Favorite Boats at the 2009 Southampton Boat Show

After much looking, I believe we found our two favorite, new boats at the Southampton Boat Show today.

We put a new rule in effect: the boats had to be no more than around 150,000 pounds to be competitive, so Halberg Rassys, Ovnis, Oysters, Lagoons, etc. were off the table. We were looking at news boats, mind you.

Number one boat: Arcona 370:

arcona 370


Likes: Performance cruiser with comfy wood interior, keel-stepped mast, and bulkheads glassed to hull and deck (not linered). Made in Sweden, good to windward, good construction quality, steel frame from keel to standing rigging, lead keel.

Concerns: a bit above 150,000 pound range, but nice quality. Smallish water tankage. One head, no shower stall. Small ice box, etc. As mentioned, it’s a performance/cruiser.

I hadn’t heard of Arcona boats in the US, but it’s nice to know there’s a Swedish boat that’s a bit more affordable than the Halbergs and Mahos and Najads.

Arcona Yachts

Second favorite boat: Dufour 405 Grand Large




Compared to the other production boats we saw (Jeanneau, Beneteau, Delphia, Hanse), the Dufour seemed to have the right combination of finish quality and nice design/space.

Likes: Extra room of a 40 footer, large cockpit with big table, shower stall, two heads, giant frig with three doors, big tanks, comfy cabins.

Concerns: iron keel, side window design, complexity of dual wheel system, linear galley, liner construction.

Compared to the other production boats, however, it was nice:
Dufour Yachts

Special Mention: Delphia 33:



Likes: good price (under 100k), classic and more rounded design (like an older C&C).

Concerns: fit and finish

Delphia Yachts

That’s all for now…