|Stephen Squirrell (17642km): |
Monday 5th June – travel then Windsurf **** Hamworthy – cloudy, rain and very windy.
F2 Ride 282, Tushingham Lightning 6.50m, 38 cm fin. Wind S, 20/30 mph
30.57 kt. max., 29.12 kt. ave., 18.93 kt. mile, 27.50 km, 17.02kt. alpha.
After an absolute crap day on Sunday I woke chilled but sadly the lovely sunshine had been replaced by menacing clouds and strong winds. The crowds of walkers and bikers from yesterday enjoying the beauty of the South Downs way at Bignor had been replaced by a few hardly souls!
We were away early to head to the coast, with strong winds forecast and my smallest sail with me a 6.5 I needed a sheltered option, I think the tide and wind direction was not great for Langstone and Portland too far we opted for Hamworthy in Poole Harbour as recommended by Ian Richards who said there is free parking and it can be sailed the whole tide:)
This was still a 90-mile trip but luckily on dual carriage way/motorway a lot of the way, we even managed to find a Lidl en-route to stock up with goodies:) I had my fingers crossed there was no height restriction at the carpark which there wasn’t but there was a new parking meter but it was only £2:) The carpark was nearly empty which is hardly surprising as the strong onshore wind was bringing squally showers but there were a few mad dog walkers and a solitary windsurfer rigging. After a quick word with him about sail choice, he was on 6m, I took my only board I have with me to the water’s edge on a nice little beach with a row of beach huts with nice views across the harbour. The tide was high and the other windsurfer seemed under with 6m so I stupidly rigged my X-15 7m 4 cammed sail, a big mistake! I only had time to eat half my chicken roll before heading out, the launch is easy and you could sail parallel to the beach. There were some vicious gusts and it was very choppy but I did manage to beat over to Brownsea Island but then decided to head back and rig the 6.5 as the X-15 was being a pain with the cams popping off and the boom even came undone at the end as it was not extended enough! I had made 27kts with the big sail but improved this to just over 30 kts, doing three runs over 30 in the end, not bad in such big chop but I managed to find some flatter swells and hoped it was deep enough, luckily, I didn’t hit the bottom!
I did enough runs for a nice average and then called it a day, I made the mistake of getting changed out of my wetsuit to have a cuppa and cream tea then got soaked packing up and tying gear on the roof rack and my mast was stuck so put that on in one piece to sort out later!
The Poole Harbour area is not well known for ‘wild camping’ Mag checked on line and someone said they had stopped at the RSPB carpark at Arne, around the harbour past Wareham. We got there and discovered you had to pay and the gates where shut at 6 so found a nice spot just down the road in a little wood after seeing some deer on the way. The only trouble is it’s raining and blowing a gale and small twigs keep falling on the van, fingers crossed we don’t get a whole tree down!!!