Sailing in the Saronic Gulf… with Dolphins!

The crew of Fineus – skipper Robert F, Diana B C, Avi and Sandy R all set off in glorious sunshine on the Saturday morning having arrived the evening before and enjoyed a general flotilla dinner with the other crews at a local taverna.

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August Bank Holiday BBQ Sail

It is six thirty on Friday, 27thAugust, masts are proudly singing in the mild Hamble wind. The sun is setting, a not so seemingly distant orange ball, while six youthful punters thankfully sit on deck, slowly sipping their cold, bubbly champagne, welcoming, in anticipation, yet another Bank Holiday weekend of unknown sailing delights. A few discoveries had already been made. First, we all arrived on time, the traffic had been kind. Robert discovered that he could leave the ‘bowels of government’ at 4 and, via Southern Rail, be on the boat by 7; Karen had generously cooked a Boeuf Bourguignon, discovering the saltiness of kosher meat; I discovered that Tesco sells Gazpacho; we all jealously discovered Philip’s hidden talent – a medically trained ability to speedily use the knife to minutely chop the toppings for this summer soup; and finally, the discovery of all discoveries, our Commodore and Alison had left all their sailing and sleeping gear at home! The sun shone brightly the next morning when we awoke, inviting us all to a positive day ahead. In his briefing, Philip introduced us to Appaloosa, a Bavaria 36, which soon proved to become a disappointment. While below deck all was homely and functioned well, above, the boat strained to pick up speed. Frustration grew as a few technical problems became apparent: the wind instrument never worked and, at times, the speed log and chart plotter gave misleading information! We continued to sail. We arrived at Bownsea Island and anchored for a late summer’s night. A BBQ had been arranged, and, fortunately, Alison had remembered the various cuts of meat. As planned, Yamma and Galivant were also harboured. Both Stephen and Dan became patient water taxi drivers, ferrying us all to the beach. Our Commodore was ordered to go ahead and light the fire and when we joined him later, we found him steeped in smoke, tackling the burgers and various joints. We were also met by a colourful, tame peacock which seemed to be inspecting us one-by-one as we descended from the dinghies. Louise, Diana, Jo and Roger shared this Robinson Crusoesque atmosphere which was reinforced by the delightful, scampering children: Anya, Zack and Jesse, who introduced us to their excited discoveries such as their ‘secret waterfall’. We watched the sun set again and, romantically, we sailed back to our yachts guided by the light of the moon. The weather continued to be kind the next day. The sailing was less of a chase as we sailed downwind across Christchurch Bay and then beam reached, in F5, up the Needles Channel to anchor by Yamma in Lymington Marina. The few free hours enabled some of us to sleep, shop or stroll around town, stopping in a pub to watch the last of the summer’s passers- by. A farewell was given to Robert as he embarked on his return journey to join Victor’s son’s wedding next day. Ladies were given sufficient time to doll themselves for the evening’s entertainment: drinks on Yamma followed by dinner on land at The Bluebird restaurant. A tasty meal ensued by a night cap on Appaloosa, elaborated with a few card tricks drowned in jokes and tease. Monday, again the British weather did not let us down. We set sail to anchor in Osborne Bay for lunch. The final salads and sandwiches were made and eaten, the final cups of tea and coffee drunk. We tried to sail up Southampton Water but we gave in to using the engine so that we could return, among the Hamble fleet, by 5pm. Appaloosa was spruced while the load of leftover food was divided between us. A happy time had been had on this August Bank Holiday and as we made our fond farewells, in our hearts we all knew that already we were looking forward to our next adventure that The High Seas Sailing Club will offer. Article Susie Gorney; photos Phil Sugarman See the web-site for more photos of this event. . . . → Read More: August Bank Holiday BBQ Sail

Portsmouth Tides