Rob & Phil returned to Torquay on Saturday 10th June by train. Rafiki was in good health, although had suffered some chafing to one of the mooring lines during the gales of the previous couple of days.
We set out early on Sunday morning for Poole harbour, expecting a long sail into the wind. Our expectations were well met and we bashed our way upwind under engine and main to avoid tacking too much and turning a rather soggy 14 hours into a painful 20 hour slog. We managed to see Portland Bill through the murk and asked the Coastguard to verify that our AIS signal was being received correctly and also that we were visible on radar. Both were fine, which was re-assuring and it was nice to give the Coastguard something to do on a rather dreary day. We slowed down from 8kts over the ground to around 4-5 off Anvil Point due to the tide, but after refreshing ourselves with emergency rations of Heinz tomato soup we turned the corner to head up to Poole. We arrived about 21.30 and nicked someone’s vacant mooring for the night.
Monday was spent at the Poole Quay Boat Haven marina meeting Andy from Crusader Sails to get advice on our different sails. Andy had lots of helpful hints and Rob will take the sails to their loft in Poole later in the week to have them looked over properly. Phil and Rob vowed not to leave the marina if it did not stop raining… and so we were there all night…
Tuesday, we left at 07.00 for Southsea and had a rather chilly, but great, sail with an un-seasonal northerly wind. We shot up the Solent at 8-9kts under full mainsail and staysail, although the staysail was not setting correctly due to a rather floppy inner forestay. We risked the shorter route through the No Man’s Land fort submarine barrier, getting down to 3.7m depth of water, but managed not to bump anything and successfully docked in Southsea Marina in the afternoon. The sun was almost shining and so we even managed to take the sails off relatively dry!