Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Solent sailing

On Sunday night we were joined by D and John so we are adequately crewed if slightly cramped aboard. We spent the night on Haslar marina next to a man in a motor boat who was amazed that Bonita had been in the family so long. He changes boats every 2 or 3 years which must involve making lots of difficult decisions of a type which which don't trouble us.
Cowes' new offshore breakwater taking shape

We had a gentle day sailing in the Solent and anchored in Osbourne bay for a swim.We then went to Cowes to sample the nightlife. 

The first picture shows the new breakwater being constructed at Cowes across the entrance to the river Medina. Cowes has always been an exposed, uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous place to leave a boat in a strong Northerly wind so the extra protection will be welcome. Cowes is totally dependent on yachting and with the huge numbers of people who come to enjoy Cowes week in early August.

However all such marine works can cause unexpected erosion and/or siltation of the surrounding waters so it is to be hoped that it all works out as planned. The fill for lower part of the breakwater was placed by dredgers last summer and now, after time has been allowed for settlement, they are placing the upper rock armour layers. 


Gipsy Moth IV looking smart
The second picture shows Gipsy Moth IV, in which Sir Francis Chichester, at the age of 65, sailed around the world single-handed in 1966-7 with only one stop. He was the first person to achieve this feat. For years Gipsy Moth IV was on display ashore at Greenwich next to the Cutty Sark. There she began to look tired, neglected and insignificant besides her much larger neighbour. It is good that she has now been restored to full sailing condition and she looks very well cared for. Wooden boats are much better preserved when kept afloat and in service although it is sadly too late for the Cutty Sark.