On a beautiful sunny day 10 of us started off from Lake Pier, going straight across to the Shell Café with a reach. The wind was a westerly of about 10 mph giving speeds of around 20 mph. Mike Brace had to turn back as he had forgotten his harness, so easily done in the excitement of the Seavets touring ; but he and Stephen who had waited for him quickly caught us up at the Café, in time for coffee which they put on especially for us as they were theoretically closed for refurbishment.
Then we had to make our way along the narrow channels to Shipstall Point on the Arne Peninsular where we were to have our lunch. We passed an active Sea Scout camp on Brownsea Island. They had arrived there by gaff-rigged boats of unknown age. As we passed behind Round and Long Islands we could see fishing boats trawling round and round – what were they fishing for in that mud? On the beach at Shipstall Point we talked about sailing in Switzerland and how the Arne Peninsular was used during the war as a fake Poole harbour to attract the bombers.
Then back to the Lake Pier to pick up Ruth Tracy and David Montgomery for the next leg around Gigger's Island hopefully at the highest tide. Although we quickly beat upwind to the island; maybe we were too late or the tide was not neap as the water was very shallow. We attempted to go anti-clockwise up the channel where the tourist boat was just leaving and although we reached the furthest point behind the island, those of us who had long skegs found it very difficult to run down past the swans who were happily standing whilst eating something in the mud – was it the same as the fishermen above?. Anyway by standing on the bows with the mast right forward it was just possible to sail with the skeg clicking in that something in the mud. As soon as we got passed the swans the trip became fabulous, with long broad reaches down small waves with a planing wind
So we had a great long distance, 21.6 miles, cruise in perfect wind. Our thanks to Richard for organizing and to John for the computer work on tides.