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Old 29-11-2014, 13:01   #1
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UK South Coast in Winter

I sailed 1500 miles in August to get back to my mooring on the Hamble from Finland. A lot of people asked me why in the world I would do that? Considering how much I loved cruising the Baltic, and plan to go back next year.

Well, the short answer is that I have been sailing every weekend since getting back in August, and had a glorious sail today. It was sunny and about 15 degrees with a gentle 10 knot Easterly blowing. I don't have a principle headsail, since my yankee jib was shredded in August, and I haven't received my new carbon sails yet. But I didn't have far to go -- just across the Solent to Cowes, so I sailed under main and staysail alone, nevertheless making 5 and 6 knots at times in the 10 knots of wind.

The day of sunshine was fairly rare for this season -- actually it has rained almost every day for a month. Although in fairness, the whole month of September was sunshine and 20+ degrees -- a bonus month of summer.

But the rain is no big deal -- why God invented Goretex. With central heating to dry the boat out when you get there -- what's the problem. It's incredibly cosy lying at anchor in a hard rain, with the heat going. The only thing missing is a fireplace!

Whereas in Finland, there is already snow on the ground, and soon the sea will freeze.

About 15 December I will take a monthly berth in Cowes Yacht Haven until about the middle of March. When it gets cold, it's nice to be hooked up to shore power, and living aboard, the cost of the berth is recovered in the diesel fuel I am not consuming heating and generating electricity (it's less than $500 a month!). This is the season when I do the most work on the boat, and it's nice to be in a walk-ashore situation, rather than having to get in the dinghy every time you need an odd shaped screw or a tube of Sikaflex.

And when I get my new sails, all the glories of the South Coast are waiting -- a long weekend is enough to go to Weymouth with a stop in Worbarrow Cove, or with more ambition and a bit of S wind, Dartmouth. Or across the Channel to Cherbourg to replenish the wine stores.

So was it worth sailing 1500 miles to get here? Oh yeah . . . . .
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Old 29-11-2014, 23:14   #2
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Re: UK South Coast in Winter

Sounds good to me.
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Old 30-11-2014, 02:15   #3
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Re: UK South Coast in Winter

How long is an average sail to Cherbourg ?
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Old 30-11-2014, 02:18   #4
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Re: UK South Coast in Winter

I love Dartmouth. Salcombe is one of my favourite places as well.

Coops.
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Old 30-11-2014, 04:25   #5
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pirate Re: UK South Coast in Winter

I'll agree with you wholeheartedly DH... I to used to keep my boat in year round and some of my best sails were when everyone else was on the hard..
Coops... Salcombe's great...
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Old 30-11-2014, 04:38   #6
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Re: UK South Coast in Winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by savoir View Post
How long is an average sail to Cherbourg ?
Cherbourg is the easiest of many routes across the Channel from the Solent, because Cherbourg is on the end of the Cotenin Peninsula, sticking out into the Channel towards England. 60 miles from the Needles almost due S.

I've done it in just over 6 hours, on a beam reach in a Westerly gale, flogging the boat harder than I would do now, but a more typical passage time on my boat is 7 to 7 1/2 hours. Then to or from the Needles is another couple of hours depending on the tide. So it's a comfortable day sail, or overnight, typically 9 or 10 hours door to door.

In the winter time, with the very short days at this latitude, I usually prefer to do it overnight. Leave after dinner and get there in the morning.
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Old 30-11-2014, 04:40   #7
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Re: UK South Coast in Winter

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I'll agree with you wholeheartedly DH... I to used to keep my boat in year round and some of my best sails were when everyone else was on the hard..
Coops... Salcombe's great...
Salcombe is gorgeous, but a bit artificial and touristy compared to Dartmouth.

I have a good friend with a house on a hillside overlooking the Salcombe anchorage -- his terrace is a fabulous place to have dinner!

He and his wife once did a cross-Channel with us -- we picked them up in Salcombe and sailed from there straight across to Perros-Guirec in N Brittany -- about 100 miles. Cruised around there for a while, ending up in Morlaix.

God, those are beautiful places, all of them.
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Old 30-11-2014, 04:42   #8
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Re: UK South Coast in Winter

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I love Dartmouth. Salcombe is one of my favourite places as well.

Coops.
The further West you go, the prettier it gets. I adore Falmouth particularly, although I've never gotten that far West in the winter time.
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Old 30-11-2014, 05:47   #9
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pirate Re: UK South Coast in Winter

[QUOTE=Dockhead;1689277]Salcombe is gorgeous, but a bit artificial and touristy compared to Dartmouth.
QUOTE]

Yeah that's true when I think back to the 70's and 80's.. then compare with today but the location/scenery and waters that open up in Spring tides allowing one to sail up the creeks to the little pools and some great pubs.. or even up to Kingsbridge..
Have had some happy days there.. and yes West of the Wight are some beautiful sailing grounds.. equally across the ditch..
Sheeezzz.. I think I'm getting home sick..
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Old 30-11-2014, 05:51   #10
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Re: UK South Coast in Winter

[QUOTE=boatman61;1689301]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Salcombe is gorgeous, but a bit artificial and touristy compared to Dartmouth.
QUOTE]

Yeah that's true when I think back to the 70's and 80's.. then compare with today but the location/scenery and waters that open up in Spring tides allowing one to sail up the creeks to the little pools and some great pubs.. or even up to Kingsbridge..
Have had some happy days there.. and yes West of the Wight are some beautiful sailing grounds.. equally across the ditch..
Sheeezzz.. I think I'm getting home sick..
LOL!

There are not many better places to sail than La Manche, that's for sure. You could spend a whole lifetime exploring it. And, getting back to the original topic -- you can do it year round, too!
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