Down to Poole for the Bank holiday. I planned to stay for two nights, but cut it short at one,as the wind was building on Monday and the Tuesday forecast was not great. Managed to get in about twenty miles of sailing and quite a bit of walking. It is a beautiful time of year. Sunday I sailed out into the open sea, towards as Old Harry Rocks. Turned and came back in as the wind was strong and cold from the north. Anchored off Studland and went for a walk over the heath.
The Little Sea Lakes in the heart of the peninsula are beautiful. Dark blue, cold and very boggy underfoot. I have swum in them before, but still too cold for me at this time of year.
Sailing back to look for a night time anchorage, I spotted a good looking yacht, and then noticed it was a Baycruiser 23, my overgrown descendent. No 86 I think, but I didn’t catch the name. It was crammed full of people who waved as they passed. I wondered if it was a maiden voyage. Sailed to Shipstal, but it was very exposed to the north wind, so returned to Brownsea Island, where I anchored for the night. Amused myself watching a couple of kayakers who were camping on the island and having what my daughter would describe as
“a domestic”. The chap eventually paddled away on his own and didn’t come back until after sunset. Next day they paddled away separately. All not going well. I had a good walk over Brownsea Island, which is a lovely place, but pretty busy on a Bank Holiday. Had a cream tea at the National Trust cafe and watched the yachts struggling in the wind. It is a perfect location looking straight over the harbour mouth. Later I saw a trimaran motoring home, with its mast down and sails all over the deck. Must have been a nasty incident.
I motored back to the marina, to find someone else on my mooring. After some frantic activity I managed to get some fenders out and put into the pontoon. The marina manager said he would go out and move the offending boat. He came back dumbfounded, saying it had been padlocked on to the mooring chain. He told me to pick up another spare mooring and he would sort it out, with a hacksaw if necessary. I was just about to pick up the buoy when my engine stalled. Quick yank on the starter cord, which promptly snapped, leaving me drifting powerless in amongst all of the moored. boats. It was clearly one of those days. I managed to hook another boat with my boat hook and put a rope on it. Fortunately, the marina staff were watching me, and when I waved my arms they quickly motored out and hep to tow me to the mooring. I’ve found an engineer who will go out and replace the cord next week.All in all, very fortunate really. If the cord had snapped when I was the far side of the harbour, I would have had a serious job getting back. These things happen. Plain sailing never does.