Yachts, and particularly their engines, do not enjoy being left alone during the winter months. I have never taken my yachts out of the water, winterising them and putting them on the hard; for me, the occasional foray during the off season can be both enjoyable and good for the boat and its systems. I am also happier that a yacht is sitting in a bath of tepid salt water than fully exposed to the air and frost. Winterising – and in particular the removal of soft furnishings – can be a lengthy task. Instead, I run a dehumidifier and oil filled heater from November to April, and Spellbinder remains warm and dry, and in commission.
With these thoughts in mind, an opportunity came up for a couple of days of sailing locally this week. The weather was cold but clear, with enough wind to sail well. With Julian as crew, we left Gosport and headed to Cowes, then over to Lymington for the night. There are major redevelopments taking place on the Town Quay, which had been our planned destination – they are creating many more walk ashore pontoons. We therefore berthed in Lymington Marina. After a good night in the Town, the next morning we sailed up to and into the Beaulieu River, picking up a buoy off Bucklers Hard for lunch and then sailing out of the river and back to Gosport. It was a good couple of days, and Spellbinder seems fine, although the wind speed indicator is not working – a job to add to the list.
The photos tell the story:
Sailing out into the Solent – cold and clear conditions, with a light sailing breeze
Spellbinder alone at the RYS Haven
Julian was last on Spellbinder in the Azores. A bit colder here…
Motoring into Lymington
Sailing in over the bar and into the entrance of the Beaulieu River. We tacked out too, which was enjoyable
Sailing past the famous Gypsy Moth IV, moored in the Beaulieu River
A peaceful lunchtime spot near Buckler’s Hard
The joys of off-season sailing – no-one else around, except the odd sail training yacht