Sailing my Paradox and country living

Poole to the Dart and back. Part 3. back in Poole

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Dried out  at Rusty Bow Point. The rusty remains of an old steel fishing boat on the beach. The vacuum cleaner tube alongside the mast is the end of my flue pipe for the little charcoal stove. It un-ships for when sailing.

Rusty Bow Point is a favourite spot for me to anchor when in Poole harbour . Gives good shelter from southerly, southeast and southwest winds ,  few other boats  there,  firm sand to walk on makes getting ashore for a stroll easy.

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Rusty Bow beach again and the heathland beyond which has some nice walks with few people.

Later, when I returned from my walk I moved only a few yards to an empty mooring where I hoped to be able to stay for another day,. The weather forecast for the following day was for strong winds so expected to have a non sailing day. I usually prefer to anchor but as I lacked a convenient  anchor, I thought that a mooring would be better for me

resized_april 2014 cruise 190 (63)Next day the wind was pretty strong and there were some waves even in the sheltered cove. Then a fishing boat appeared  – who asked for his mooring back, so I had to shift to the next one along the trot. The next one was downwind so drifted down to it without any sail up but still with more than enough speed for steerage and managed to grab the mooring while passing!.

resized_april 2014 cruise 190 (61)The fishing boat who wanted his mooring back.

During that evening we had some free entertainment. One of those surf boards  with a parachute thingresized_april 2014 cruise 190 (71) resized_april 2014 cruise 190 (72) resized_april 2014 cruise 190 (75) appeared – (not sure what the proper name for them is) . The ‘pilot ‘ got up to a good speed, must have broken the harbour speed limit many times over and put on a spectacular performance whizzing up and down nearby. I noticed that the wind was dropping slightly as the evening progressed and the para man  had  difficulty going downwind , presumably due to his apparent wind diminishing and his ‘chute nearly collapsed into the sea few times.  Going upwind he did a lot better – not at all like my boat!

Before dark, with the wind dropping more, he gave up, zoomed onto the beach, sat on the sand packing his parachute away into a back pack and then, 5 minutes later walked off.    Brilliant   If I was 50 years younger, I’d have a go with one of those!

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Next day did some sailing around in the harbour . a perfect breeze for a change.

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Spent the night here with just my little Danforth to hold me.

That  next day moved up to spend the night anchored in the River Piddle to be close to the boatyard where I was to load my boat back onto her trailer ready to return home the next morning

Was anchored in the Piddle,  just checking the fuel level in the little Honda engine to ensure that there was enough there for use in the morning to get to the boatyard,  when I had another mishap. As I unscrewed the fuel cap it escaped from its pathetic little plastic clip which is meant to prevent its loss , slipped from my grip and fell into the shallow water..

I couldn’t tolerate another loss this trip as well as the disaster with the lost anchor, so resolved to recover this bit of plastic. I happen to know that a replacement Honda filler cap is an exorbitant 40 quid or so, outrageous for a plastic moulding which must only cost pence to make at the factory.  I really hate to be ripped off.

So, I immediately marked the spot near to where I thought it dropped by sticking a boathook through the shallow water into the mud below. As the tide was by then dropping I used the sculling yulah to try and keep the boat over the exact spot so that I could recover the cap as we dried out.

Unfortunately the water here is opaque due to the mud and sediment and I couldn’t see the filler cap until the water had left us completely when it was of course impossible to move the boat at all. It was  in fact about 10 feet astern of where we lay so my scheme didn’t work as I’d hoped.

Very annoying.   My boathook wouldn’t be long enough to reach and if I tried with the boat hook joined  to the the sculling oar with sticky tape it was likely that I’d clumsily push the filler cap  into the mud so that it would never be seen again.  I thought that I might be able to walk through the thick oozy mud to get it but after testing the mud with my oar decided that there was no way that this would be possible.

The photos below show the situation then.

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You can see where I pushed the oar in to test how firm the mud is. Wouldn’t fancy walking on that.

The only action left for me to take was to wait until daylight the next morning when the tide would float me again and try and position the boat exactly  alongside my precious filler cap  So I was up at first light to try doing that. As the water became deep enough to lift me off – about 9 inches  I lost sight of my objective due to the mud and sediment in the water but moved the boat to exactly where I thought was the best place and reached over the side to grope in the muddy water for my quarry. After 3 or 4 goes I struck lucky and my fingers found the filler cap and grabbed hold of it before it was accidentally pushed into the mud.. Hooray.

And that’s all there is tell about this little cruise. Had mixed fortune, with some really good sailing over the 13 days that I was away. The episode with the lost anchor was a dismal loss and the performance with the Honda filler cap caused much anxiety.

Just a couple more pics of the River Piddle. One showing my friend the seal  who’s always around when I visit there.

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