Sailing my Paradox and country living


Not the best of summers

Back now from a 14 day sailing trip in my Paradox, during which I had very mixed weather, including a few days of gales and near gales, when I stayed in harbour sheltering.

I launched into Poole harbour at the boatyard on the River Frome on Monday morning to sail through the harbour and  spend the first night riding to a buoy  in Studland bay.

I ran into  my friend Tim McCloy of China Blue there – beech combing as usual – – one of the few people I know who can spend a couple of hours wedged in the forward half of  the little cabin of a Paradox…

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China Blue

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Studland bay

The next morning ,as forecast,  a rollicking force 5 westerly turned up, which whizzed me to Southamton Water in no time.

I saw this beauty while on the way. She has so much sail up although the wind was strong.

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Conditions were lively and I soon arrived at Calshot and then beat into  Power Station Creek to anchor there and find some shelter from the wind and seas. I had intended to go into Ashlett Creek to meet up with some internet sailing acquaintances on the evening of the 23 July and anticipated that I would spend 2 days on the trip from Studland with an overnight stop part way. But with the fresh wind from astern I’d covered the entire distance in a few hours  instead of two  days…

So anchored in Power Station Creek for a couple of nights. Being so lazy  I can always use some extra resting time…..

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Power Station creek at low tide. Note that I’d occidentally let go the anchor very near some old discarded steel hawser. The green plastic bottle is my anchor buoy… just in case the anchor gets caught up in something. There is so much junk on the sea bed..

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Had some interesting traffic parade past my little bolt hole.

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Eventually moved the short distance to Ashlett Creek where I had a very interesting evening. I met Richard Brooksby from Tammy Norie there, who demonstrated his hinged mast – very ingenious

Read about it on :


Next day the bad weather started. It rained and blew with mist in .there too, just about all day. Spent the day staying put on the pontoon at Ashlett.   In the early evening the rain eased off for an hour and I took a walk up the hill to the village to top up the fresh food stocks.

On Friday the wind was still a fresh north westerly but with better visibility, so set off for the Newtown River on the Isle of Wight. I didn’t know it then,  but was to be stuck there for a few days while the weather played its tricks.

The next few days were either with  gale force or near gale winds, which pinned me down  Sunday and Monday with gusts of over 40 mph, moderating to 30 mph on Tuesday. On Wednesday the wind was ‘only’  a F5 or 6 but right on the nose for a return to the Poole area.  It was to be Thursday before there was a favourable slant which allowed westward progress.

On the Sunday night..the Met office warned of 50 mph gusts to come so I laid out my big 15kg anchor at a 90 degree angle to the other one, as I was quite exposed in Clamerkin Lake when the tide is in.

This shows the anchorage before the wind really got up and before laying out the bigger anchor.. The angle of the anchor rode show how much she was swinging about.  Much steadier after I’d laid out the second anchor

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Noted this little Junk – is it a Corribee ? after the gale. Only half of the junk sail set due to the strong wind,  but tacked out of the harbour with aplomb, going about with alacrity every few seconds.

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When the wind moderated a little I moved to the Western Arm of the river estuary where I could get more shelter and get ashore for walks more easily. Although the weather was still wet and chilly.

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Glad of a little warmth

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Plenty of fuel in stock.mark resized_july 2015 035

Had a visit from a family of swans when the weather improved..mark resized_july 2015 045mark resized_july 2015 047

Although there were still some showers.mark resized_july 2015 048

On the Thursday I set off hopefully and with the wind in the NNW about F4/5 and some sunshine made an easy passage back to Poole Harbour.

On my way to Poole.with some sunshine.

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Brands Bay, Poole a nice placid anchorage for the night

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By then the weather was improved, so decided to spend a few days sailing around Poole Harbour.

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This raft is for taking equipment to a from the oil drilling works on Furzy Island.

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Low water at Shipstal Point. Lots of mud.

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That’s all. Returned home on the next day.

Perhaps there’ll be time for another microcruise before the winter sets in.. We’ll see..