Sailing my Paradox and country living

Easter Storm


IMG_0008.JPGI’ve  just returned home after the first little cruise of the year. Didn’t go far, just mooching in Poole Harbour  and spent more time sitting at anchor than sailing.

The big event of this cruise was Storm Katie which came through on the Easter Sunday night/Monday morning. Winds were forecast to reach  force 10 at their worst with a recorded gust of 70 mph elsewhere in the Harbour

I spent the worst part of the storm anchored in the shallows in Newton Bay where there were some little marshy islands to windward of me and I lay in little pool surrounded by mud when the tide was low.

Definitely the strongest winds that I have ever experienced in this little boat Although I was anchored in good shelter, the waves came well over the foredeck and spray over the deckhouse.  I did worry about the anchor rode chafing through where it exits the boat at the bow and stuck my head and torso out through the hatch from time to time to move the anchor rope a little to make sure that a different part was exposed to chafe.

I got cold and wet with the spray while doing this and had to wedge myself inside to avoid being chucked about by the motion. No sleep that night but made up for it later after the weather had calmed down a bit.


I’d hoped to go for a reasonably long trip during the 10 days that I had available but the weather seemed very unsettled for this period so had to be content with staying in sheltered water


Next day the wind was a lot less although too strong for pleasant sailing. This was breakfast and there was nothing wrong with my appetite. I remained at anchor for another day while it was blowing a little too hard for my taste,

IMG_0012.JPG.had this gravel spit just to the north of me. Would have liked very much to have beached the boat there and go for a walk, but thought the surf would be too much  for safe beaching.



Another view of my bolt hole with the tide in and after the weather had improved. The tiny islands were directly to windward of me during the storm and gave valued shelter.



Did get safely ashore for a stroll the next day. This is the Arne peninsular. Very limited walking A few hundred yards of gravel beach then an area too boggy for walking.


Very few boats out sailing this then. Easter was early this year and the other boaters seem to have little appetite for strong winds and cool temperatures.


On one of the better days I had a trip around the northern part of the Harbour. I’m dismayed that very few of the old terraced rows of houses remain now in the Baiter area.



Came across this sad casualty near Lilliput. A victim of the recent storm? It’s resting on the bottom which shows just how shallow a lot of the Harbour is.


Came across this big ketch anchored off Brownsea. Looks to be freshly painted or, possibly a new build. I don’t like the high bulwarks personally


Another nicely painted vessel. Good for moving small vehicles on and off the Island.


A shot of the southern .shore of Brownsea Island taken on one pf the few calm days.


That’s it. Ten days afloat and good sailing weather for three or four of them. Never mind, summer’s coming.



4 thoughts on “Easter Storm

  1. Hi Jim – just joined your blog so your first 2016 post in Poole Harbour has just landed. Thanks for the blog – very interesting.
    I think the big ketch is Moonfleet which has recently started running sailing trips out of Swanage Bay. She’s lovely to see under full sail but usually sits out any heavy weather in the lee of Brownsea Island.
    Keep the posts coming and maybe catch you at Ridge sometime from where I sail a Drascombe Drifter.


  2. Thanks for your kind words and info about Moonfleet. That the boat is used to take the public on sailing trips accounts for the high bulwarks


  3. Good to see you afloat so early.


    • Thanks for the comment Bill. Met up with Glen Maxwell and his wife last night -must do a blog update about that meeting – and that your blog is in stasis was sadly noted and is much missed.


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