We had been delayed a day as the weather hadn’t been great. It may have been better to wait an extra day or two with hindsight. We wanted to get to Poole in daylight to make getting into the harbour and getting moored up easier so we set our alarms for 3.30am. It was a quiet start with both the harbour and weather being silent in the dark. We made our way slowly out into the channel and by day break the wind had started to pick up. Soon we were making good progress although the swell was making us roll.
Not the best channel crossing weather
We continued to make good progress, we were motor sailing at first and I did try turning off the engine when the wind built but every time I got the engine off it was like the wind knew and dropped suddenly, after about the fourth time I left the engine on just to try and keep our speed up. We passed the south side of the large ships heading for the start of the TSS with only a slight course change and crossed the south-west going traffic without any course change at all. There were quite a few other yachts heading across at the same time and it was nice (and a complete difference) to me and Pete’s channel crossing two years ago.
The cliffs at Studland were a welcome sight.
The rolling swell had taken it’s toll and my Dad though and he didn’t feel too well. I was hoping that the swell would decrease as we got closer to the English coast but the wind built and our speed increased, it was going to be a fast crossing but not very comfortable one. The swell did drop a little but the wind had built to around 16 knots by the time we passed the first marker for Poole harbour. Once we were close to the chain ferry we dropped the sails and motored the rest of the way and finally came around the entrance to Poole Quay Boat Haven and moored into our assigned berth. It had only taken us 14 hours, beating my trip over with Pete by 3 hours and covering an extra 3 miles.
We really liked Poole Quay Boat Haven, it was well maintained and right next to a Tesco Express and several pubs and restaurants. We also had a wander to the quay opposite the Sunseeker factory and looked at some of the new boats that had just been put in the water. My Dad headed home the next day on the coach and I made my way to Portsmouth and to WicorMarine where I would leave the boat initially whilst I decided where I would be keeping her for good.
Poole Quay Boat Haven and the Sunseeker factory