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Happenings

Most recent first. Just like Face-ache!

 

08.10.17 - 12.10.17 ANOTHER SOLENT CRUISE BECAUSE THE WEATHER LOOKED GOOD!

The weather forecast was looking good so Dick Pizey suggested another jaunt round the Solent with a primary objective of an end of season supper in a Chinese Restaurant in Gosport. Such things events hang upon!

A Sunday afternoon gathering at Ashlett for the early birds & an evening in The Jolly Sailor for Tony & I, joined later by Ian Cowie.

 

On Monday, we all set off for Yarmouth:

Dick Pizey

Daislebee

Shrimper

Me

Bolitho

Drifter 22

Tony Wood

Pellew

Drifter 22

Nick Payne

Isabella

Drifter 22

Ian Cowie

Moksha

Coaster

Not my finest day. I just couldn't get Bolitho to perform as she usually does. I was slow & couldn't point. I had to give ground to keep clear of the IOW ferry, then again to stay away from an incoming container ship & then do the same again when a ship came up the Western Solent heading for Southampton. My tactics all went haywire &, to put the cherry on the cake, at the entrance to Yarmouth Harbour I had to motor hard against the very strong ebb tide to get out from under the bows of the Lymington Ferry as she approached Yarmouth! I was pleased to tie up alongside but, even then, the HM came & asked me to move!

We were joined there by:

Marcus Niner

Sundance

Drifter

Andy Peter

Blue Peter

Coaster

A pub meal provided some solace.

 

The plan had been to go East & up to Newport for our second night but the forecast for Wednesday looked pretty bad so we decided to head straight for Haslar Marina in Gosport. Nick & Andy departed for home ports & the rest of us had a good sail with following wind & tide to Portsmouth. We entered Portsmouth against the ebb with very strong swirling currents in the small boat channel & then had some interesting cross-currents getting onto pontoons in the Marina.

Drascombe Quirky Page Mary Mouse 2

 

 

 

 

 

The Marina has a lighthouse, Mary Mouse 2, which houses showers & toilets on the lower deck but a very comfortable restaurant on the upper deck where we had a very good meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By late evening, the threatened bad weather came hustling in with very strong winds. We were glad of our earlier decision & resolved to stay tucked up in the Marina for Wednesday.

It remained wild on Wednesday but a few decided to brave the Gosport Ferry(!) for a look around part of the Historic Dockyard.

The evening was scheduled for our Chinese Meal so, after some cockpit cocktails when we were joined by Brad Sharon & Ali, we reconvened in the local Weatherspoons (as we do) before moving off to the Chinese for a very good, reasonably priced buffet-style meal. It was a restaurant that Tony had frequented many years ago - but they didn't remember him & welcomed us!

We returned to Weatherspoons to finish the evening - & so to bed.

 

Thursday's tides dictated a lunch-time start for our trip back to Ashlett. With the tide but with the wind off the Port bow, we had a long beat back but it was an enjoyable sail in improving weather. Having cleared Hill Head & with the wind & weather good, I made an extra superfluous tack out into the Solent, setting up a good close hauled run back into Ashlett Bay. Crossing Southampton Water, a gap opened up between the IOW Ferry heading North & a large container ship heading out  A decent sail to end the season.

 

 

21.09.17 - 24.09.17 A SHORT SOLENT CRUISE, KNOWN AS 'THE OCTOBER 1ST CRUISE'.

This is known as the 'October the First' Rally/Cruise because the first time we held it in 1994 it was, in fact, on 1st October & it has been an annual event ever since.

Drascombe Quirky Page OctFirst2017 Cook in

 

 

In what is fast becoming our 'standard template', a group of us arrived at the Ashlett Sailing Club on Thursday in time to get launched & prepared, followed by a cook-in in the Clubhouse. More Gin & Tonic, more steaks, more wine!

Drascombe Quirky Page Cook in 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next day, the full fleet assembled:

Me

Bolitho

Drifter 22

Jim Hopwood

Hippo

Gig

Ian Cowie

Moksha

Coaster

Peter Tiplady

Siesta

Drifter

Tony Wood

Pellew

Drifter 22

Dick Pizey

Daislebee

Shrimper

Andy & Anne Cooper

Gadfly

Coaster

Nick Payne

 Isabella

Drifter 22

Marcus Niner

Sundance

Drifter

Andy Peter

Blue Peter

Coaster

Drascombe Quirky Page Newtown rafts

and we set sail for Newtown Creek. It was a fairly wild sail there in a stiff breeze on the nose but we spent a quiet night riding to anchors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fine morning greeted us. After a leisurely Drascombe Quirky Page Newportbreakfast, we made our way Eastward, through Cowes & up the Medina to Newport, another of our traditional stops on 'October the First', where we were joined by:

Robin & Kim Stephens

 Rainbow Aileen

Longboat

Pauline Wain & Barry Fudge

   Moonstone

LoCr

This was Robin & Kim's first Drascombe Rally, sleeping under a tent on their open Longboat, something quite a few of us have done at some time - but not for quite a while!

 

Drascombe Quirky Page Weatherspoons dinner

 

 

We usually go to the Bargemans Rest for the evening (& a few actually did). I'm afraid the rest of us, after a few cockpit drinks, decided that eating at Weatherspoons Church was easier than cooking on board, lingered longer there & then found ourselves in The Wheatsheaf instead of The Bargemans!

Drascombe Quirky Page Weatherspoons breakfast

 

Funnily enough, we found ourselves back at Weatherspoon's Church for breakfast...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drascombe Quirky Page Lo Stephens

 

 

A leisurely drift down the Medina was the prelude to an excellent sail back to Ashlett, concluding another good event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once in Ashlett, recovery was made very easy as Tony was there with his recovery vehicle: an early Freelander diesel van fitted with a front tow hitch & a man-sized electric winch! Robin took a video of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzl4HkA3iMQ .

 

 

 

01.09.17 - 05.09.17 BOURNEMOUTH AIRSHOW CRUISE

Jim Hopwood suggested a short cruise down to Poole, to be crossing Poole Bay on Saturday afternoon, coinciding with the Bournemouth Air Show, & again on Sunday for the same reason.

Drascombe Quirky Page Hippo clearing Calshot

 

 

 

We set off from Ashlett on Friday morning at 09.00 (Jim in his Gig, Hippo, & me in Bolitho) & had a good sail down to Keyhaven.

 

 

 

 

 

Drascombe Quirky Page Keyhaven

 

 

 

 

Arriving at Keyhaven Harbour too early to get up to the Quay, we anchored just off the beach inside & had a walk around the outside of Hurst Castle. It was nice enough for ice-creams but Henry VIII wasn't selling any that day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We tied up at the Quay later to join our friends, Barry & Pauline, for a BBQ in their garden; always a pleasurable event.

On Saturday, we left Keyhaven in excellent weather. I had a good sail across Poole Bay until the wind died away & I had to motor to get into position about a mile off Bournemouth beach, just in time for the opening Red Arrows display. Always spectacular, especially this time being right underneath them for some manoeuvres. At one point, I was laying flat out on my side-deck looking straight up at them! Unfortunately, a combination of rubbish photographer in a rolling boat with a very fast moving subject left me with no pictures worth a salt.

Drascombe Quirky Page Red Arrows 1

Drascombe Quirky Page Red Arrows 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Red Arrows, the rest of the Show was fairly tame & rather spread out time-wise so we set off for Studland. On the way, we were over-flown by a few interesting planes; among them a B-17 bomber accompanied by a Bristol Blenheim.

We spent a convivial evening rafted up in the corner of Studland Bay but it was fairly bumpy with some curious tidal surges & small waves in very shallow water.

The forecast for Sunday was pretty horrible & turned out to be extremely accurate! It was blowing F6, gusting F7. So we stayed put at anchor. It was raining when I woke up at 07.00 & didnt stop until 22.30! It rained all day, the only thing that varied was the intensity! The Air Show was cancelled.

Monday was much improved & we had a very good sail under jib, mizzen & reefed main in a stiff following wind heading East through Hurst Narrows to spend a quiet night in Newtown Creek.

Tuesday's wind was still fairly stiff but a very comfortable jib & mizzen run took us back into Ashlett Creek in the early afternoon.

 

2017 10.08.17 - 18.08.17 ASHLETT REGATTA & POOLE CRUISE

An early assembly & cook-in at the Ashlett Sailing Club on Thursday evening followed by a day of preparation for the Regatta on the Saturday.

Drascombe Quirky Page Dressed Overall

 

 

 

 

 

The Regatta is always a good gathering for Drascombes & the boats, all dressed overall, make a grand sight on the pontoon.

Drascombe Quirky Page. Dressed overall at Ashlett Regatta

Some also took part in the Pursuit Race, which was good fun.

Skipper

Boat Name

Type

Me 

Bolitho

Drifter 22

Tony Wood

Pellew

Drifter 22

Nick Payne

Isabella

Drifter 22

Robin Carter

Moonfleet

Shrimper

Ian Cowie

Moksha

Coaster

Marcus Niner

Sundance

Drifter

Jim Hopwood

Hippo

Gig

Stayed in the Solent or returned to home port

Peter Tiplady

Siesta

Drifter

David & Pat Robinson

Sapphire

Whizzer

Adrian Kneller

Torridon

Coaster

Richard Goldsmith

Egret

Coaster

Pauline Wain

Moonstone

LoCr

Chris Calvert

Calidris

Coaster

Andy Peter

Blue Peter

Coaster

The ebb tide on Sunday took us down to YarmouthDrascombe Quirky Page Fresh Mackerel.

 

 

On Monday, some decided to stay & cruise the Solent while the rest of the Fleet set sail for Studland Bay where we spent a calm night. The sail across was in a gentle but consistent Southerly. The Mackerel were in good spirits & a number were consumed fresh once we dropped anchor (both fish & spirits!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day we moved into our favourite anchorage at the end of Blood Alley just off Brownsea Island but the wind was too strong to be comfortable so some of us moved off to Shipstall Point & a calm, comfortable night & others went up to Wareham & dived into the reeds in the River Frome, just short of the town.

On my way round to Poole Yacht Haven, where we were to spend the next night, I ran aground on one of Poole's many shallow banks. It was not long after low tide so after an hour & a half & an early lunch, I was soon underway again.

Poole Yacht Haven is a thoroughly miserable place to be fleeced by but at least it is close to the quay & consolation in Weatherspoons.

Thursday was a long run home to Ashlett, crossing Poole Bay running before a strong wind in a heavy, sometimes confused, swell. A few of us stopped for a recovery break just outside Newtown Creek before a splendid sail back to Ashlett.

Drascombe Quirky Page Moksha

 

Drascombe Quirky Page Isabella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 02.07.17 - 11.07.17 DRASCOMBE GOLDEN JUBILEE

This grand event was held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) from 06.07.17 to 09.07.17 but a small fleet sailed out of Ashlett Creek on Monday 03.07.17, collecting a couple of others on the way there.

Tony Wood         Drifter 22          Pellew

Me                     Drifter 22          Bolitho

Nick Payne         Drifter 22          Isabella 

Peter Tiplady      Drifter               Siesta  

Ian Cowie          Coaster             Moksha

We collected Marcus Niner, Drifter, Sunrise along the way

After a good sail, we spent the first night in Yarmouth Marina, giving us a good jumping off point to clear Hurst Narrows the next morning.

There have been many great photos & posts about the event but one of my memorable moments did not get snapped. As I was clearing the overfalls at Hurst Narrows, I discovered some unexpected breeze & hoisted my sails to take advantage of it.Whilst I was doing that a Dolphin appeared & frolicked around Bolitho to wish me Godspeed. It raised my spirits. Yes, I did speak to him/her & yes, I did have a great sail across Poole Bay to spend a convivial night afloat in Studland.

Dick Pizey, Shrimper, Daislebee, left Ashlett at 21.00 Monday & motored to Studland in one leg to join us, arriving around 02.00 Tuesday - so he told us - we were all fast asleep by then!

The third leg of the trip was not so enlightening! We set off early for Portland ahead of a forecast of light/no wind &  the knowledge that the Lulworth Range was firing & we would have to make a significant detour offshore. Range control asked us to go out 6 miles. When we were nearly out that far, they changed it to 9 miles!

The really annoying thing was that two other non-Drascombe boats simply ignored the instructions & went straight across. We were well to the West of the range before we heard so much as a pop-gun being fired & standing well into Weymouth Bay before any heavy firings were heard. The result was an unsatisfying 28 mile motorsail or just motoring but we cheered up once we arrived at the WPNSA, where we were made very welcome.

 

Thursday was a relaxing day for some while the remainder of the 58 boats booked into the event by road arrived, were launched & berthed. A Skipper's Supper that evening gave the chance to meet all the people, some old friends, some new acquaintances.

Off to Lulworth Cove

Friday was a fleet sail in company to Lulworth Cove with Grand-daughter Hannah, sometime Helm, sometime Admiral! After na fine start, fitfull winds from astern made for stately progress with a lot of goose-winging but the occasional manoeuvre onto a beam reach livened up proceedings. We got 37 of the fleet into Lulworth Cove for a brief lunch stopover. When we got back out the wind had picked up quite briskly but was dead on the nose, leading to lots of punchy motoring. I didn't have any choice as my yard snapped before I had the chance to sail. Mea culpa: poor maintenance on my part! See below for further details.

 

On the way to Lulworth

Friday night, we had a group fish supper in The Cove pub, some of us got home via the Marina Bar, The Boat That Rocks, followed by the cockpit of Siobhan, Brad's Longboat Cruiser. Under my duvet in Bolitho at 02.30 Saturday!

Race Director

Saturday was Race Day. We set up a 3 mile course in the inner harbour just outside the Centre/Marina. the Race was quickly renamed a Parade of Sail Around a Prescribed Course when the Harbour Master asked about Permits, Risk Assesments & Fees! I was Race Director, sorting out simple handicaps & using Bolitho as the Committee/Satrt Line boat. It was a hot & light, fickle winded day. The Parade was won by Dominic Jarman in His Coaster Samphire after a range of performances ranging for spirited to dispiriting; but it was only for fun!

 

 

 

 

 

Free sailing followed in the afternoon, though not for me. CBL brought me down some repair materials & I was able to splint my yard for the journey home.

Katherine Mary at Portland

Later, we had another Parade of Sail in the centre entrance & bay, led by Katherine Mary, the first ever Drascombe Lugger built (naturally) 50 years ago followed by the latest Longboat, finished only a couple of weeks before & named by Princess Anne at a ceremony at QM Reservoir, Middx. on 29 June. Named Zingaroo, she is for the Sailability Group based there (the first in the Country). The rest of us milled & jilled, dressed overall & armed with foghorns. I came up behind Alex Haig, rowing his Deben, & gave him 5 blasts but I don't think his knowledge of the Collision Regs ran to interpreting that!

Stewart in Parade of Sail

 

Saturday Night was the Grand Rally Supper, excellently organised by Sharon & superb catering by the Centre.

 

On Sunday, We had a brief Drumhead Service on the hard taken By Howard Worsley & his wife Ruth, Bishop of Taunton. Then the rest of the day was a bit of free sailing but mainly hauling out & farewells.

The Ashlett Fleet set off at 16.00 for a long motor sail back to Studland.

 

On Monday, we set off early again (governed by the constraints of Hurst Narrows). It was mororing to Hengistbury Head but then a good breeze got up for a cracking second half of the trip. We aimed to overnight in Newtown Creek but the wind continued to rise & there was no shelter to be had so we used the last half hour of the flood tide to scoot quickly along to Shephards Wharf in Cowes. That, inevitably, led to a last Rally Supper in the Duke of York, a favourite of ours.

 

We had good, often very hot weather throughout the event but Monday night & early morning we had a bit of rain. The wind also got up & our last sail of the event, back to Ashlett, was under reefed main, jib & mizzen in 16, gusting 20 kts SW, on a full flood tide, achieving clearing the Cowes Breakwater to heaving to in the Ashlett Creek Channel in 40 minutes. Always exciting including a bit of surfing. A great end to the event.

We had only just got back into the Creek when it started raining. We soon had the boats out & back into the compound in time for tea & cake in the Clubhouse. We had an ad-hoc supper in the Clubhouse before dispersing.

 

A great 9 days sailing with a fantastic core event.

 

 

2017 07.07.17 MEA CULPA! GEAR FAILURE DUE TO NEGLIGENCE!

You should always follow my advice on Drascombe matters. I give very good advice on Drascombes from a wealth of experience.

What a pity I didn't follow my own advice!!

I am always preaching preventative maintenance. A stitch in time & other such euphamisms. Failed to follow it!!

Drifter 22 through mast bridle tensioner

Back in 2010/11, I fitted a twin halyard system to my mainsail incorporating a wire bridle down the face of the yard. I tensioned it by leading it through an oblique hole in the yard to a swaged stud & bracket on the aft face. I silicon sealed the entry & exit points through the yard to prevent water ingress.

Over the years, I have retensioned the bridle or removed & replaced it for varnishing but not resealed the ends. That has allowed water to get in.

So, there we were coming out of Lulworth Cove during the Drascombe Golden Jubilee first day sail, in company with another 37 Drascombes. The wind was getting up a bit. I hoisted the main & was gaining some seaway to get a good wind for a brisk journey back to Portland when there was a soft 'crack'. Hannah, my Grand-daughter crew looked up & said, 'Something is hanging down, Grandpa!' And it was. The yard had snapped at the bridle hole & was now dangling wildly, outside the lazyjacks (of course) held together only by the bridle. it took a fair bit of huffing, puffing & exertion to get it all safely snigged down, leaving us with no option but to motor back.

It was a rather lumpy, slow trip back against the tide in ever freshening wind. Most other skippers also opted to motor so we didn't stand out from the crowd but it was pretty annoying.

The CBL crew who were coming down on Saturday brought me wood, screws & tools so I was able to splice the yard for the rest of the event & the return cruise back to Ashlett so really, nothing was lost, which was rather lucky.

Yard breakage 1

Yard breakage 2

When I stripped it down & had a good look at the crack, there was extensive rot within the spar & it is a wonder it lasted as long as it did. Maintenance was certainly required but not received, so Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa.

I now have a new yard & have devised an alternative way of rigging the bridle that doesn't need a hole through the yard. See details on the Sailplans & Rigging page.

 

 

2017 29.06.17 QM SAILABILITY LONGBOAT NAMING

The Queen Mary Sailability Group are based at the QM Reservoir in Ashford, Middlesex & were the first RYA Sailability Group to be formed.

They have been keen Drascombe users for many years. In 2015 they bought a new Longboat & Princess Anne, who is the Patron of RYA Sailability, named the boat on the CBL stand at London Boat Show.Drascombe Quirky Page CBL logos at QMS

 

 

 

They bought another one this year, named Zingaroo by Princess Anne at their base on 29.06.17 & CBL were invited to attend.The CBL Team were all away on holiday so I went along to represent CBL with Dick Pizey, the Drascombe Association South Coast Representative. A good opportunity to display the Drascombe name!

Drascombe Quirky Page QMS Longboat Zingaroo

 

 

 

The first thing I saw when I got there was Zingaroo a long, long way above the water & I thought, 'We don't normally launch that high above the water!' I soon sussed out that they had an effective funicular launching platform that lowers the boat & trailer from the high banking down into the water. Some relief!

 

 

The QMS Group do a fantastic job in getting people with disabilities or learning difficulties out on the water, pushingb their limits & really enjoying themselves. Both humbling & inspiring to see. CBL have always been pleased to do their bit to help & modify the boats in a number of small ways to enhance that ability. Sailability groups around the country enjoy using them from a Dabber at Hykeham to Gigs at Kielder Water.

Drascombe Quirky Page Princess Anne at QMS

 

 

I was fortunate to be in the Presentation line-up so got a chat with Princess Anne about Drascombes. She is also Master of Trinity House who funded a pair of Gigs for the London Nautical School, teaching sail training around London Docklands. I am sure I saw her eyes light up when I mentioned Drascombe Gigs!

I must say that she spent serious time & engaged with the people involved, was genuinely interested in what they were achieving & gained a great deal of respect.

 

 

 

 

2017 28.04.17 SOLENT SPRING CRUISE

A bunch of us set off from Ashlett to spend a few days around the Creeks & Harbours of the Solent. Nothing too structured (or strenuous) but it was great to be out on the water again.

 

2016 THE SAILING SEASON

This was more of a non-happening!

No sooner had I re-commissioned Bolitho in April than I was diagnosed with cancer. Two operations & a load of chemo later & the sailing season was all over so she was snugged down, unused.

 

24.09.15 - 28.09.15   ‘OCTOBER THE FIRST’ RALLY 2015 

This was our end of season rally & followed the usual, popular format. 

Joining Bolitho (for all or part of the rally): 

Jim Hopwood 

Hippo

Gig

Andy & Anne Cooper 

Gadfly

Coaster

‘Brad ‘ Bradshaw

Siobhan

LoCruiser

Andy Peter 

Blue Peter

Coaster

Marcus Niner 

Sundance

Drifter

Richard Goldsmith 

Egret

Coaster

Tom & Liz Richardson 

Gannet

Coaster

Pauline Wain & Barry Fudge 

Moonstone

LoCr

John Boston 

Pamela

Coaster

Steve Maynard 

Spray

Coaster

 

Thursday

24.09

Early arrivals gathered at Ashlett to launch, moor up & have a meal in The Mill.

Drascombe Quirky Page, October the First, Twilight launching

 

 

 

                                    Launching at twilight

Friday       

25.09

We set off to The Isle of Wight in good sunny weather but little wind. Plenty of shipping movements & ferries to be kept clear of.

Drascombe Quirky Page, October the First, Siobhan passing Calshot

 

 

 

Siobhan passing Calshot

 

 

 

  

 

Drascombe Quirky Page, October the First, Newport

 

 

 

 

Went up the Medina, through Cowes, to Newport where we were met with the usual friendly welcome by the HM & plenty of pontoon space.

 

 

Drascombe Quirky Page, October the First, Happy Hour at Newport

Margaret Hopwood donated Douglas's drinks bag to us so at Happy Hour we drank Bombay Sapphire Gin with Fevertree tonic, eat bags of long-life olives & gave a toast to the memory of Douglas, our much loved friend who has made his last voyage to that great anchorage in the sky. The gathering spilled over from the cockpit of Hippo onto the pontoon.

We spent the evening in the Bargemans Rest, entertained by a 3 piece gypsy band (violin, guitar & double bass) who were very good.

It was quite chilly overnight with a very heavy dew. 

Saturday

26.09

A bright sunny morning. Went to church for breakfast. (Weatherspoons bought up a redundant church in Newport & did an excellent conversion on it.)

Drascombe Quirky Page, October the First, Weatherstones Church, Newport

Headed West in fine weather to Clammerkin Lake in Newtown Creek.

Drascombe Quirky Page, October the First, NTC raft

The trip was awful. There was no wind at all (until after we arrived) but, even so, we suffered a horrible Solent wind over tide steep chop that persisted for over half the run. 

For the latter half, I streamed the paravane & mackerel feathers, catching 3 on one ‘trawl’. Brad caught another 2 so Jim, Brad & I had fresh fish for supper.

 Drascombe Quirky Page, October the First, Filleting fish

  Filleting can be messy!

                                   Sizzling nicely!

Drascombe Quirky Page, October the First, Fresh fish supper

 

 

                       

 

 

 

Drascombe Quirky Page, October the First, Pauline discovers the rub-a-dub

 

 

 

While we were rafted up in Clammerkin, Pauline discovered the joys of a rub-a-dub, rowing around enthusiastically in Brad’s dinghy.

 Drascombe Quirky Page, October the First, Preparing for Happy Hour

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing for Happy Hour

Drascombe Quirky Page, October the First, Nightcaps

 

 

 

 

 

                               & much later, Nightcaps!

 

 

 

 

Stayed rafted up for a very peaceful night. 

Sunday    

27.09

First thing was flat calm & sunny.

Some boats departed to head off in all directions, including Brad for a trip back to Poole which turned out to be adventurous & include surfing!

5 boats set off at 08.00 to go East to Wootton Creek for lunch; straight into 12-17kt wind from the North, going round to East. It was a hard beat but 4 boats got there (Andy & Anne dived straight into Cowes).

We picked up a buoy & rafted in a very quiet harbour. Jim & I set off back to Cowes while Richard & Steve carried on East to Bembridge to get a good start for their next day trip back to Chichester. We were so relaxed, we very nearly left it too late to leave & had to do some mud slithering before we got out!

 Drascombe Quirky Page, October the First, Hippo en route from Wootton Creek

 

 

 

             Hippo en route from Wootton Creek

 

 

 

 

Went into Shepards Wharf in West Cowes, joining up with Andy & Anne Cooper for an end of rally supper at the Duke of York. 

Monday

28.09

Another lovely sunny morning with a promised 12kts, gusting 16 Easterly.

Andy & Anne left at 08.00 to get back to Ashlett before 1st high & get hauled out. Jim & I put sails up inside the Cowes breakwater before heading out to be met with 16kts, gusting 22 with a 1.5 metre wind over tide Solent chop. After a few minutes, Jim sensibly dropped down to jib & mizzen. That was going to be challenging for me so, even though under full sail, I hung on for the white knuckle ride. We cleared Cowes at 09.45 & I was alongside Calshot Tower at 10.30! That is the fastest run across I have ever made. 

When he got home, Jim checked Sotonmet & Chimet (Bramblenet was down, again). At 10.00 they were both recording F6 gusting F7! Having survived un-scathed, it was great!

We all got hauled out in time for lunch at the Mill & a trip home after another great Drascombe long weekend. 

Thanks to Andy Cooper for some of the pictures. (The good ones!)

  

 

14.08.15 - 22.08.15   ASC Regatta & cruise to Poole

It is becoming a tradition for Drascombes to support the Ashlett Sailing Club Regatta. There are a number of us who are members & it is a very good meeting point for the start of a Drascombe Cruise.

On 15 August 2015, we mustered 16 boats for the Regatta; a spectacular sight dressed overall. The evening social included 3 live bands, one of which was our own Drascombe Band. With such a grand group of Drascombers needless to say, the bar ran out of beer!

The following day Bolitho set off heading West in fine weather but light winds, in company with: 

Jim Hopwood 

Hippo

Gig

Dick Pizey 

Daislebee

Shrimper

Andy & Anne Cooper 

Gadfly

Coaster

Richard Goldsmith

# Returned to Chichester after NTC 

Egret

Coaster

Terry Hinks

# Returned to ASC after NTC 

Skua

Shrimper

Adrian Kneller

# Departed Christchurch to return to Chichester 

Torridon

Coaster

Peter Tiplady

# Left us at NTC. Met up at Keyhaven. Left there to get back to Chichester 

Siesta

Drifter

Steve Maynard

# With us intermittently 

Spray

Coaster

Pauline Wain & Barry Fudge

# Left us after NTC 

Moonstone

LoCr

Roger & Anita Whiffen

# Left us after NTC 

Little Dipper

Coaster

‘Brad ‘ Bradshaw & Bob Walpole

# Joined at Needles & departed after Studland 2 

Siobhan

 

LoCruiser

Andy Peter

# Joined us at NTC 

Blue Peter

Coaster

Marcus Niner

# Joined us at NTC 

Salicorne

Coaster

  

Friday

14.08

Early arrivals gathered at Ashlett to launch, moor up & have a meal in The Mill.

Saturday         

15.08

Ashlett Regatta & evening socialDrascombe Quirky Page, Poole Cruise 2015, ASC regatta

 

Sunday

16.08

Headed West in fine weather but light winds to Newtown Creek’s Western Haven, a popular destination with us. 

Drascombe Quirky Page, Poole Cruise, high & dry in NTC

 Rafted up for a quiet night. 

Monday    

17.08

We slipped quietly through Hurst Narrows under engine before sailing off down the Needles Channel & across Poole Bay, closing in on Studland by various routes. 

Our first raft location turned out to be a bit close to the eel grass beds so we motored the entire raft under 2 engines to a better location close to the beach. People on adjacent boats were taking photographs of our powered raft but I don’t suppose we shall ever get to see them.

Some went ashore for escapades involving the Banks Arms while the rest of us convened cockpit parties. 

Tuesday

18.08

Drascombe Quirky Page, Poole Cruise, Poole Harbour

Had a gentle sail into Poole Harbour before the wind died completely.

Landed at Cleevil Point to recce the campsite location for a Rally in 2016. The wind got up for some cracking sailing & lunch off Arne before rafting up again in Blood Alley off Brownsea for another quiet night.

 

Wednesday

19.08

The arrival of heavy rain & quite strong wind kept us riding to anchors off Brownsea, with a couple taking refuge in the lee of Furzey island.

Once the rain eased off, we left the harbour & returned to Studland in preparation for heading back Eastward the following day. 

Had a rather late night in Bolitho before pouring Adrian back into Torridon, when he claimed to have lost his specs overboard!

Thursday

20.08

Having anchored in very shallow water, we were able to wade around looking for specs before Adrian emerged from his cabin. We even engaged the help of a passing snorkeller, to no avail. Then Adrian popped out wearing his glasses which were on his centreplate capping….

Drascombe Quirky Page, Poole Cruise, Studland, looking for Adrian's specs!

Our plan was to cross Poole Bay in clear sunshine & watch the Bournemouth Air Show display en route to Christchurch. The reality was thick overcast & a cancelled flying display! Crossing the bay, we couldn’t even see the shore. We also sustained some heavy rain.

We reached Christchurch & rafted in our favourite pool where we could stay afloat. The weather improved & we were able to dry out wet gear, albeit I dried out my oilies, failed to take them in when we had another heavy shower & had to go through the process again.

Drascombe Quirky Page, Poole Cruise, Drying time in Christchurch 

Friday

21.08

The weather improved hugely & we had a great sail back into the Solent, arriving earlier than planned & surfing through Hurst Narrows, where we encountered Pauline Wain & family in Moonstone, Longboat Cruiser, hauling in mackerel by the bucket-load!

We went into Keyhaven, right up the river & tied up against the quayside, meeting up again with Peter Tiplady. He had had engine trouble earlier in the cruise & stayed in the Solent.

Barry & Pauline hosted a BBQ at their cottage & a great evening was had by all.

Saturday

22.08

We set off fairly early, stopping off in Newtown Creek for lunch before a stupendous sail back to Ashlett to haul out.

Drascombe Quirky Page, Poole Cruise, heading back to Hurst Narrows 

Hurst Narrows in sight.

Another enjoyable cruise with a good fleet in mixed but mainly good weather.

 

10-24 JULY 2015 

A Falmouth Cruise with the Solent Cruising Group

We decided to go 'on tour' & cruise the creeks & harbours of the Fal & surrounding area so Bolitho trailed west.

In company with (some or all of the time):

  Dick Pizey

  Shrimper

  Daislebee

  Brad Bradshaw & Bob Walpole

  Lo Cruiser 

  Siobhan

  Marcus Niner

  Coaster

  Salicorne

  Tony Wood

  Coaster

  Martha

  Ian Cowie

  Coaster

  Moksha

  Andy & Judy Peter

  Coaster

  Blue Peter

  John Boston

  Coaster

  Pamela

 

Friday           

10.07

Arrive Mylor Yacht Haven around 16.30.

Launch & stay in Marina for the night.

Curry & beer in Castaway East with Marcus.

 

Saturday    

11.07

Overnight in Ruan Creek; dried out.

 Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, Ruan Creek

Sunday    

12.07

 

Overnight on pontoon at Malpas.

Meal in the Heron.

Monday   

13.07

Away early to miss HM.

Crept into Truro at dead low water up a very narrow channel (ditch?) - & got caught for 2 short stays!

 Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, Bolitho at Truro

The Truro basin is within 50 metres of Tesco so stores were replenished. Skinners Brewery is also adjacent: replenishment of Betty Stoggs for some. A brief sojourn in Weatherspoons before heading back downstream.

Overnight in Channals Creek. Dried out. Calm & peaceful.

Tuesday   

14.07

Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015,  steak giant

The Churchouse Boats crew met us at Truro & delivered a box of Crantock Bakery 1kg Steak Giant pasties. The first of several Cornish delights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, Pandora Inn

 

Overnight on Pandora Inn’s pontoon in Restronguet Creek. Alone because the rest changed plans & went to Mylor!

Excellent Birthday dinner for Tony Wood with CBL crew.

  

Wednesday 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15.07

Down to Mylor to meet up again.

Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, Hannah on the helm

 

 

Joined by CBL contingent.

Sailed with Hannah as crew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch/afternoon on Great Molunan beach. Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, leaving Great Molunan Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overnight at Cellars Beach, Plaice in, allegedly, private bay (but Owner’s husband owns a Drascombe Lugger!).

Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015,  pasta night

 

Wednesday Night is Pasta Night for me, so served up Rigatoni con Tuna Arrabbiata.

 

 

 

  

 

Thursday  

16.07

Cruise to Helford. Good wind but very poor visibility.

Anchored off Mawnan Rock for lunch.

Overnight at anchor just off Helford River SC. 

     Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015,  Helford SC anchorageDrascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise, Moules frites

 

 

Moules Frites supper at the Sailing Club.

 

Friday  

17.07

             Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015,  Leaving helford SC

Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, Frenchmans Creek

 

Up-river to Gweek, nosing into Frenchman’s Creek on the way up. For years, I have wanted to sail over to the Helford River & finally achieved it. Ditto into Frenchman’s Creek (since reading Daphne Du Maurier’s book) & finally did that too.

 

 

 

Back to anchor off HRSC again. Water Taxi to Helford Passage for exercise & pub visit.

Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, Exercise at Helford Passage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overnight at Helford River SC again.

They were very accommodating. After our first night Bob worked out (with a bit of creative accounting) that for the price of our 2 courses the night before we could, for very reasonable money, have a whole lobster each. So, we ordered 7 lobsters for the next night. The club set out the centre table, making us a bit of a focal point, & we tucked in. Delicious!

Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, Lobster Night at Helford SC

 Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise, Brad & lobster

Saturday  

18.07

 

Overnight in Ginnel Creek.

Bob & Brad foraged for winkles. Said they were delicious, the rest of us weren’t so convinced!

 Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, winkles in Ginnel Creek

Sunday 

19.07

Great sail back into Carrick Roads.

Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, beer in Falmouth

Overnight in Falmouth Yacht Haven.

Extended pub visit with Fish & Chip supper.

 

 

  

 

Monday  

20.07

Pretty horrible weather AM so visit to Maritime Museum.

Improved around lunch time so set off up the Fal.

Overnight in Lamouth Creek. Another calm & quiet one.

Tuesday 

21.07

Took a look up Cowlands Creek. Very pretty. Some lovely houses & some interesting boathouses too.

Set out for St Mawes but strong winds & hard work. Returned to Restronguet Creek entrance for lunch.

Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, St Just in RoselandOvernight (very calm) in St Just Roseland tucked into the basin behind the church.

Were much amused by woman swimming, in dress, accompanied by two spaniels!

   

Wednesday

22.07

Set off AM & the weather was brilliant so headed out beyond the Helford River & into Ginnel Creek for lunch. Channel Creek for afternoon tea.

Fantastic day’s sailing.

Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, a rare fish for Dick

Overnight, calm & afloat, right up the Percuil River at Polingey Creek.

 

 

Thursday  

23.07

Lunch at Maenporth Beach.

Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, the last curry

Overnight at Mylor.

End of cruise supper. Curry & beer in Castaway East. A very good evening.

 

 

 

Nightcaps in Bolitho.

Very heavy rain & Easterly gale overnight. Noisy & disturbed! 

Friday  

24.07

Still raining & blowing.

Haul out & depart at 12.00. Awful journey home, taking 8.5 hours. Didn’t seem so bad once learning of Dick’s 13.5 hours due to car/trailer electrical problems & multiple AA call-outs! 

This was an excellent free-spirit cruise, long enough to really relax & enjoy.

           Drascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015, relaxingDrascombe Quirky Page, Falmouth Cruise 2015,  a quiet creek

The Fal Estuary is fantastic. There are creeks & channels in abundance just made for Drascombes & overnight rafts.

Mylor Marina was very welcoming with excellent facilities including Pub for beer & curry & Café for Cornish Breakfast (which is remarkably similar to a Full English!).

The sailing was superb. Although there is a 5 metre tidal range there is very little running tide with it so calm waters predominate & consistent hull speed is easily sustainable.

The creeks have smooth sand or mud to dry out on & shelter was easy to find thanks to Brad & Bob’s explorations & marked charts from several previous visits.

The journey back was on the Friday after the schools break up. I thought the traffic would all be heading West as we were heading East. Wrong! Mile upon mile upon mile of roadworks (without any sign of ‘works’!) & gridlock every time two lanes merged into one. Add to that the breakdowns & the crashes & it became a diabolical journey.

However, the cruise was superb, the company excellent & the surroundings sublime. Thanks to Dick for motivating it & Brad & Bob for local knowledge.

 

JULY 2015

Drascombe Quirky Page, Drascombe Peterboat 4.5m, Elva

 

ELVA, my 4.5m Drascombe Peterboat has gone to a new home.

She was built by a semi-professional boat-builder on the Isle of Wight & I acquired her in 2005. Churchouse boats did a total refurbishment on her a few years ago. I hardly used her since then & she looked really nice.

 

 

 

 

 

LATE SEPTEMBER 2014

Sometime back in the mid 1990's, in mid September, a bunch of Solent Drascombers stood in a bar (not a unique event) after the Southampton Boat Show bemoaning the fact that another season was over & we hadn't done as much sailing as we would have liked (wasn't it ever thus?) when I suggested that we fit in a final day sail on October the First.

We did. A Drascombe fleet set sail from Warsash on a glorious day. We lunched at The Folly, up the Medina on the Isle of Wight, sat in their garden in polo shirts. A splendid sail back to Warsash later in the day lead to feelings of great satisfaction - & a tradition was born. I have organised an 'October the First' rally ever since though, as is the way of things, it has evolved beyond a 'day-sail' into a weekend rally & then beyond so that this year it was a 5 day cruise around the Solent.

A glorious night was spent in Clammerkin Lake, Newtown Creek on the IOW. As I said on my home page, dawn on quiet waters is one of life’s ecstatic pleasures. A visit to the cockpit in the very early morning, at a time when only intrepid Lugger-campers had emerged from their comfortable cocoons, offered this photo-opportunity:

              Drascombe Quirky Page, Early morning in Clammerkin Lake, September 2014.JPG

Inner satisfaction is a wonderful state of being.

 

FEBRUARY 28, 2013, RETIREMENT FROM CBL

It was time for a change. Having formed Churchouse Boats Ltd in March 1998, I decided that the time had come to hand over the responsibility for running it to the next generation. Simon Harwood, my eldest stepson, joined CBL around 10 years beforehand & for the last 6 had been Production Manager. His wife, Sharon, had been helping out with admin on a part time basis since 2010, so they both knew the business, its customers & its quirks pretty well so the hand on the helm changed.  

Over the years, I have accumulated several boats of my own & some other nautical toys. The pipe & slippers don't beckon yet as the varnish brush & the chance to try out un-fulfilled tweaks is still beckoning! 

 

FEBRUARY 2012, RETIREMENT FROM DA COMMITTEE

After more than twenty years as South Coast Representative & Committee Member of the Drascombe Association, I decided to slough off the skin of responsibility & retire from the Committee, a decision made easier by another enthusiastic Drascomber willing to take over from me. 

At one of our regular Chichester Dinners, I formally announced my retirement & we appointed my successor.              

My friends presented me with a superb weathervane which depicts the Drascombe Drifter 22, with me on the helm, accurate right down to my peaked sailing hat!

        Drascombe Quirky Page, Drascombe weather vane

The following Sunday morning, I was up the ladder to one of our chimney stacks, boldly going where the Sky Dish man refused to go on the grounds of Elf & Safety. Weather vane duly installed & looking good. 

            Drascombe Quirky Page, Drascombe Drifter 22, weathervane in place.

Held close up, indoors, I wondered about a few of the cuts & sipes that made up the design, which had been produced from photographs. Outdoors & in place, it all gels beautifully. Graham Smith at Dorset Weathervanes, clearly knows exactly what he is at. (Click on the image & it will take you to his website.)

 

21 AUGUST 2004Drascombe Quirky Page, Drascombe Coaster, Bolitho 6, French ensign

I was reminded of this significant date a short while ago.

Back in spring 2004, a delightful French couple from Brest, Alain & Helene Sainsot, agreed to buy that year’s demo Coaster from me (Bolitho 6) but not take delivery of it until the end of the sailing season.

I invited them to join us on our August Bank Holiday Poole Rally so that they, at least, got one sail in her in 2004.

Another attendee was my good Drascombe friend, Douglas Hopwood, in his Coaster. Douglas’s sailing has always involved elements of keeping youngsters amused & one element is a cannon to enhance the Pirate Experience. It is a papier mache cannon firing ‘gunpowder’ reclaimed from fireworks.

When Alain & Helene came aboard Bolitho 6 & took the helm, we sailed under the French Ensign.

As we came into our lunchtime anchorage, Douglas spotted the ensign, trained his cannon - & fired upon us!

Drascombe Quirky Page, Drascombe Coaster, Douglas Hopwood, with cannon

 So, a significant date for future amusement:

When & where did the English last fire upon the French in English waters? 21 August 2004, in Poole Harbour!

26.08.15 I'm very sad to record that, after a short fight with the Big C, Douglas has passed away & gone to that geat anchorage in the sky. He has been our sailing companion for many a long year & a cornerstone of many a cockpit party. We are going to miss him.

 

 

Last update 01.11.17