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Jim H 10-14-2008 06:22 PM

Four Days of Family Cruising on the Solent
Hi, All

We just got back from four days of cruising on the Solent:

Saturday: Gosport to Newtown River
Sunday: Newton River to Lymington
Monday: Lymington to the Folly Inn on the Isle of Wight
Tuesday: Folly Inn back to Gosport

It was an unexpected trip, and perhaps all the more special for it. The weather wasn't so great here in July and August, and I expected more of the same for these four days in October. Instead, we had calm to F4 winds, warmth and general dryness and even sun.

It was also a good time for some firsts-- such as anchoring overnight at Newtown River, letting the kids dinghy about by themselves, and exploring Lymington for the first time.

Here are some pics, and a video that focuses mostly on the Folly Inn part of the trip. A full gallery of photos is available here:
October Break Cruise 2008
Newtown River at sunset.
Son does some fishing.
Exploring Lymington.
Breakfast aboard during six hour sail against the current to Cowes.
Daughter talked us into the last night at the Folly Inn.
Walking a public footpath on the Isle of Wight.
Our Rival 34 tied up at the Folly Inn dock, on the River Medina.

The following video should be viewable a bit later-- last time I checked it was still being processed by Youtube:
<object width="425" height="350"> <param name="movie" value=""> </param> <embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350"> </embed> </object>
Please note that I spent very little time on this video-- my theory being that if I don't make such a thing right away, I never will... :)

Full photo gallery here.

Faster 10-14-2008 06:34 PM

Pretty country, Jim.. thanks for the pics

Freesail99 10-14-2008 06:35 PM

Nice trip report, thanks for sharing the pictures and the video.

sailingdog 10-14-2008 06:57 PM

Nicely done. :)

camaraderie 10-14-2008 08:24 PM

Beautiful Jim...nice family!

Valiente 10-14-2008 11:58 PM

That Rival 34 is getting used, I see. Nice work, Jim. Do you kids crew much on passage yet?

tdw 10-15-2008 12:58 AM

Nice boat the Rival. Looks like you weren't too miserable. Cheers.

bg9208 10-15-2008 03:34 AM

Cruising the Solent
In the late 1980s we kept our 30ft Waterwitch ketch in Langstone Harbour, between Chichester and Porstmouth. Many summer long weekends were spent travelling almost exactly the route which you took and well remember having the odd meal at the paddle steamer/restaurant moored downstream of the Folly Inn, is it still there I wonder? In West Cowes, we bought two huge bronze winches and a destroyer compass from the junkshop/chandlery next to Beken's photo studio and we paid, if I rememeber right about 5 for the lot. Yarmouth had the friendliest Harbour Master and the Newtown River was then a tranquil haven. Lymington is a nice town but, in those days was always crowded. Slightly further afield we would often visit Buckler's Hard on the Beaulieu River which always looked like a film set from the Elizabethan period. A full week would take us to Christchurch and Poole harbours then up to Wareham Quay on the river Frome. We got rid of our boat in 1988 to concentrate on work as business picked up and we have now lived in France for 9 years where we have a small campsite.
The feet have started itching again and we are planning, sometime over the next 4/5 years buying a 40-45ft cruiser and sailing to the eastern Mediterranean, Island hopping round the Greek Islands and after much local research buying a pied a terre in Cyprus, Turkey or Greece so that we could spend most of the time sailing.
The Solent is a lovely area and I hope it hasn't got too busy, it was starting to get like the M25 towards high tide even in my days.

Stillraining 10-15-2008 04:15 AM

If we ever go to Europe you can forget any sailing...Id be hard pressed to get my crew out of all those quaint streets and shops...:rolleyes:

You should have seen any one of our kids first solo dingy ...they looked like some one having a seizure..arms flailing oars splashing hardly ever getting a full blade in..backwards ,forwards..this way that...what a riot...your daughter is a natural.

Jim H 10-15-2008 02:38 PM


Originally Posted by Valiente (Post 384496)
That Rival 34 is getting used, I see. Nice work, Jim. Do you kids crew much on passage yet?

Hi, Valiente

Your comment that "the boat is getting used" is what I consider the best compliment anyone could give a boat owner. To me, value is directly related to use, and nothing else. :)

On passage, we're happy if the kids simply don't fight and mutiny. On the six hour passage, they helped launch, played in the main cabin, slept, kept watch on deck, played in the cockpit, got bored, ate cookies when we weren't watching, etc.

We did a half hour of docking practice with the whole family before we even left the dock. My daughter now does the roving fender on the foredeck, my son steps off at landing with the bow line, and my wife has the stern and breast line to secure. I taught them the 0800 method I learned from a Yachtmaster a few weeks ago-- just teach the crew to do a 0 around the cleat, and then an 8, and then two more 0s.

If a line is too long, do the first 0 and then sweat the line, pulling straight up against the cleat, not directly trying to pull the nine ton boat sideways. This change was a huge help to the kids in terms of how they help land the boat, and my son likes the challenge of getting the 0 on the forward cleat as fast as possible.

The greatest achievement of the weekend was with our daughter, who argued convincing that we spend a fourth night at the Folly Inn, knowing she would get to row the dinghy by herself for the first time. This is the same girl who generally says "I won't go!" when we're planning a sailing weekend. "It's too boring! It's scary!" Anyway, it's tough work for us, but then generally she may enjoy the trip more than any of us. It's harder here, where we've had unexpected F8s to get home through, but this four days was perfect for her. "I never got scared once," she said proudly, so I think we made some major progress (the dinghy completely changed her experience as well).

She also said, "On Sunday, it began to make sense to me how we might live on the boat," which is really nice to hear.


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