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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, we're back from a week of sailing on the Solent.

First, here was our general course:



In sum:

Gosport/Portsmouth to Nab Tower
Nab Tower to Chichester Harbor
Chichester Harbor to Itchenor
Itchenor to Cowes
Cowes to Folly Inn (River Medina)
Folly Inn to Cowes to Newtown River
Newtown River back to Gosport/Portsmouth


Six nights on the boat. Weather was a mix of rain, sun, no wind and lots of wind, typically all in each day.

Next post will have some selected pictures and links to the online photo gallery.

Wish we were still out there, but at least it was pouring rain our first day back, making us feel less worse about being home.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Full Photo Galleries

The official online photo gallery for the trip is now online at

Sailing the Solent: Spring Break 2009

Here are six of my favorite photos from the week:



Doug spots the Nab Tower.



Sunset at Itchenor in Chichester Harbor.



Dinghy drama at Itchenor.



Cool railroad track and turn-around system for lifting boats at Bird Pool marina.



Eve never wears shoes on the boat.




We even had some BFS when the wind kicked up from 4 knots to 25 knots in fifteen minutes.

For the curious, go check out the full online photo gallery at

Sailing the Solent: Spring Break 2009
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A Video Experiment

Okay, the following is an experiment.

I discovered that Picasa 3 can create slideshows with integrated video, so I made a large video with our integrated video clips and posted it at Vimeo for higher quality.

I warn you that this is a long video, but you might be interested in the technology behind it. Both Vimeo and Picasa 3 can handle HD quality video and images, and I might try doing that in the future.

The following contains over 550 images and videos from the trip:

Web link: Sailing for a week on the Solent on Vimeo


<br /><a href="http://vimeo.com/4205394">Sailing for a week on the Solent</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user1603657">JIm Heynderickx</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Narrative Notes

The following are some narrative notes from the trip:

Highest Highs:


1) Going to Chichester and Itchenor Reach, where we had never been before.

2) Snagging the mooring buoy the first try in 25 knots of wind in Newtown River.

3) Watching kids fish and row the dinghy about at Newtown River.

4) Happy Hour on the boat at Itchenor.

5) Balancing the boat and sailing for 20 minutes without touching the tiller.


Lowest Lows:


1) Getting caught in five knots of ebb tibe trying to row dinghy back to boat at Itchenor. I almost didn't make it-- 80 yards of sprint rowing an inflatable was pretty harsh.

2) Having the boat be over-powered by weather helm in 25 knots with full sails up. We were too close to our destination to reef the main and balance the boat out.

3) Having four boats raft against us within hours of getting a visitors buoy at Itchenor-- we would have preferred some privacy, but it was Easter weekend, so...

Overall, it was another peak experience for us all the way around. Also, the kids never got scared once, and even my daughter is fighting for more jobs on the boat now to feel that she's doing important things while we cruise.

It's harder to cruise with kids, but it also makes the little things more special, and the achievements seem even greater.

As for sailing the Solent, the main attraction is the overall boat and sailing culture there. I've never been to a place with such a high density of sailing history, classic craft, and generational/cultural commitments to sailing. So, the weather isn't the best, and it can be crowded, but there might be no other place like it in the world for sailing.
 

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Good to see The Isle of Wight on Sailnet!
I was born in Cowes back in the dim and distant past....!

The video/photo montage seems to work pretty well.
 

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We sail the US East Coast and Bahamas so your views are quite exotic for us and a place of legend in sailing history. Thanks for sharing, Aythya crew
 

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Good to see The Isle of Wight on Sailnet!
I was born in Cowes back in the dim and distant past....!

The video/photo montage seems to work pretty well.
Thanks for the comments-- Cowes is really an amazing place. It has such a remarkable history, and every year it still goes full out with regattas, sailing institutes, and other leading edge endeavors.

We met some residents of the south end of the Island-- I have to admit that it sounds like a nice place to live if you wanted privacy and remoteness. :)

Next time I do a video/photo montage, it will be shorter and have music. Also, I'm tempted to buy one of the new camcorders that write to memory chips to improve our video quality. I think I'd put my son in charge of that, with some training.
 

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We sail the US East Coast and Bahamas so your views are quite exotic for us and a place of legend in sailing history. Thanks for sharing, Aythya crew
You're welcome. When we moved here, one of the first things we did was to start taking sailing courses with British Offshore Sailing School, and then we bought a boat a few months after that. We didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to sail the Solent and around the UK, and we've learned much more about tides, currents, neaps, springs and more sailing here than we did in the Pacific Northwest. The weather is also much more changeable, but like the Northwest it doesn't freeze up like it does in the NE of the US, so we can manage to sail year round.

I still regret that we lived in DC for 12 years but never sailed on the Chesapeake. It was between my early sailing days and later sailing days. A few years ago I chartered a 24 foot Rainbow for a day to sail the Chesapeake, and it was a blast.

So little time, so many places to sail...
 

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Hi Jim:

We've talked before when you were located on Mill Creek. Great story. We exchanged homes with a family in Finisterre (far western France) last summer whose island is the starboard entry to the English channel. While there, I managed to meet some French sailors (thru a boat exchange website--SeemySea) and I went for day sails out of L'aber V'rach and Morlaix. Fantastic experience. These guys all have a minimum of 3 reefs ready to rig at any time, and the wind and tide I experienced justified it.

If you want to see some pics and clips, check out Picasa Web Albums - Moe - FranceSailing...

(I had asked you if you wanted to sail with us on the Good Old Boat regatta several years ago which is based in Mill Creek...You may not remember.

Anyway sounds like you're having a great time.

Moe
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Jim.. great job on the slide show.. nice pictures all around. It's great to see families with youngsters involved in sailing - isn't it awesome to be able to do things with your teenaged kids, and have them enjoy it too!?!
 
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