Weymouth:  Sunday 4 - Friday 9 August

C & N Marina, Lymington, Weymouth, Lulworth Cove, Yarmouth, C & N Marina

(Click on any of the photographs below to see a larger image)

The purpose of this five-day cruise, apart from having an enjoyable few days afloat, was to confirm that everything on Bagadeus was in good shape for her forthcoming cruise to the Scillies, including tender, outboard and cruising chute, none of which had been used yet.

We had a little work to do on the first day, fixing the mountings for the outboard which was to be carried on the pushpit.  After some experimentation we decided it worked best with the outboard on the stern-facing rail, with the two lifebuoys on the side rails, so we moved the lifebuoy mounts accordingly and secured the outboard onto its bracket.  All seemed well, and with a padlock through the outboard's fixing clamps we thought it look adequately proof against theft.

We had in mind that the first leg of the planned Scillies trip might be Gosport to Weymouth, a useful start of 6o miles, so this first cruise aimed to visit Weymouth, a port which neither of the owners had been to before.  On this trip we decided to stop at Lymington first, so the first hop to Lymington was done on a warm, humid, Monday afternoon with a fair tide giving us nine knots over the ground.

As we moored in Lymington marina, Malcolm was surprised when he felt his right arm being enthusiastically licked.  He turned round to find it was the friendly fellow on the right saying 'welcome to Lymington', proving that motor-cruisers are not all bad.

A friendly welcome to Lymington

Weymouth Harbour Entrance

Next morning we set off with a fair tide through the needles to our first waypoint, outside the Lulworth range and such as to take us substantially outside the danger area.  From here it was straight to Weymouth harbour entrance in occasional rain.


We stayed overnight at Weymouth quay, lying alongside a large Moody.

Alongside Weymouth Quay

Alongside Weymouth Quay

Weymouth harbour entrance
 from the Quay

Next morning we went to the chandlers and bought some charts for the Scillies trip and an extension cable to allow our spot light to used conveniently from the cockpit.  We had decided to try out the cruising chute during the afternoon, and then to overnight at anchor in Lulworth Cove.  Shortly after leaving Weymouth, David got the chute sorted out, hoisted and filling well.  

Preparing to hoist
the cruising chute

cruising chute filling nicely

cruising chute filling nicely

We then had a gentle sail to Lulworth Cove.  Lulworth Cove is a small enclosed pool with a relatively narrow entrance opening into the pool, a sheltered steeply-sided natural 'excavation' in the line of cliffs between Weymouth and Anvil Point.  The wind was forecast F 3-4  northerly overnight, so we expected a quiet night inside the cove.  In the event, we experienced 20+ knots of westerly wind and felt obliged to keep an anchor watch all night.  A strong westerly was still blowing inside the cove in the morning, but when we departed we found a gentler northerly outside.  It seems the slopes and curves of the terrain inside the Cove can produce the effect we encountered, converting a northerly airstream into a locally stronger westerly blow inside.  We will think carefully before overnighting in Lulworth Cove again.  The other aspect of the anchorage - either a blessing or a curse depending on your point of view - is that there is almost complete shielding of radio waves from the UK side, so that neither the marine VHF nor mobile telephones can be used.

From Lulworth Cove we had a fairly fast (three-hour) motor-sail around Anvil Point, up through the Needles Channel to Lymington Marina.
Next morning we made a couple of precautionary repairs to two tears in the dinghy.  We then inflated it, put the outboard on and checked that all was well with both.
While the dinghy was on deck (it is normally housed under the forward cabin berth) we lifted the log impeller to free it from some marine growth which had jammed it.

After drying and stowing the dinghy we crossed over to Yarmouth for lunch.

Approaching Yarmouth,

trusty Garmin in hand

 On entering Yarmouth harbour we were met by the usual helpful harbourmaster in his dory who suggested we moor between two piles.  We had a leisurely lunch watching the comings and goings of this busy harbour, then a motor-sail back to C&N at Gosport.

Moored to piles in Yarmouth

Moored to piles in Yarmouth

Busy harbour entrance at Yarmouth

Approaching the Swatchway into Portsmouth Harbour and home, a small fast motor vessel came tearing towards us, did a spectacular high-speed turn around our stern and then went rapidly back on a more or less reciprocal course.  From markings and ensign the vessel appeared to be Royal Navy.  The three photographs below - three out of a rapid sequence - convey something of the speed of the craft.  We shall probably never know what, if anything, was behind this interesting encounter.

High-speed approach
by the Navy

High-speed pass
by the Navy

High-speed turn
by the Navy

Overall, it was clear that Bagadeus was in good shape for her forthcoming trip to the Scillies.  The chartplotter and autopilot continued to prove a superb aid to safe, accurate navigation; we have not yet found any weather conditions which the autopilot cannot handle at least as well as a helmsman.  We find ourselves regularly using the 'track' feature to follow a desired track over the ground with all the heading corrections for tidal effects being taken care of automatically, arriving within a metre or so of the chosen waypoint.  The accuracy is such that we usually offset the waypoint entered into the chartplotter by at least 20 metres from the position of any buoy selected as a waypoint; if this were not done the boat would certainly collide with the buoy unless the crew intervened as the waypoint was approached!  It might be the intention to steer manually around the buoy at the waypoint change - but just in case, we offset, obviously on whichever side is the more desirable from the navigation point of view.

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