|Activity||Activity date||Activity description|
|Poole to Weymouth||2016-11-13||Sailing Derek H's new boat back towards the Exe. Stage 2 of the journey from Poole to Weymouth. The boat is a rather nice Westerley Fulmar. Fairly large tides so we took the offshore route around the overfalls at St Albans Head.|
|Weymouth to Topsham||2016-11-14||From Weymouth round Portland Bill to Topsham at the top of the Exe. Stage three in bringing Derek H's new Fulmar back to the Exe. With very big Spring tides, we took the offshore route around the East Shambles buoy and a few miles off Portland Bill. With the wind pretty much on the nose after we turned west, we motored most of the way back from Portland Bill. With the wind varying between 12 and 20 knots against us and 1 or 2 knots of tide with us, the first half of the journey back to the Exe (after Portland Bill) was a little bouncy at times. We reached the Exe just as it got dark - the trip back up the Exe in the dark and with big tides was interesting! With the Exe's mix of lit and unlit buoys and moorings encroaching on the channel, I really wouldn't recommend going up the Exe at night without local knowledge!|
|Weymouth to Poole||2019-05-16||
A sail from Weymouth round to Poole Harbour.
With the winds continuing to be easterly, this was a combination of sailing and motoring. The two main challenges on this stretch of water are the military gunnery range at Lulworth and overfalls / race at St Albans Ledge. The army claimed to be firing on this day so we went as far as Durdle Door and then went offshore to avoiding the firing range.
At the end of the range (at St Albans Head) we took the unconventional choice of sailing alongside St Albans Ledge in the overfalls (and right past naval gunnery buoys "B" and "C" but happily there was no navy about this day)! This made for quite a bouncy journey.
Anvil Point and Perveril Point were fine and then we sailed past Old Harry Rocks and into Poole Harbour and the most expensive (read "overpriced" given the state of the washrooms) marina of the trip.
|Exe to Weymouth||2019-05-15||
A sail from Starcross Yacht Club on the Exe via the inshore passage at Portland Bill and on to Weymouth.
Because Portland Bill sticks out into the English Channel and has a shallow underwater ledge that "squeezes" the currents, it has a somewhat fearsome reputation (see here for a Youtube video of when it was "angry" at the end of a storm). Therefore, we needed to be off the end of the Bill at the right time for mostly slack water and a "lift" up the eastern edge. That meant setting off at the hideously early time of 04:30 to allow some contingency for being off the end of the Bill at 14:00. Given that we had to sail and motor (against the easterly wind) over 35 nautical miles, we were pleased to be off the Bill at about 14:15.
Going round the Bill was happily uneventful but the large number of appallingly marked lobster pot buoys still means that great care is needed. The photos show us rounding the end of the Bill with the front obelisk aligned in the nearly in the middle of the red band of the lighthouse (as recommended). On the eastern side of the Bill, the 5 metre depth contour is typically a good guide to avoiding the race / overfalls.