Cornish Shrimper - Daislebee

Cornish Shrimper - Daislebee

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

The 2019 season

Where has it gone......

I promised myself to take a small laptop  or tablet with me on the boat and add to the blog as the season progressed.

Sure I took the kit but there never seemed the right time...or my self discipline is poor (which is probably the more likely reason).

Whatever it is the season has almost passed - and it has been good - so good and busy that I have decided that I will update the blog during the winter months and save the summer for sailing, after all it is nice to look back and re live the high points and adventures at leisure.

So..for those of you that do visit here from time to time, I will be writing up accounts of trips to France, a big rally in Weymouth, and a few more local cruises in the Solent is due course.

Until then...well, October has some nice days and we plan to get out for at least a few of them before it is time to hide away for winter.

See you soon.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Review of 2018 season

What a summer....some great sailing, some great company, some excitement, some sadness ...lots to remember

I managed over 45 nights on board this year - not all on Daislebee but on a boat nonetheless..

Looking at my checklist I am please that I accomplished most of it.

  •  the fitting of a double battery solar panel management system to replace the single and very successful system I installed two or three years ago. 
        -  DONE and working well
  • fitting an extendable bowsprit using a carbon fibre rod to pole out a cruising shute.
       - DONE - modified and improved.
  • replacing my Garmin 451 that has become unreliable, with a Raymarine Dragonfly 5m plotter
      - DONE but not too impressed with the budget Dragonfly chartplotter that I bought - does the job           but no more - lacks some important features
  • polishing the hull
      -  DONE...but needs looking at - last a few weeks and then back to chalky white
  • filling and fairing a few of the knock to the keel that have taken place over the years
      - DONE but need to complete with coppercoat
  • installing some new wooden storage boxes to replace the plastic ones that were just a little too big
      - DONE - bought from IKEA and very successful
  • and of course a general tidy up - always overdue.......
       - ON GOING

Sadness - the passing of Stewart Brown - much missed.

Excitment - first rounding of the Isle of Wight - nearly getting run down by a Chinnok helicopter.

All in all a bumper year....2019 beckons with interest.

Drascombe Poole dinner- 2nd / 4th November 2018

Our custom is to have a beginning of season and end of season dinner, and for many years they have both been at Chichester Yacht Club.

More recently in response to feedback form people based in the western end of the Solent the end of season dinner has moved to a suitable location in their direction. Last year it was held in Lymington.

This year Brad took on the organisation and arranged a great weekend.

Most arrived on the Friday and spent the afternoon looking around Poole. After evening drinks we met up at the Lakeside Fish & Chip restaurant at Lifeboat Quay and enjoyed an excellent fish supper.


Following breakfast, taken at Wetherspoons for most, we met at the Life Boat Station at the Town Quay and had a tour of their station building as well as the recently installed floating pontoon form which they launch their two local boats a 5m D class inflatable crewed by two or three staff and a B class Atlantic with a crew of 4.

Their passion and dedication were very impressive.

The floating  RNLI launch station
Crew room

D class boat

B class

B class

B Class

 Following lunch we all congregated at the RNLI HQ

 Brad had arranged a tour of their facilities and we were split into two groups.

In turn we visited their training pool in which they can re create the worst conditions imaginable with wind and waves, darkness and noise - in which to practice their drills. It was very impressive.

 If that wasn't impressive enough we were then taken to their simulator, which replicates a large off shore lifeboat and allows crews to practice search patterns, navigation and other drills in any weather and a large number of different locations.

Dave Q on the helm in the simulator - just missing the old tanker which is on fire !!

 We then had a tour of the maintenance facility where boats are re furbished and also built from scratch. This was also very impressive - spotless and very efficient.

The staff were very keen and enthusiastic about their work and were a credit to the RNLI as representatives of the organisation.

The evening was also spent at the RNLI centre - using one of their rooms for a dinner.

A number of presentations were made one of which I was please about ..the other not so...

Sharon gave me a lovely stained class model of Daislebee which was lovely.

The other was a blown up picture of my plight when hung up on my lines at Bosham a few weeks earlier. As a result of that misdemeanour I was awarded the TAWT trophy which was doublee embarrassing, having invented the award in the first place !!!

Apart from that the weekend was a huge success and a big thank you to Brad for pulling it together

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Last Cruise of the year - Oct 22nd

And so it came to the last fling of the year.


A small band of intrepid mariners gathered at Ashlett and launched using the quay side as a temporary jetty, not ideal, but until the club replaces the pontoon needs must.

The water was slipping away and so Tony (D22 - Pellew), Nick (D22 - Isabella) and myself in Shrimper - Daislebee  set off - each it seems with a different plan in their heads.

Eventually we settled on Newtown Creek for the night anchorage and had a great sail down the Solent anchoring in the western arm of the creek, which was lovely and empty at this time of year.  I had a reef in as the south westerly was quite brisk.


Its seems with only three of us we can't settle on a plan - in fairness to Nick, Beaulieu had been talked about as a lunchtime stop en route to Lymington but Tony and I had discounted it and headed straight towards Town Quay at Lymington. So it was quite a surprise when Nick called up on Ch 77 asking where we were - he was half way to Beaulieu entrance, but he soon caught us up.

Before departing mid morning I had a lovely drift up the eastern arm of Newtown watching the wild life as I passed slowly by.

We had a cracking sail across and I managed to overhaul Tony by some judicious tacking which is always pleasing.

It was lovely to see a fleet of local Scows, make their way up the inside lake off Lymington and emerge into the main channel before reaching back towards Keyhaven. I threaded my way through them trying not to hinder their racing.

There are some lovely boats in Lymington, and as ever, in a harbour it is lovely to meander up the channel, imagining the stories the boats and their crews might have to tell.

We shared the pontoon with a large contingent from the royal Victoria Yacht Club from Wootton who were also out cruising.

A very large classic yacht
Andy Peter joined us at the quay, by road, which actually was out main reason for going there. Tony had some papers to sign and so had had them emailed to Andy, who kindly printed them off. Duly signed the three of us (minus Nick) wandered up to the Post office to send them off and then happened upon The Six Bells Wetherspoons pub ..well it would be rude not to....

After a lunch we wandered back to the boast for a quiet afternoon. We later met Andy, Judy and Sharon at the Mayflower pub, near the Lifeboat station for a snack in the evening.


Another lovely but almost windless day. We set off after a leisurely breakfast 0ur destination, Newport at the top of the Medina of the IOW.

Those ferries only get bigger

Pellew motoring out of Lymington

We ended up having to motor to get the tide right at Cowes but it was lovely out in a warm clear Solent with very little traffic to be seen.

Isabella motoring up the Solent

Motoring through Cowes

 The infamous 'Floating bridge'
Marcus had returned from Germany so came down to see us at the quay, whilst Tony and I enjoyed quite a good Chinese takeaway.

As the nights have drawn it there seem to be three distinct sections of the sailing season..the early part when it is bright , getting warmer and the days are lengthening but not enough to be sitting out side all evening..the middle section, warm dry hopefully..and long days..sitting around in cockpits chatting away...and then the third part when the day light deserts us and by 19.00 you are thinking about turning in.

We were definitely in the third part of the season ..suggled in the cabin with a good book or film.


 We all had various reasons for needing to be back home by the weekend and with the tides as tey were we departed Newport and headed across the Solent back to Ashlett.

Isabella leaving Newport

Pellew in the distance

It was a grey crossing, but the wind was kind and we had a good run across and were quickly hauled out, courtesy of Tony and his electric winch.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Round the Island cruise - 1st Sept /7th Sept

The plan was to sail round the back of the Isle of Wight but the fleet was large and not all were up for it.

So the rendezvous was set for Shepards Wharf with a number of boats leaving Ashlett on the tide on Saturday 1st Sept, with Richard and Adrian joining us which gave a fleet of myself (Daislebee), Robin (Moonfleet) , Jim (Hippo), Tony (Pellew),  Ian (Moksha), Richard (Egret) and Adrian (Torridon).

We were also joined by two intrepid skippers and crew - Geoff  Aston in the Lugger "Melody" and Charles and Jan de la Fuente in their Lugger "Loulie".

Charles and Jan had booked B&B, both at Cowes and Yarmouth - Geoff planned to sleep aboard for a night before heading for home.

Fleet in Shepards
A good sail over was followed by a very sociable meal in the Duke of York, up the hill from Shepards.


A bright day dawned and the tide allowed for a lazy morning before the stream would take us into the Western Solent with a variety of plans.

First things first, Robin and I helped Charles take his lugger round to a slippery slipway and try and fix a leak where is depth sounder fitting was letting in water. After much playing around we managed to slow the flow to a dribble and returned to Shepards to join the rest of the fleet.

Ian had had some trouble with his centre plate jamming and was contemplating returning to Ashlett to sort it out, until it was pointed out that if he couldn't he would be stuck without our help - in the event the issue cured itself.

Geoff left the fleet and made his way home via Beaulieu, but the the rest of us set off for destinations further to the west. The majority were heading for Newtown Creek, Charles and Jan had their B&B booked in Yarmouth, and an intrepid few, well Robin and and myself, pressed on to Alum Bay where we met up with Marcus (Drifter Sundance), Andy (Coaster Blue Peter) and Tracey (Norfolk Gypsy Carpe Dieme).

Charles and Jan in Loulie

A pleasant but rolly night was spent at anchor, but was more than made up for by the wonderful colours the sunset and indeed sunrise cast on the sandy cliffs.
Sunset looking towards the Needles

The coloured sands of Alumn Bay


Morning in the bay

Another lovely day, with little wind to start with saw the fleet depart Alum Bay to round the Needles and the start of our trip round the south side of the island.

The wind was southerley and so we had to head quite a long way out into the channel on long tacks to make it round St Catherines Point before the tide changed. In the event the expected overfalls amounted to nothing and as the wind moved round we had a fine sail along the south east coast of the island, passing Ventnor and Sandown before rounding the point at Foreland and heading for Bembridge where the rest of the fleet were assembled,. They had taken the inside passage through the Solent. 

Bembridge Harbour
A few elected to eat on board but some of us wander up into the village of St Helens and had a nice meal at the Vine pub.


Another fine day, no wind and a leisurely start was taken with Marcus, Tracey and myself walking around the harbour, visiting the second hand chandlers that always promises a bit you know you don't really need but ...

We continued up into Bembridge Village and bought lunch on the way. The return journey was via the ferry at the point and shortly after we all set out for Chichester.

There was little wind to start with, although by the time we reached the Chi beacon we were all enjoying a fine sail. There was a lot of drift wood in the water, a fact we were alerted about by the aptly named 'Slinger' Woods.

Some elected for a tea stop at East Head, by which time I had my cruising shute up and pulling well. I tried to head close to the wind and sail past the anchored fleet - all I actually did was alarm a anchored yachtsman who thought, in a poorly timed gust of wind, that I was going to ram him...closer to the truth than comfort allows.

The fleet eventually convened in the little harbour of Bosham, a first for me and we rafted up using the fender boards provided in a group at the far end of the run.

The fleet in Bosham

Yes, in spite of letting out what I thought was enough slack on the mooring lines I was alerted, whilst in the pub, to the fact I was hanging off the harbour wall. What made in worse was Jim's boat had partially dried out slightly underneath my boat. Could have had two badly damaged boats.... Thankfully lines and cleats held - testament to the quality and although it took until 03.00 am to re float and I could return on board safely, all was well in the end.

Yes that is light under the keel - about 3 foot of it .....


I seem t recall it was another lovely day, but after the vents of the night I have to confess I wasn't much interested. We cast off about 08.00 to avoid drying out and made our ways to various parts of the harbour. I picked up a buoy and promptly went back to sleep until midday. Adrian and Richard had to make it home and Tracey needed to be back at Newtown so the fleet was gradually reducing in size.

The rest of us did however have a plan, and that was to r/v at the Emsworth Visitors pontoon for the night. 
I set off for Itchenor and a quick stop at the harbour masters pontoon before setting off for Emsworth. En route I saw a few of the fleet and eventually we were all tied up safe and snug.

After some tea and cake, Robin, Ross and I took Moonfleet up to the quay at Emsworth and went shopping for supplies. Fish and chips from Emsworth for supper and very nice too.


Another fine day which saw the fleet, after another visit to Emsworth, set out for Portsmouth. Most took the outside route, but looking at the tide and the beach I went for the inside route about 40 metres off the shore.

We had planned on Hazlar but they were having dredging work so we swallowed hard and went into Gosport Marina, to discover they had a minimum length which added to the expense but heh ho!

We made up for it with a visit to the Gosport Chinese - Sharon had some kit to drop off so joined us, along with Glenys and we managed to make sure Ian didn't break the pact by moving onto main courses too quickly - you can continuing ordering starters within the set price - until someone orders a main course - when you all have to move over to the main course menu.

The evening should have drawn to a pleasant conclusion then, but we decided to have a quick drink on Tony's boat - a boat that was moored very loosely, in fact so loosely that when I stepped aboard I promptly did the splits, dropping and smashing a bottle of wine and falling into the water - wonderful.... the only good news was I saved my phone from a dunking.......


A variety of plans were put forward for our last day out..none of which were stuck to.  In the event Marcus, Robin and Ross and myself ended up in the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Wootton Creek. They were very accommodating and we had a very nice lunch and a few beers in their garden.

Royal Victoria Yacht Club

The others went to various points east and  west before we r/v'd at Ashlett - those that live there pulled out, with some difficulty due to the lack of a pontoon at the moment. Marcus stayed afloat to head off for Newtown on the tide the following day.

A convivial club house cook in took place to finish off the cruise in style.

A really good, if eventful cruise. (unfortunately the events of the week lead to further embarrassment at the Poole dinner, but more of that later)