Antipole cruises

Eastward Bound for Home

There has been a national shortage of Calorgas in recent weeks. Apparently, the Covid-related surge in caravanning and motorhome holidays has led to high demand but no one is returning empty cylinders. That’s because, ipso facto, there are no full ones to exchange with. Calorgas say they have ordered more cylinders but they are made abroad and, well, Brexit – you know. So we have been having to eek out our remaining gas and prioritise tea-making. No bread, potatoes or rice – just noodles that cook in a minute.

We had a period of strong south-westerlies forecast. Although we choose to avoid F6 and above when we can, we decided to brave it out rather than be becalmed in the fine weather to follow. So we had a fast sail from Fowey to Plymouth Sound, where we anchored off Cawsand overnight.

For the next passage to Brixham we had all three reefs in on the main and the new staysail set. This worked very well and running in F6-7 was very manageable.

On the passage from Brixham to Weymouth we have to round the fearsome Portland Bill. We chose the shorter passage passing close inshore inside the race. There is a window of just an hour in which this is safe as the tide turns and we had to arrive at the right moment after 45nm across Lyme Bay. We set off with the minimal rig but started to fall behind schedule as the contrary spring tide built up. So we had to pile on more sail to compensate and arrived off the bill at the right moment. It was rather lumpy but manageable. From there it was an easy reach to Weymouth.

Triple reefed sail

In Weymouth, we came alongside for the first time since Gweek ten days ago. We had mains electricity and hot water and could have showers. And the chandler had gas. Luxury!

From Weymouth, we had an easy afternoon sail round to Studland Bay in very familiar waters. We sailed close inshore to catch the eddy, passing familiar haunts such as Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Warbarrow Bay and Kimmeridge and arrived at St Alban’s Head at slack water so we could pass close inshore and pick up the flood around Durlston Head and Peveral Point. We arrived early evening in Studland Bay, which is a very popular anchorage. We counted fifty yachts at anchor but there was plenty of space and we tucked in close under Handfast Point. The two rocks at the tip of Handfast Point have always been known as Old Harry and his wife. Sadly, his wife tumbled into the sea during a storm a couple of years ago and now Old Harry stands alone. After dark, the fifty-odd anchor lights twinkling across the bay looked magical.

Handfast Point with Old Harry standing alone

The next morning we sailed up Poole Harbour and then motored up the River Frome to Ridge Wharf where we unloaded stuff into the car and collected our rigid dinghy before returning downriver to our mooring. The mooring tails have been lying in the river while we were away and were filthy! Tonight is our last on board before we return home. The M27 is always a shock after time away on the water.

That’s it for now.

Ynskje & Tony

You can view our track here.

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