Around the Isle of Wight and back again!

Date: Sunday 16th August 2009
Participants and boats: Costa, Antoine, Caroline and Alexia on KiLlick

It is true we have tried it before and failed miserably. But this time it seemed that all the forces of nature were conspiring to our benefit. Wind, tide AND sun. Apparently it pays off to order them well in advance :P

We met at 5am Sunday morning in the compound, Costa Caroline, Antoine and Alexia. All sleepy but quite excited for the day ahead, even though we were unsure we would return on time for Monday morning work (which actually is not all that bad...)

Loading ourselves and our stuff on board and preparing KiLlick took just about an hour (thanks to Antoine loading the food the day before) and off we went at exactly 6am. Needless to say that sunrise was stunning (pictures upon request!).

We started with a smooth wind, that brought us up to Carlshot in about 2 hours (using the spinnaker after the third try of launching it!) enough time to enjoy quietly our breakfast, prepared with care by Waitrose and brought to us by Antoine and Costa. Letting an Italian and a French to do the shopping for a sailing trip, transforms the whole experience into a gourmet exploration instead of just simple sailing!

Passing Cowes we had to dodge numerous sailing boats of all sizes and colours, as everyone seemed to have picked that particular day to take their boats out. Alexia at the helm had her first experience of going as close to the wind as possible, with Costa and Antoine judging her efforts: "You are pinching!! You are pinching!!!".

Exactly at midday Caroline brought us up to the Needles which surpassed all expectations and Costa's close calculations. The view was breath-taking, and so were the waves as soon as we past the west point of the isle. At which point the travel sickness pills started to wear off, so Alexia and Caroline took turns in feeling really bad. That postponed our well deserved lunch.

We hoisted the spinnaker from the Needles till we were in view on St. Catherine point when one of the pulley broke off. Followed an exciting quick drop with people running around the boat, waves bashing us around and almost a Chinese gybe. Alexia managed to miss all that, as she was sleeping fighting off nausea. After St. Catherine's point we tried our luck with the spinnaker again, reaching the amazing speed of 6 knots (Yes WOW...!!).

We dropped the spinnaker as the wind was getting a bit too strong to handle. We had our late lunch (porkpies and more porkpies) looking for sea monsters. Unfortunately we did not spot any. Our last two hours on the Solent were quite challenging, the wind being too strong and the sea too choppy... We trained our leg muscles truing to balance the boat that was constantly kept at 45 degrees. Out of stupidity or laziness we did not bother to reef our overpowered sails. But never mind that, nothing bad happened (apart from a big wave splashing all over Alexia) and when we passed Carlshot again at 7.30ish the wind dropped and we went to our familiar Southampton water conditions.

To celebrate our 11 hours and 20 minutes round of the Isle of Wight we had our British Ale and some sandwiches. We reached our mooring (sailing!!!) at 8.30 without using a single drop of petrol! We are really heading for the green sailing award.

Back on land safe and sound at 9.45 we all looked at the worse side of exhausted. Later gathered information reported that all our showers were moving, and in some cases even our computer screens the day after. Despite that, it was our great achievement and we are proud of it! Especially our skipper Costa who planned everything up to the tiniest detail! Just.. .no more pork pies please!

Alexia

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This page was last updated on Tuesday 8th of September 2009