Date: Saturday 28th August 2010
Participants and boats: Eva, Sonia, Christian and Francesco on Killick
Southampton Water is a fascinating piece of sea where to practice skipper and navigation skills. Tides stream and water height are important if you don't want to run aground with great embarrassment for your crew or simply if you want to make it on time for the dinner. An eye on buoys, channel and cardinal marks is fundamental to stay away from risks even when sailing a small vessel like Killick in such a busy and tiny place. Sound signals are always a good way to wake up but try to not force the captain to give you the five (or more) short blasts. Anchorage and "pick-up a buoy" skills are a must if you like to rest and have a quick lunch on board.
If all those points are clear enough, you may be ready for your skipper examination and for rising your level of confidence later!
On Saturday morning, we had our first experience taking Killick out on the water as skipper and competent crew and it was a great first experience. We met at 10.30 am, time to start the outboard (make sure there is fuel in it!) and we jumped on the tender to reach killick and got ready to start in about an hour! At 11.30 the wind was coming from W-NW in F4-F5. Time for safety demonstration and with like jackets on, we had a quick chat to plan the day with the charts in our hands. There was no point to go down to the Solent to risk an out coming tide with contrary winds in the afternoon, so we decide to take advantage of the remaining (HW at 13) incoming tide and to sail upwind the East part of the Southampton Water, just behind the docks.
To go out of the mooring was straightforward. Always have a good plan, a good communication with the crew and a very good escape plan (you never know!!). We left the buoy and the wind did its job pushing the bow all the way in the direction we wanted to go. Two minutes under motor and the headsail was up with a brilliant help of an efficient crew! Time to test some gibing and get some confidence in maneuvering the boat downwind and we decided to hoist the main, turn the bow to the wind and start sailing on a series of close-reach points and thus go up to the river. Christian took the helm and Sonia worked at the jib sheets. Eva and me at the chart table (what a lovely couple!) to define a safe route to the lunch! In about an hour, we where opposite to the Mayflower Park passing by the Town Quay marina in a very busy navigation area and just about 50 meters from the Queen Mary 2, impressive! It was easy to find a buoy and pick it up on one of several swinging mooring in this part of the river (nobody claimed it!). Time to have a quick lunch and a beer (two left in the boat! However there is still plenty of fresh water!) and we started again our navigation downwind with both the main and the headsail fully hoisted.
Coming to the mooring was even more straightforward then leaving it and the crew and the boat was very happy and safe back home on time for the dinner (5 pm)!
PS. The fuel tank on killick is full. 10 or more liters of fresh water are still available. Remember to bring more beers next time!
This page was last updated on Tuesday 31st of August 2010