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Poole Cruise

The summer finally arrived just in time for our annual visit to Poole on the 24th June. John E, Simon and I met at 11am in Lake Pier (parking still only £2.40 for whole day) with the intention of having an afternoon on the water, before checking in at the campsite. The wind was pretty light so John decided to head straight to the site, while Simon and I made the most of the conditions and sailed up to Rockley for an ice cream.

Back at the campsite we were joined by Joe and first time camper and cruiser Russ. As it was a lovely evening we had a BBQ, and discussed the following days activities. The wind was predicted to be light again so we decided to postpone the cruise until Wednesday, and planned a bike ride to Sandbanks instead. We were joined on the Tuesday morning by Andy and had a nice ride in the hot sunshine, with lunch on the beach at Sandbanks.

On the way back we visited a windsurf shop. According to Russ it was the first time he had been in a watersports shop and not bought anything. We also managed an ice cream stop at Hamworthy, 14 easy miles covered. We spent the evening watching England's boring draw while having a meal at the local pub. Afterwards John decided he couldn’t deal with his very bad hay-fever any longer and headed for home.

Having been promised a steady 10 mph wind and warm sunshine on Wednesday we met at Lake Pier for the round harbour cruise, and were joined by day sailors Owen, Mike and Dave R, making a total of 8 for the midday launch. We set of down the Wareham Channel with a following 7/8 mph SE wind and made steady progress until two thirds of the way to Giggers Island, when the wind swung round to the SW so we were now on a beat, with Joe taking the original clockwise route round the island and the rest going anti-clockwise reacting to the wind-shift. In the event Joe made the right call with the rest apart from Simon and me failing to make it round. However, Russ did find an unknown passage in the middle and rounded half the island.

The plan was to stop at Shipstal point for lunch on the beach but everyone apart from Simon, Owen and me decided to head back to base, as we had been on the water in very hot conditions for over 2 hours. The remaining 3 carried on and had our picnic under the shade of a tree and decided to shorten the route, as the promised steady wind had been light and shifty all day. So we rounded Long and Round island’s before stopping off at Hamworthy on the way back for yet another ice cream, we eventually landed back at base at 5pm.

In the evening the campers enjoyed another BBQ in the warm evening sunshine and reflected on what had been a frustrating few days wind-wise but very successful from a social and heat point of view.


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