Sunday, February 05, 2012

Cruise of the ‘Aziz’ a Pioneer 9 Part 19

We picked up a buoy in The Bight

When I am coastal cruising I like to make an early start, so as to have the maximum number of daylight hours possible, hopefully arriving at a port or a suitable anchorage before nightfall. On Sunday, 24th August I had the anchor stowed by 0535 and straight away we were heading south towards the Warren Sands, but for reasons not recorded in the log, instead of continuing to sea, I picked up a mooring off the Warren Sands in The Bight.

With time on my hands I struggled doing the laundry in two sessions - one before lunch and the other after. Each article was kneaded by hand in a bowl of cold water suitably prepared with a special liquid detergent, before I forcefully expelled the water by twisting the article as I held it over the side of the boat. Afterwards, every item was soaked in fresh water to remove traces of the detergent; then once again, I expelled water as before. The whole process was labour intensive and it took a long time. Because there were occasional showers I hung the wet washing on temporary lines within the cabin. That was not ideal, but when I started the job I did not think it would rain. I was severely restricted as to where I could move within the cabin on account of the washing that dangled and dripped.

Getting ashore in my folding dinghy was not practical, because the nearest landing place was over half a mile upstream at Starcross, and the second nearest was a little further downstream at Exmouth. It would have been feasible had the current not been running at nearly two knots, and I did not have an outboard engine for the dinghy. I stayed put, did a bit of reading, passage planning, listened to the radio and rested.

The shipping forecast for Monday, 25th August was pretty good, offering north-westerly 3 or 4 winds, showers, then rain, soon clearing. I made a later start than usual to ensure there would be enough water over the bar. From our temporary mooring north of the Warren Sands it was a matter of following the well-marked channel around the sandy Warren Point; then seaward of the beach at Exmouth, but not so far as to stray onto Pole Sand, and while doing this keeping green buoys to port and red to starboard. Beyond Orcombe Ledge the sea became the most amazing shade of emerald, while contrasting with the red sandstone cliffs of Orcombe Point. There I streamed the log which registered 770.5 miles.

For most of the morning we batted along on a direct course of 109 degrees compass for Portland Bill, and by mid afternoon the peninsular was due north, about two miles distant. We were to seaward of the rough water known as the Race, and we sailed to the south of the Shambles Bank before rounding the East Shambles Buoy. There I resorted to using the engine to help us along our way to Weymouth. In the lee of Portland Bill the wind was less strong and by the time I anchored off Weymouth beach it was calm. The log registered 821.4 miles, indicating we had sailed 51 miles in 11 hours and 6 minutes, averaging 4.63 knots through the water.

Fireworks at Weymouth

It was a bank holiday, and that evening I was treated to a free firework display set up on pontoons moored to seaward of the beach. Festivities continued until the early hours of the morning, which did nothing for my attempts at sleeping. Noisy spectator vessels returning to the harbour disturbed the water with their wakes. Finally, all settled down, and apart from rhythmic rolling caused by the movement of waves I was left to my dreams.

Text for the Day

Ephesians 4:31, 32 ‘Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.’

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