8th August 2017 – Lyme Bay and Portland Bill

  • Start position – Dartmouth
  • Start time – 07:20
  • Start engine hrs – 718.8
  • Towards – Weymouth
  • ETA – 20:00
  • Finish position –  Weymouth
  • Finish time – 18:55
  • Finish engine hrs – 727.5
  • Distance travelled – 55nm
  • Skipper – Richard
  • Crew – Louise,
  • Weather – WNW 2-3
  • Tide – HW Plymouth 19:20
    • HW Dover 12:20
    • np>sp 88%
  • New faults –

We got the train back to Dartmouth yesterday afternoon, had supper on board and updated the passage plan for today. Given the light winds and improved chance of arriving before sunset, we decide to take the inner passage around Portland Bill, despite the strong tides.

We get an early start, with L helping our neighbour to moor back up, before R picks her up and we head out. The sea is calm, with a row of other yachts out in front of us doing the same thing. The wind is too light to rely on sufficient speed for the precise timing recommended for the inner passage, so we motor sail. The wind is further West and lighter than forecast. We’re motoring for much of the day. By 14:30 we’re clearly early for the Bill, so stop the engine and sail slowly under main alone. The wind has picked up a bit and the tide is carrying us in, so we’re still making good time. As recommended we close the Bill about 2 miles North of the tip, then turn South, hoisting the staysail, to time our run for slack water (5hrs after HW Dover). There’s a little chop as we approach, but we’re round in calm, slack, water about 120m offshore. In the flat water behind the Bill we finally unfurl the jib and get a perfect reach up towards Weymouth. The wind bends back around the contours and we can just fetch up to Weymouth without tacking. We raft up on the North side of the harbour.

Then it’s supper at The George Inn, before the crews of ‘East Breeze’ and ‘Step Back in Time’ join us for a drink onboard. They made the same passage yesterday.

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