After Cowes, Beaulieu River, which is a privately owned nature reserve, was a welcome and surprisingly peaceful retreat from the crowded Solent. Tied up to a mooring buoy and enjoyed the late afternoon listening to the calls of water birds.
Friday morning saw us back out into the Solent and down to the Western approach where the fast tidal streams past the Needles swept us out towards Poole where we anchored in Studland Bay protected by 'Old Harry' amongst a few other yachts, eager to claim their places for the night. The fine weather saw many out on power boats and jetskis, creating wake for poor sailboats just waiting for the wind to pick up.
Studland Bay anchorage
The sun rises during Jaime's anchor watch.
Saturday saw us playing around Handfast Point, and then heading into Poole Harbour, where Lady Ayesha was built back in 1985, to drop off shipmate Colin who had joined us for these first few days. That evening we picked up a private buoy in Wareham Creek, further up Poole Harbour and did our passage planning for he next few days.
Colin and Old Harry
On Sunday we got our first taste of the Jurassic coast, now quite familiar to anyone who has watched the endlessly repeated BBC TV series 'Coast'. We sailed close inshore to Saint Albans Head to avoid the races over the ledge, and entered the well known MOD firing range which won't be active again until after April 16. Arrived at Worbarrow Bay at dusk, and dropped the hook near another boat snuggled in behind Mupe Rocks which offereed protection from west and northerly winds. The catabatic effect over the high cliffs kept us rocking and swinging all night but 35 lbs of iron and 40 metres of heavy chain kept us safely connected to the seabed. The morning brought some beautiful views and we decided to stay for another night to allow us to expore the nearby coves and walk to Lulworth, just to the west. Apparently the caves behind Mupe Rocks were used by smugglers in times gone by, but a thorough search revealed not even a single dubloon.
Sunrise over Worbarrow Bay
Mupe Bay anchorage