Well we’ve just finished a round trip to Alderney via Cherbourg and two visits to Poole.
The first visit to Poole was because when we got to the needles channel last friday the wind and the tide were so against us we were only managing 2 knts, which meant a 20 hr crossing! “Stuff that” so we diverted to Poole, which to be fair has changed quite a bit since the last time we were stuck there for 4 days when we had the motorboat, but hey that was nearly 12 years ago. Thats said it has suffered the slings and arrows of the recession, with many of the little bar/nightclubs board up and quite a few vacant beach & harbour side properties.
Anyway we stayed there for two nights and the on Sunday the weather improved so we anchored off in Studland bay for the afternoon and ended up staying the night, then left early morning for a reasonably decent motor-sail to Cherbourg we stayed their a couple of nights eating in the yacht club on the first night and then on the boa the second, we left for Alderney at around 6am and were swinging into Braye harbour just after noon after a very respectable sail.
Needless to say when we eventually returned from alderney the wind crossing wiped up into a 7-or 8 and it was far too rough to come thru the needles channel at night so we headed for poole as our safe haven, we got our heads down and , left port just after lunch came in through the north passage turned towards hurst point and managed to get her up to 10.2 knts SOG without any real effort, we meandered back up the Solent gulping with the wind up our backsides at a decent 8 knts and fell into Swanwick early evening, both completely exhausted but satisfied