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A Historic Day
Traditional Ports and Harbours of the Solent
The Quiet Bays of the Solent
Golf by the Solent
Busy Portsmouth and the calm waters of Chichester Harbour
A Historic day
The emphasis on this day is on tasting the history and traditions of Cowes and Portsmouth, ports that encapsulate the historical aspect of sailing in this area.
After meeting at Ocean Village and enjoying a tea or coffee and pastries, we leave port and sail down Southampton water. Passing Calshot Spit we make our way across the Solent to the Isle of Wight, enter the Medina River and make for Cowes, the traditional home of yachting.
Time tie up here and go ashore, to visit a Yacht Club or wander the narrow streets behind the harbour. Perhaps we stay for lunch here, or perhaps this is just a brief stop before we return to the Solent and head east.
We break our voyage with a stop in Osborne Bay, with views across to the Maritime Forts, dating from Napoleonic times, whilst we relax at anchor for a while.
Then we sail on, past the Forts, and into the great naval center of Portsmouth. A cruise past the naval facilities might precede time ashore for a wander and a visit to the great ships preserved here, reminders of Britain's naval supremacy. Lunch here, perhaps, if the restaurants of Cowes did not detain us.
Then finally we sail the last leg of our cruise, making our way back to the roads opposite Cowes and head up Southampton Water and back to Ocean Village.
The traditional ports and harbours of the Solent.
The emphasis today is on visiting the smaller, more traditional sailing and fishing ports, rather than the great naval towns of the Solent.
After meeting at Ocean village and enjoying a tea or coffee and pastries, we leave port and sail down Southampton Water. Turning west at Calshot Spit we pass the Beaulieu River to starboard and Newtown Bay on our port side as we make our way up the Solent.
As Hurst Castle comes into view ahead we turn to starboard and enter the narrow marked channel that leads to Lymington. Tying up at one of the Marinas here, we can wander into the center of town. The cobbled streets adjacent to Town Quay lead to a number of shops and restaurants, ideal stopping off points for lunch. Beyond, our lunch stop, a walk up the hill to the High Street leads to the heart of town and its several shops, before we wander back to our yacht.
Moving slowly down the channel back to the Solent leads to a short sail across the Solent to one of the most picturesque ports on the Isle of Wight, as we make for Yarmouth. We may enter the tiny harbour and tie up inside the breakwater, or we may pick up a buoy in the roads outside.
Once ashore, by tender or water taxi, time to explore the narrow streets of this old fishing port and perhaps pause at one of the many pubs, perhaps at one with views of the bustling harbour.
Should weather and time allow a stop at anchor in a quiet bay allows time to relax and unwind. We may sail further west to Alum Bay, or stop at Newtown Bay on our way east again, along the Solent.
In the late afternoon, time to up anchor and make our way back to Southampton Water and up to Ocean Village and the end of our day.
The quiet bays of the Solent
The emphasis here is on a day spent not in the towns and bustling ports of these busy waters, but in the quieter, more rural, areas of the Solent.
After meeting at Ocean Village and enjoying a tea or coffee and pastries, we slip our moorings and make our way down Southampton Water. Turning west we briefly cruise the waters of the Solent before on our starboard side the twisting entrance to the Beaulieu River appears. Making our way up river we can pick up a buoy and spend time listening to the sounds of the river, watching the bird-life and lazing on deck in the sun. From the lower stretches of the river there are great views across to the Isle of Wight; further up river the small community of Bucklers Hard makes a pleasant lunch stop, with pub food or more formal fare at the Master builders Hotel. Time perhaps, after lunch, for a walk through the woods to the village of Beaulieu.
After lunch we make our way down the river and out into the Solent. Heading east we have a choice as we look for a bay in which to anchor:
The shallow expanse of Newtown bay offer an ideal afternoon anchorage, with the stillness of the lake there disturbed only by the bird-life that is a feature of this protected nature reserve. Alternatively we might sail the length of the Solent and, passing Yarmouth and Hurst Castle turn to port into Alum Bay. Here we can anchor under the lee of the high cliffs and swim, laze on deck, or perhaps venture ashore and walk the beach.
At anchor in the afternoon sun the hours slip away, with the yacht our base for swimming, going ashore to wander the beaches, or just whiling away the hours lulled by the gentle lap of the water around us.
In the late afternoon, time to leave the stillness as we up anchor and head slowly back along the Solent to the bustle of Southampton Water and the sounds of the city as we return to our berth in Ocean Village.
Golf By the Solent
A golf day, but with a difference, as we sail along the Solent before a game overlooking the sea.
After meeting at Ocean Village and enjoying tea or coffee and pastries we leave our berth and sail down Southampton Water. Turning west along the Solent we make for the picturesque port of Yarmouth. Her we tie up in the small harbour, or pick up a buoy just outside the breakwater and take the yacht tender or a water taxi to go ashore.
Time for a drink in one of the harbour side pubs, whilst our golf equipment is brought ashore, then its just a short drive to the golf course at Freshwater.
A round of golf, with views over the coast, takes us through to a late lunch at the clubhouse, or back in Yarmouth.
In the late afternoon we depart Yarmouth for a leisurely sail east along the Solent until we head up Southampton Water tot berth back in Ocean Village.
It is also possible to stop in Cowes en route to Yarmouth and transfer to one of the nine hole courses within easy reach of our berth, to start the day with a Texas Scramble, before sailing on to Yarmouth and the 18 hole course at Freshwater. This would add to the competitive nature of the trip but would however make for a somewhat longer day.
Busy Portsmouth and the calm waters of Chichester Harbour
After meeting up at Ocean village for teas, coffee and pastries, we sail down Southampton Water and turn east. With Ryde on our starboard side, the Forts that mark the approach to Portsmouth come into view and we turn for the entrance to Portsmouth harbour.
Time ashore here, to explore this major port; visit the maritime attractions and the retail appeal of Gunwharf Quay, before time for lunch.
After lunch we sail out of Portsmouth and continue east, along the coast until we reach the bar at the entrance to Chichester Harbour. Making our through the narrow entrance we turn east to drop anchor in the shallows. Here we can laze the afternoon away, swimming from the stern of the yacht, going ashore to wander the beach, or just lazing on the deck in the sunshine.
If we are confident enough of the weather, we could forego lunch in Portsmouth and go ashore for a more alfresco picnic or barbecue lunch lasting through the afternoon.
In the late afternoon, time to up anchor and cruise back past Portsmouth as the Isle of Wight takes shape to port, before turning up Southampton Water to end our day of city bustle and peaceful bathing.
West of the Solent, to Studland Bay, Poole and on to the fishing port of Weymouth
East of the Solent, past Selsey Bill to the marina and entertainment of Brighton.
These longer journeys will make for a more full and lengthy a day, with much more of your time spent cruising. Ask us for more details of such longer voyages if these are of more interest to you.