A cockerel reminded us from earliest morning that a new day was ahead! I can’t get over how nice it is to sit on a gently swinging boat, having breakfast in the morning sunshine looking over wide stretching riverbanks and fields.
Daniel needs a train station tomorrow, so we had decided we would go to Poole. We set off at 10.30 motoring out on to the Solent. Slight trouble getting the mainsail up, but with combined technical brains we worked out which rope had been tightened too much while we’d been away. We all thoroughly enjoyed the gentle and relaxing sail along the Hampshire coast with the Isle of Wight in full view on the other side.
You can’t miss Hurst Castle, majestically dominating the approach to the Solent from the west. Built by Henry VIII and modernised both during the Napoleonic wars and in 1870 and was manned in WWII, so has a long history of defending the southern coast.
It got choppier as we approached the castle, and the wind picked up. With the help of the tide we got up to 10 knots and Idun showed what she’s made of. We tacked to get nearer The Needles – what a fantastic sight! It’s difficult to understand that these stacks of hard chalk are still standing while the cove is being eroded. It was from here that Marconi broadcast his pioneering radio transmissions in 1897, and between 1955 and 1971 a top secret missile and space rocket development centre was built on the site of old Needles Battery on the cliff top, where they developed the space rockets ‘Black Night’ and ‘Black Arrow’.
We set off northwest towards The Needles’ geological brother, Old Harry Rocks off Studland Bay 20 miles away. We had another fantastic sail, lively but steady in the beautiful sunshine. The approach to Poole is spectacular; the sheer beauty of Studland nature reserve and beach, with the chain ferry across to the wonderful houses on Sandbanks. We caught a buoy right between Brownsea Island and Sandbanks overlooking the whole southern basin. Using our lovely rib we went to Salterns Marina for a quick food and beer shop to get back for 6pm and pre-game snacks. Dominic cooked a very yummy curry which we ate while watching the England v Croatia game. Evening ended in disappointment…