Sunday: We’re off again to Studland Bay. We had toyed with the idea of sailing around the Isle of Wight on our way, but Dominic’s calculations said it would add at least 5 hours of sailing, without enhancing the journey much. So we decided to go the normal route. As we approached Yarmouth we could see an enormous number of dinghies and yachts racing in the Taittinger Regatta. There were several races going on concurrently, so Dominic had to tack carefully so as not to disturb any potential winners!
We got to Studland Bay by early afternoon and settled in for a late lunch, a few jobs, and relaxing on deck. A bit of a breeze so Idun jumped around on the waves, helped along by the many jet skis and motor boats that whizzed past. Just like last Sunday, this is a very popular place to be!
Monday: We got in the dinghy and tied up on Studland Bay’s South Beach. Today is walking time! The National Trust path took us along the chalk cliffs and we had a good view over the beaches and the bay with Idun bobbing along. Old Harry Rocks was busy with sightseers and we joined them in admiring the fantastic chalk stacks. We were joined by another couple with their grandchildren, and the little girl had fun using our binoculars. She was hoping to see dolphins but they were nowhere to be seen. We did see a fledgling herring gull though, on its cliff perch, wandering back and forth trying out the wings!
We continued up and westward, stunned by the sheer beauty of the sea and cliffs. We had the most wonderful view of Swanage with its pier, and sat for a long time on Ballard Down looking over Studland, Poole and Bournemouth. We could see where we anchored by Goathorn Point not long ago, and Brownsea Island, and the whole of Poole harbour.
The tide was still low when we got back on the beach and the dinghy was well beached, so we walked through the very warm water on the incredibly shallow beach for a while and enjoyed doing a bit of crossword in the sun. Back on the boat I decided I’d try going for a swim, but somehow it felt very cold in the water so I didn’t stay in long!
Tuesday: We had planned to sail to Worbarrow Bay today, but having checked on the Lulworth Firing Times, we found that not only are they firing, but doing so in the outer reaches as well. And we could actually hear the booms starting just after 9:30 so we hadn’t been over cautious!
So we spent another day in the paradise that is Studland. I did some laundry, Sudoku, read and generally pottered about. Dominic worked on the solar panels and generally tried different routes as to how to get the optimum power generation and then he busied himself by polishing anything and everything so it’s all nice and shiny!
I read about the wildfires that are still burning in the forests around where I grew up. It is quite frightening how long they’ve been going on, and how much forest has been destroyed, at an enormous cost to the local communities and the landowners. Five villages have been evacuated. Practical help from other EU countries has been invaluable. But it’s still burning, and in many other parts of the country too. My mother, who is at no immediate risk, tells me that even where she lives she keeps smelling the smoke.