Ha ha well I’d been warned that anchoring overnight in Lulworth Cove is not for light sleepers, and yes despite the winds being positive for our side of things, it was bumpy. Very bumpy. I’d say Lyme Regis bumpy+.
We weighed anchor and left Lulworth Cove by 8am. After putting the sails up, we wafted along for a bit until the wind picked up, sailing past the gorgeous rock formations of Mupe Rocks and Worbarrow Tout with its 150-million-year-old Portland limestones and 147-million-year-old Purbeck Beds.
When we reached St Albans Headland the sea got a bit bumpy with the overfalls and we only did 2 knots due to the heavy contra-tide.
St Albans is a corruption of St Aldhelm’s, and the Norman Chapel of St Aldhelm sits high up on the headland. The chapel, dedicated to St Aldhelm, the first Bishop of Sherborne, sits in the centre of an early Christian enclosure and the Chapel itself probably rests on an earlier timber building. So the chapel was built on an already sacred site, which happens so often. Incidentally the chapel is still in use, which I think is lovely!
Also up on the headland near the edge, sits the Coastwatch station where volunteers keep a protective eye on fishermen, yachtsmen and anyone else out on the water. Read more on their amazing work here: National Coastwatch
The sun started to break through and from Durlston Head to Hurst Castle we enjoyed a fast and pleasant down-wind sail, and we touched 11 knots at one point. For a while we could see Portland Bill, Old Harry Rocks and The Needles all at the same time! Dominic is impressed with the B&G auto-pilot we have on Idun. He mentioned several times today how well it performs in conditions like today, when steering by hand would be quite a challenge.
We had good tide with us going through west Solent and continued our fast sail. It was fun seeing the very fast and colourful dinghies that were taking part in one of the races now that it’s Cowes Week.
Dominic had planned the passage well and we even arrived ahead of schedule at Hamble Point at 4pm. Dominic did a fantastic job in backing Idun into the very tight space we had allocated to us, in the Inspiration Marine pen full of very expensive and brand new Hanse yachts. He had most definitely earned his cool beer!