trip logs

Trip Log: Yarmouth to Gosport

DBfE5dbXUAAmMxYWith the Yarmouth Gaffer festival in full swing, we had to reluctantly depart. As soon as Alice had raced her Log boat, with the help of the Berthing Master’s RIB, we swung free of the rafted boats and dodged the incoming ferry. We left at that time to catch the flood tide which, combined with the stiff F6 W breeze, swept us along at over 6kts on staysail only. As we passed Cowes, we made directly for Gilkicker Point, which not only was the most direct course but took us out of the main shipping channel. We watched gigantic Cunard liner Queen Victoria wove its way towards Southampton and no less that three more made their way out. The wind was less by Gilkicker Point, so we put upreffed main and sailed into Portsmouth. All in all, a very pleasing end to our trip and we were in plenty of time for a walk into Gosport for a very welcome meal out.

Thanks to Steve Mitchell (@BlackJacksGaff) for our departure shot.

18.4nm in 3h40min; avg speed 5kts


YoGaff 2017

We were fortunate enough to find ourselves in Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight this weekend, during the annual gathering of gaff-rigged boats from the local area. We were one of over a hundred boats rafted in the harbour; it was a wonderful sight with all the boats dressed with flags, pennants and bunting. A festival was taking place in the town itself, with market stalls, live music and entertainments all weekend. The OGA, who organise the waterside events, laid on many activities and it was great fun to meet other boat owners to compare notes. Alice in particular had a great time, being called up on stage to join the band on Friday night to play ukelele and entering the “log boat” competition with enthusiasm. In this event,she was given a wooden hull, a keel and a rudder, along with some simple tools, and the brief to build a toy boat to race across the harbour. She was at the screwdriver within minutes securing the parts. She cut, decorated and attached sails and had a wonderful time with “sea trials” adjusting her design so that it would reach in a straight line across the harbour. She was rewarded for all this effort when she won the race and I think we have a budding designer in the family…

events, trip logs

Trip Log: Cowes to Yarmouth

After a lay-day in Cowes, we caught the ebb tide down to Yarmouth. This involved an early start (ropes off 7.30), but we got away in time to catch nearly two knots of West-flowing tide. This was just as well because the wind did not fill in very much, so we had a very quiet and gentle sail past Newtown Creek. As Cowes slipped behind us, we could see a number of other gaffers making their way to a large gathering in Yarmouth (“YoGaff”). 

We trailed a buoy on a warp and Alice enjoyed a swim alongside the boat; although we were making over 3kts over the ground, speed through the water  was slow enough for Alice to easily swim against. It became a gloriously warm and sunny day, as the sun broke through the early morning mist, so made for a most enjoyable sail. We arrived at Yarmouth with plenty of time before lunch for pottering around the beach; initially we were placed in a visitor berth, but we soon made arrangements to join in with the gaffer event. Formailities over, we wandered around the picturesque town, as the large fleet of gaffers assembled.

Over 100 boats were arriving, each decked out in colourful pennants. The central part of the harbour was taken over, with boats rafting 3 or 4 deep. The boats ranged from modern gaffers (our Cape Cutter, Crabbers and Shrimpers, Yarmouth) to genuinely old gaffers. Time for welcoming beers and a barbecue, followed by a perfect sunset and an early retirement before the events begin tomorrow.