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portland at springs

jimi

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Joined
19 Dec 2001
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28,502
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St Neots
I’ve done Torquay to Hythe in one hit single handed in my old Bennie 331. I aimed to get off Portland before slack just as flood startsas I wanted a full favourable tide Portland to the Needles. I carried the tide to the Needles where it turned. I used the inshore back currents to get into the Solent and then up Hythe. It was a few years ago and log book is on boat but I think it was c16 hours berth to berth
 

migs

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Joined
5 Jul 2011
Messages
54
We’ve done the direct Solent to Brixham / Dartmouth / Torquay / Salcombe (and in reverse) trip a fair few times, usually as a relaxed overnighter. Since we’re based in Langstone, we go to the South of the Isle of Wight and thus trade the excitement of Hurst Narrows for the fierce tides off St Catherine’s Point. This route keeps us well off Portland Bill and to be honest, we haven’t noticed the sea being any rougher in this area. So, you leave in the daylight and arrive sometime the next day; not rushing to get somewhere, just enjoying the journey.

PS. I can’t make Torquay to Gosport measure any less than 98 miles over the ground. Maybe my chart has got stretched somehow…
 

DJE

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21 Jun 2004
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7,109
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Fareham
PS. I can’t make Torquay to Gosport measure any less than 98 miles over the ground. Maybe my chart has got stretched somehow…
Google Earth seems to agree with you.

passage 1.jpg
 

DJE

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Fareham
I suspect doris was counting in nautical miles
As was Google Earth.

Reeds gives 58 miles Torbay to St. Albans Head plus 42 miles St. Albans Head to Portsmouth. Total 100 nautical miles.
 
Last edited:

steveeasy

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12 Aug 2014
Messages
891
Fond memories of heading east 5 miles out with an ebbing tide with the wind against it. you would not get bored that's for sure.

Steveeasy
 

TernVI

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8 Jul 2020
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3,593
Not through the water it isn’t if you play the tides right. Sod all in Lyme bay and loads from Portland onwards. It’s a tad under 85 over the ground and tides take ten off this.
A nice SW5, the prevailing, and where’s the problem? Lovely kite run all the way!
We've done Dartmouth to Yarmouth several times in one hit.

The thing you cannot fight is the ebb at Hurst/Needles.
If it's light airs or a beat you'll struggle against it and if it's strong wind over tide it's properly dangerous.
So we'd plan to get to Yarmouth before the Eastgoing tide runs out.
That means going against the Westgoing tide in Lyme Bay then making some South into the channel to get the most of the Eastgoing.

We would generally take the view that if the wind didn't deliver, we were happy to stop off at Weymouth or Swanage.
Starting from Torbay is perhaps easier than Dartmouth. You'll want to be East of Scabbacombe before the W tide builds.
 

flaming

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Joined
24 Mar 2004
Messages
12,223
Have done Dartmouth - Hamble many times after the regatta in a 37 footer. There are 2 strategies that work well for that passage (and Brixham is no different).

Option 1 is to plug tide across Lyme bay where it is quite weak and then pick up the East going tide just before Portland and carry it all the way in through the needles, probably running out of tide halfway up the Solent.

Option 2 is to take the tide across Lyme bay, and just past Portland. Then plug it (staying further offshore at St Albans) until it turns, at which point you should just be approaching the needles. Then you get a nice ride up the Solent.

The risk with option 1 is being too late and running out of tide before you are in through Hurst.
The risk with option 2 is being too early and arriving at the Needles whilst the tide is still going west.

Neither is especially difficult to time though. I tend to pick the option that gives the most sociable hours for the delivery back. I see no point in losing a night's sleep and sailing overnight just to do the technically "perfect" passage (option 1) when Option 2 is available. So I just pick the option that involves more daylight sailing.
 
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