Which way round the I of W?


Well-known member
18 Jan 2003
Nazare Portugal
We left the Hamble at 02.00 on Friday morning intending to go to St Vaast. Tide was E going in Solent so we went E. A fetch against the SW wind left us 38 mls to the NE of Cherbourg after some 10hrs! Decided to tack and after 3 hrs were then 40mls from Cherbourg albeit a bit further W.

Decided give St Vaast a miss (probably too late for lock) and with 2 crew out of it with sturgeron and another 3 sea sick put on the engine and headed straight into the wind for Cherbourg. Arrived after 19.5 hrs.

I would appreciate others advice as if faced with the same situation again (with neaps) I think I would motor W to the needles against the tide as this would at least enable us to start Xing some 30mls further to the W. I notice that Tome recomended that to Fireball.

Interested in others opinions especially those that actually did that! You can always learn with sailing!!

Journey back was better but initially wondered if I had got it wrong again when we woke up to an empty marina- you had all left!! We left at 08.30BST expecting a 10hr to needles and catch the last 3hrs of E going tide. Stonking sail and passed the needles some 8.75 hrs later! Nice to then join "Mogibear" going down the Solent with some 10-11kts over the ground!

Thanks to those that visited "Janes Buoy" Saturday afternoon for a drink and nibbles. All my crew thought everyone was great fun and are asking can they do it again next year!

What a great event.

Pascal the Marina manager wanted me to pass on that they have some berths for sale (at a price that will make people fall over - unlike UK marinas I think he meant cheap!) and this winter they will be making some big improvements to the visitors pontoons. I will pass on further info when he e mails me the details.

Pascal was very helpful and offered the berthing discount, he mentioned that he is always interested in positive feedback and constructive criticism. He gets mine in the fact we always try to make Cherbourg the first stop every holiday and I notice from the many skippers names against my boat, obviously a number of the charterers go there regularly as well.

Bit of Fred drift but thought I would wrap everything up in one post.


New member
29 Apr 2003
Near a marina, sailing club and pub

Stonking sail and passed the needles some 8.75 hrs later! Nice to then join "Mogibear" going down the Solent with some 10-11kts over the ground!

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Ah that was you - we were just west of the fairway buoy at the time, under genoa only. It was a great sail back although - like Mobibear - we went off on a broad reach which took us west.

On your general question, I dont think there is a simple B&W answer. Depends on boat, crew, tide and weather every time. Personally, i would have left at a different time rather than face 19hours crossing the channel. It took us 1hour 50mins to get past the Needles, having set off from Lymington and gone via the North Channel to be on the safe side, then another 11.5 hours. Thought that was bad enough /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Many thanks to you and yours for the entertainment on Saturday afternoon and for organising the meal - never an easy task, I know from bitter experience!.


New member
15 Nov 2004
Ah - just for the record - I don't think Tome recommended we went anywhere - he gave it as the course he was intending to take. Having heard about the submarine antics of much larger boats I'm satisfied that our decision to go out via the Nab was suitable for our vessel from our location, as was the decision to use the motor to maintain a course of 180...

On reflection I think we should've tacked westwards on the UK side of the channel rather than waiting until we were off Barfleur and the fight against the tide - the CP was indicating that there was still a little west going tide south of the IOW whilst the flood started off the Cherbourg coast - can anyone confirm or deny that?

Huge thanks for organising the event ... especially as this was my first trip abroad in my own boat ... (even if it did create a long job list!)