On a chilly November morning, they set off from Lymington headed for Newtown Creek following one of the RYA Dinghy Trails. The trail took them across the Solent and into an area of outstanding beauty on the Isle of Wight.
Jake and Roger arrived at 0800 with a touch of morning sun just breaking over Lymington, they launched into a somewhat underwhelming 1knt of wind. Pushing off the slipway, they managed to turn the boat around but sat still next to the slipway making little to no headway. Luckily Roger was very proficient with a paddle and provided some much needed propulsion for the RS Venture. To the duo’s relief, the wind slowly built from the SW as they left the river and headed on out into the Solent. The RYA Dinghy Trial was a brilliant adventure and easy to follow; they even used a compass which added a real feeling of navigation and discovery!
As they made their way across the Solent a large misty grey cloud engulfed the IOW in rain and wind, delightful! They caught a little of the weather system as the breeze picked up to a brisk 20knts in the main channel. It was a little lumpy, so they reefed the mainsail whilst afloat. The reefing lines are a fantastic feature of the RS Venture and reefing was super easy and quick. Roger is always so envious of how quick it is to reef an RS Venture compared to his classic wooden fishing boat.
As they entered the small harbour in Newtown Creek the wind settled down, they had a long conversation around a cardinal mark that marks the entrance to Newtown creek neither sailor could work out the yellow and black sequence of colours. Sadly both their eyesight is not what it used to be!
Due to the stronger winds in the Solent they were slightly ahead of schedule, which meant the tide hadn’t risen as much as they had planned. Adapting their plans slightly, they picked up a mooring and raised the boom tent making a cosy, dry space onboard the RS Venture. Jake then showcased his cooking prowess and cooked up a cracking bacon sandwich and a mug of steaming hot coffee. After a good chat about Roger Barnes new book ‘The Dinghy Cruising Companion 2nd edition: Tales and Advice from Sailing a Small Open Boat’, in which the RS Venture is reviewed on a double-page spread, they decided to head back for home.
The sail back was great, in around a force 3-4, which the RS Venture lapped up. They had the added motivation to keep their boat speed up on their way back into Lymington of being chased by the IOW ferry. They didn’t quite make it in time and had to stand aside as the IOW ferry overtook them within the narrow river.
Safely back ashore, Jake and Roger reflected on the great day they’d had afloat completing the RYA Dinghy Trial, even in the depths of November. We were super pleased to hear that Roger Barnes thinks the RS Venture could be the ultimate modern cruising dinghy, naturally, Jake agreed with him, but you could argue he’s biased!
Watch the video of their day out here.