If anyone wants the originals of any of the pictures, please PM me your details and I will be happy to let you have them by e-mail or CD (depending on size). Also, there are a whole load more pictures which I am happy to forward either as a complete set or on a crew basis to anyone that wants them.
As you will have gathered, we arrived safely back in Poole, although the journey was not without incident:
After leaving Streaker and Ermintrude at Christchurch, Grimalkin (helmed by Scurvey Crew) and Serenity went to round Hengistbury when the conversation on Grimalkin went something like this:
ME: Have you seen that standing wave ahead of you?
Scurvey Crew nods.
ME: Thatís not a standing wave, itís coming towards us!
SCURVEY CREW (with mild panic): What shall I do?
ME (it being too late to do anything else): Keep the nose pointed towards itÖ.
Apparently the two girls on Serenity (who being about two hundred meters to our port missed the wave) did our screaming for us. Despite the wave being over twice our height, very steep and nearly breaking, we rose perfectly up it and, although we fell a long way down the other side, landed virtually level and unharmed. Serenity immediately came over to check that we were OK (which we were) and Scurvey Crew (only slightly shaken) carried on, justifiably proud of his helmsmanship.
We have no idea where the wave came from since, although conditions were choppy, the waves generally were short and comfortable. Hengistbury does, however, often have strange currents and overfalls and it just goes to show that you can never relax completely at seaÖ
The rest of the return journey was, I am pleased to report, uneventful and thanks to everyone for a great day out. With the first trip of the year now achieved, Iím already looking forward to the next. A Happy New Year to you all and happy (and safe!) boating for 2009.