We leave Weymouth with a new destination: Poole. We catch the 08:00 bridge in Weymouth and with a strong breeze head up to Durdle Door, an awesome stone arch jutting out from the Jurrasic cliffs to the east of Weymouth. Our initial intention is to anchor there and take the dinghy ashore to explore before proceeding to Lulworth Cove for the night. However due to the amount of wind and the rough sea state, we decide on a "sail by" and continue on around St. Albans head on a favourable tide.
Poole is a fascinating town surrounded by inland tidal waterways. As we sail into the marina our dear friend Tina is standing there waiting for us on the pontoon. We could not have wished for a warmer welcome. After stowing away the sails and securing all the lines we walk with Tina into the old town.
As usual we are primarily concerned with finding a good restaurant for our evening dinner. This time we discover Bingley's in the High Street and reserve a table for later that evening. The dinner is fantastic and we retire feeling well contented. The following morning at 08:30 Tina joins us on board and we depart for the Isle of Wight, we have a lovely passage with good breeze right up to the Needles Channel, where we discover that Roland unfortunately had not taken the strong currents into consideration in the passage plan, whereby we had to motor-sail with at least 3 knots of current against us up to Yarmouth Harbour on the western corner of Wight with the wind gusting to 35 knots from behind. This passage is one from which we have certainly learnt the importance of checking all aspects of tide wind and current prior to departure. Anyway we arrive safely in Yarmouth and are impressed by the beauty of the town which is obviously very proud of itself.
Due to strong wind warnings we stay put in the Yarmouth Harbour the following day and go for a lovely walk along the River Dart Estuary before catching a bus to Newport and then a taxi to the Garlic Farm on the centre of the island. The Garlic Farm has won gold prizes at the Royal Horticultural Society show each year since 2005. We enjoy a delicious lunch there, washed down with garlic beer.
After a good nights sleep in Yarmouth the wind has died down to 4/5 Beaufort and we set off with a favourable current to the east for our next destination: Bembridge. We always plan our passages with an average speed of 5 nautical miles per hour, which in general serves us well. On this passage however when we see that we are sailing closer to 10 knots than 5 (due to the strong current) we start to reduce our sail area to slow us down as we have to cross a sand bar to enter Bembridge harbour.
We arrive in Bembridge, which is a beautiful village, and take the Dinghy ashore and enjoy a lovely tea in the village. We manage to book a table in the local pub for evening dinner and return to the boat with the idea that we can take the dinghy back ashore later in the evening. When the time comes to depart we discover that there is so little water left in the channel ashore that the dinghy is no longer an option, so we decide to walk all the way around the estuary from Duver to Bembridge - at least a 45 minute walk. After a great pub supper we go for the taxi option to take us back to the marina. Whilst chatting to the taxi driver during the ride Roland mentions the fact that we are sailing round Brittain for KiKa. The taxi driver replies "this ride is on me"so we have paid the taxi fare into the KiKa charity. Such heart warming gestures and donations have been haunting us all the way round Britain, really awe inspiring.
As we prepare to depart from Duver marina a lady on the pontoon approaches us and looks at the name on the boat and says "I love Whiskey Romeo . . . that's Booze and Love"!!!