Sailing Today

Socially distanced sailing

Don’t worry, we haven’t come to rob the place!” I said to the slightly bemused member of Keyhaven Yacht Club. The wearing of face coverings in shops had been mandatory for some time, but it wasn’t enforced in pubs, restaurants or clubhouses. With our oversized hand-sewn masks we probably looked like pirates – certainly not visiting sailors! We explained that we’d paid our mooring fee over the phone and had come ashore in the dinghy for a mooch around.

The Covid lockdown had prevented any form of cruising until early July and having spent more than 12 weeks living apart due to family lockdown commitments in Exeter and Poole, by early September we were itching to get sailing again. We set off with a deeper sense of appreciation of the freedom to slip our lines and had decided that this should be a sailing trip of new experiences, despite the familiarity of our local cruising ground. Our plan was to try destinations in the Solent that we’d either not been to before, or had visited only once. Remembering the advice from a long-term live aboard friend, we stocked up with supplies and dropped the anchor in Poole Harbour at South Deep to spend a day preparing ourselves and the boat for the adventure ahead.

Whenever we’d passed Keyhaven I’d always been intrigued by the cluster of bare masts gathered behind the fort at Hurst Point. Having delayed the start of

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