Drying out in Ryde

It’s time to test out the true potential and one of the main reasons I bought Seraphim. With a lifting keel and the ability to lower the draft from 2.2 metre to 0.7 m, I decided on a trip to Ryde, accompanied by my friend Jacque.

The day before departure, I called Ryde a harbour, to check out accessibility and draw on local knowledge, always an invaluable asset. This was readily given by Shaun, the harbour master at Ryde. The main problem was the slitting on the right of the entrance, and the other advice was to not necessary stick to the buoyed channel. The buoyed channel, is primarily used to avoid the hovercraft and not for depth. I was advised to make my way from the end of Ryde Pier, and head straight for the entrance, which is what we did.

We slipped lines at 0923 and causally entered the River Hamble and the raised sails and headed to our destination.

Jacque at the helm, leaving Universal
Tides at Ryde on the 15th of May 2021

We arrived at Ryde Pier at 1230, two hours before high water Ryde, and gingerly made our way towards the entrance. Depth dropped to 1.1m and we made notes of times and height of tide, to aide our departure, the next day.

Ryde Pier on the right and Ryde Harbour to the left of this picture

True to Shaun’s word, the entrance was indeed silted up and we had to stick as closely as possible to the green mark when entering, to avoid the build up of sand on our port side.

Ryde harbour entrance, with sand spit clearly visible on left of entrance.
The silted entrance to Ryde Harbour. A narrow and tricky entrance.

Once in the harbour, we reversed into our space on the visitors pontoon, and put Seraphim to rest in her new temporary home.

Reversing into our pontoon, with Jacque casually stepping off the stern.
Aerial view of Ryde Harbour. The blue mark show the visitors pontoon and approximate position of Seraphim.
Seraphim at her berth.
Almost no water

I happened to have friends , Monika and Marcin, who sailed to Bembridge the same day and we arranged to meet for a drink and lunch in a delightful pub called the Boathouse, in Puckpool, not far from Seaview. Needless to say they joined us for drinks on Seraphim after lunch.

Seraphim at sunset

The following day we have to wait for the tide to permit our exit, so we took the opportunity to take a walk through Ryde.

Our entrance route,now completely dried out
The hover port
Appley Tower
Appley Beach
All Saints Church
Art Deco hotel

It wasn’t until 1330, that we had enough water to venture out. The wind was a Force 6, which aided our turn out of our berth, but we had to be pretty careful manoeuvring through the exit of the harbour, especially as we had both the keel and rudder raised. We managed it without issue and had a cracking sail back to Southampton in squalls and F7 winds. Seraphim handled beautifully and the sail was exhilarating and a perfect finish to a perfect weekend.

Sailing back in a Force 7, fantastic

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