The story of Topaz Rival

04 October 2021 | Hayling Island
27 September 2021 | Itchenor
25 September 2021 | Warsash
16 September 2021 | Lymington
15 September 2021 | Chapman’s Pool
14 September 2021 | Weymouth
13 September 2021 | Weymouth
11 September 2021 | Bridport
10 September 2021 | Brixham
06 September 2021 | Dartmouth
05 September 2021 | Dartmouth
04 September 2021 | Dartmouth
02 September 2021 | Plymouth
31 August 2021 | Polkerris
29 August 2021 | Malpas
28 August 2021 | Falmouth
28 August 2021 | Helford River
27 August 2021 | St Michael’s Mount
23 August 2021 | Crosshaven
22 August 2021 | Approaching Ireland

Winter berth

04 October 2021 | Hayling Island
Martin Whitfield | F4W squally
Buzz and I made the short journey from Itchenor to Hayling Island today to where Topaz Rival is planned to stay for the winter. We left the visitors’ pontoon at Itchenor under the watchful eye of the Harbour Patrol as I asked if she would just stand by because there was a strong tide and decent wind both from astern and I was sandwiched between two other boats. I feared once I let off the forward line I wouldn’t have time to dash back to the engine control before moving forward too fast towards the boat in front. Luckily, all went well but she said she would much rather be asked than be called in later. The channel up to Hayling Island Yacht Company is very shallow with a few twists and turns but we arrived safely just before high tide.

Near the end of this year’s journey

27 September 2021 | Itchenor
Martin Whitfield | F7 SW
We arrived in Chichester Harbour last night - just in time as a storm rolled through during the night. The place is as delightful as ever, but was crowded with every type of craft as we swept up the channel to Itchenor on a rising tide. The sail down from Warsash was lovely with a F4 behind and in bright sunshine - a good end to the season. The visitors' mooring buoys were half occupied by fishing boats which seemed a bit odd, but we moved a bit further up the Harbour to tie up on the visitors' mid stream pontoon. Up with the dinghy and a dog walk ashore before a rewarding pint in the Ship. Will be here for a few days as the access to the Hayling Island Yacht Company's berths needs a good spring tide - the next one is in a week. Still, there are worse places to stay.

Moving again at last

25 September 2021 | Warsash
Martin Whitfield | F5 W
Nice though Lymington is (my favour South Coast marina), after a week even its attractions start to fade and the expense of staying among such posh facilities starts to add up. I won’t go into the story of the new propeller as that needs a separate entry all by itself, but suffice it to say, I am extremely grateful for all those at Darglow for making me not one, but two new propellers - I told you it needed a story on its own. Anyway, the journey east continued in brilliant Autumn sunshine and a F5 wind behind as I sailed on genoa only to the River Hamble and tied up at the River Authority’s visitor pontoon at Warsash. A change from the big marinas and great fun to watch the steam of yachts leaving in the morning and returning at night.

Clunk, blade falls off propeller

16 September 2021 | Lymington
Martin Whitfield | Sunny
As we were motor sailing across Christchurch Bay, there was a loud clunk and then vibrations from down in the engine. A quick check found that the shaft was vibrating over about 1,000 rpm. Nick (engine) suggested we may have got something wrapped around the propeller and to proceed very slowly until we could find out what was going on. Jonas, who had joined at Chapman’s Pool volunteered to dive down and have a look and found that the three-blade propeller was now only a two-blade option. A further dive armed with the Go Pro camera added pictorial evidence which was then sent to Bruntons who said the best solution was a new propeller. Not very happy about that as paid them nearly £500 to have the propeller serviced fully at the beginning of last year. Negotiations are proceeding and we are stuck in Lymington!

Under the cliffs

15 September 2021 | Chapman’s Pool
Martin Whitfield | F2N
A short hop from Weymouth left us anchored in Chapman’s Pool, just west of St Alban’s Head. Matt was quite keen to see the dinghy in operation and we went ashore to meet Jonas who had come down from London for the trip to Lymington today. Very steep dog walks up the cliff. A very peaceful location and a starry night.

We go racing

14 September 2021 | Weymouth
Martin Whitfield | F4E
We met up with Joan, who sailed down from the UK to Portugal with me last year and who also happens to live in Weymouth. Over last winter she has acquired a Hanse 31 which she races as part of the Weymouth Sailing Club. As it happens she was racing in the last evening race of the season and asked Matt and I if we would like to come along. So we joined Joan and friend Christine for a lively sail around the cans in about 20 knots of wind! Great to see Joan again and do a little proper sailing.

Vessel Name: Topaz Rival
Vessel Make/Model: Rival 36
Hailing Port: Dartmouth
Crew: Martin Whitfield
About: Plus dog Buzz
Topaz Rival's Photos - Topaz Rival as purchased
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Rudder and skeg: As Tom Cunliffe says “a wholesome compromise between precise steering at sea, comfort, and athletic steering in harbour”. We’ll see about the latter...
Rudder and skeg: As Tom Cunliffe says “a wholesome compromise between precise steering at sea, comfort, and athletic steering in harbour”. We’ll see about the latter...
Added 8 May 2019

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