Saturday, 12 September 2020

Poole to Newtown River

Hi everyone,

Following our passage from Weymouth to Studland Bay we spent two nights there.  Last Saturday we motored the short distance to Poole Harbour.  We spent most of the week there, did a short-stay in Poole Town Quay Marina to reprovision then yesterday sailed back to the Solent and into the Newtown River.

Poole Harbour is reputed to be the second largest natural harbour in the world, second only to Sydney Harbour.  However much of Poole Harbour is shallow.  We did a tour of the harbour before anchoring in in South Deep, south of Brownsea Island.

Here are our tracks in and near Poole Harbour...

Zen Again Tracks in Poole Harbour

Our initial tour of the harbour took us around the north side of Brownsea Island.  There are visitors moorings here but we didn't like the wash from the traffic.  So we motored around to the much quieter south side of Brownsea Island.  It's shallow but the channel is well marked.  We anchored in South Deep.  We liked it so much we stayed for five nights.

Entering Poole Harbour

Brownsea Island

Sunset in South Deep

Twilight in South Deep (looking East)

While Nicki worked from home Monday to Wednesday I worked on our boat electronics software.  See the preceding posts on SignalK.  We also did some chores including our laundry.  We love our Wonder Clean pressure washing machine.

Laundry day

South Deep Dawn

On Thursday we motored around to Poole Town Quay Marina for a short stay.  Before entering the marina we motored past the waterfront up to the first bridge and back.  A little like Annapolis's 'ego alley' except one side has the waterfront with many pubs and the other has the port and the Sunseeker yard.

Inspecting Poole Waterfront

Sunseeker Yard

In the marina it only took an hour to reprovision from the adjacent Tesco Metro, leaving us time for a sober pub lunch at The Jolly Sailor and a walk around the old town.  A lot of very old buildings and narrow side streets.  Then we motored back out to Studland Bay so as to allow departure for the Solent free of South Deep's tidal constraints.

The Jolly Sailor

Studland Bay Sunset

Yesterday we sailed from Studland Bay to the Newtown River in the Solent.  Winds have been very light recently and the afternoon offered the first decent breeze for several days.  We departed at 1100 in a light WSW breeze.  The breeze gradually built to 15 knots or so and we had a marvellous sail.

Here are the track and graphs...

Zen Again Track

Zen Again Graphs

Twas a downwind, 6 gybe passage.  Initially we had to work hard with boat speed less than 2 knots for a period.  Then the predicted wind came in and we got moving.  We had a nice view of the Needles as we approached Dolphin Bank and the Shingles.  From there we gybed NE toward North Channel.  It was fun sailing close along Hurst Beach with 2 knots of tide with us.

Departing Studland Bay

The Needles

In North Passage

Hurst Castle

Crossing the rip off Hurst Castle was fun.  We reached the approach to Newtown River rapidly with 1.5 knots of tide with us, and it was a neap tide.

In the Rip off Hirst Castle

Approaching Newtown River Mouth

The entrance to Newtown River is narrow but deep.  Inside it is quite shallow with varying depth.  It is quite well marked but care is necessary.  We found our Admiralty and Navionics charts good but our Garmin charts poor.  There are visitor's moorings and one or two were free.  We found a good spot to anchor.

Entering Newtown River

Newtown River Track

Newtown River Sunset

We had hoped to sail east to Brighton and Eastbourne this week but the light winds made that unattractive.  Maybe we'll do so in a week or two.  In the mean time we're enjoying Newtown Creek and may visit other parts of the Solent.

Trust all's well where you are!


  1. Newtown Creek is one of my favourite places in the Solent.. there, and the head of the Beaulieu river (the stretch from Oar Point to the yacht club)...