Sailing The Solent

Solent Sailing - SBT
The Solent hosts a myriad of Ports, Harbours and Marinas, as well as many secluded Bays, Rivers and Creeks.  Blessed with its spectacular white shorelines, the Isle of Wight fills the main entrance to Southampton Water, stretching from the famous Needles at the far western tip, through to Bembridge at the far eastern end.

With the North side of the Island beginning at the famous Needles, with its imposing broken rock formation and marked by the Needles Lighthouse.  Fraught with danger, for those unsuspecting Seafarers, the imposing Needles identifies the beginning of the Needles Channel.  Heading east towards the Central Solent you can identify Alum Bay, with its  distinctive multi-coloured steep sandy cliffs.  A great spot to anchor, protected from the south-westerly winds, whilst giving spectacular views of both the Island and the mainland alike.

Continuing east, Totland and Colwell Bays offer sandy beaches and prove popular with those who just want drop anchor and view the Western Solent and watch the World go by or even pop ashore, to sample some of the local produce offered in one of the restaurants, such as The Hut.

Passing through the sometimes confused waters of the Hurst Narrows, will offer you views of both Hurst Castle and Fort Albert, the Western Solent's defences dating back to the reign of Henry VIII, used to imprison Charles I and also acting as a defence, during both the Napoleonic and Second World Wars.

Yarmouth Harbour provides a wide variety of Pubs, Bars, numerous shops and facilities, along with a permanent and visitors berthing.  A bustling Harbour which proves popular with tourists nearly all year round, but particularly during the Summer months.  It is linked by the ferry from Lymington, providing passage for both vessels and pedestrians alike.  As the small Harbour of Yarmouth can become very busy during peek season, it is always worth ringing ahead for a berth.  

There are many boating, rallies and yacht racing events, with a huge variety of different craft taking part and visiting the harbour.  The Yarmouth Lifeboat Station, with its Severn Class Lifeboat, provides the Solent and surrounding waters with an invaluable service for those who succumb to the perils of the sea.

Before finally reaching the northern most tip of the Isle of Wight, you will arrive at Newtown Creek, accessed via the Newtown River and is a must visit.  With its vast array of visiting wildlife, from a variety of local native sea birds, to the occasional group of  Harbour Seals.  You would be hard pushed to find a more idyllic and tranquil setting for a buffet lunch at anchor or an over night retreat from any prevailing south or south westerly wind.

Just a few miles East and you are greeted with the entrance to Cowes, on the Isle of Wight.

To Be Continued...