Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Spitbank...

Having been slightly disappointed by Sunday's lack of wind I decided to take a day off and go for a long sail this week - having checked the forecasts it looked like yesterday was going to be good, and so it was that yesterday found me on the boat at 8:30 motoring for the mouth of the harbour ...  my plan was to head west as most of my long trips out of the harbour up to now have been either south (Nab twice) or south west (Seaview), and I wanted to see how long it would take to get as far west as I could before having to turn for home - I have a trip to Cowes planned for next month, so this was advance planning.... 

My initial thoughts were that I was in for a good day as there was a nice breeze stirring the water as I came round the corner and turned south down the Chichester Channel towards HISC, but not wanting to waste any time I pushed on for the open sea under engine...(one tank took me all the way - maybe half an inch left in the internal tank - pretty good I'd say). Speeds were good though - tide and engine make for fast travel...

09:30 and I was at the West Pole Beacon - turned the engine off, and then wallowed and drifted for 30 minutes or so....  no wind and a glassy sea, but just across the way about half a mile away the sea was darker and I could see wind - so motored over and then we were off....  the following comes from OpenCPN...  you can see the course out as the one further south at West Pole... basically a flattened figure of eight...

Took my Netbook with me as I was interested to find out how long it would last - it finally shut itself down at about 14:00 so I got about 6 hours out of the battery...  if I want to go longer then I'm going to have to think about secondary power supplies....

Wind direction was good - felt like south of south west (it wasn't..) so apart from a small tack just to clear the end of Horse Sands I made it all the way from the West Pole to the inner passage on the submarine barrier (the pink dotted line with question marks on the map) on one tack....  tide against naturally, but I was getting between 2 and 2.5 knots all the way

Southsea (Portsmouth) ahead - Spinnaker Tower looms over all...
When I got to the barrier it was pretty clear why - I was expecting an adverse tide (nothing you can do leaving at the time I did), but it was fairly tearing through that little gap as I went through against it...

Inner Passage - submarine barrier - about 25 yards wide, and about 50 yards from the beach - slightly disconcerting!
Once through the barrier I bore away to leave a gap around the end of the pier and carried on past Southsea Castle crossing the main shipping channel at the "Castle" starboard mark..

Interesting times - it's a big old channel when you're in a small boat only doing a couple of knots - naturally I looked "both ways" before crossing, but was still caught out by one of the cross channel ferries who was way away on the horizon when I started to cross but was bloody close when I decided valour was the better part and turned on the engine to scoot the last 50 yards!

This guy snuck up on me while I was trying to get across the main boat channel - they don't hang about!
Objective achieved, and with the entrance to the Harbour on my left, and me on the correct side of the channel if I'd wanted to carry on in (I didn't - it would have been down wind and a fag to get back) ..

Objective - Portsmouth Harbour - main channel to the right, Gosport on the left
...and with just a pause to look at the newly re-furbed Spitbank fort..

Spitbank Fort

...which was looking very smart - lot of new concrete on top - I turned for home....

..and found myself on what can only be described as an express walk way - it took me about 4 hours all told to get to the harbour entrance, I was back in an hour!

Went this time via the outer submarine barrier passage - you can just about see the tide round the bottom...

Port mark - Outer submarine barrier passage...

Simply superb sail back, tide behind you, broad reach, decent breeze, and I was doing high 4's and 5 knots all the way back; if I'd known (and I do now) I'd have considered going a little further before turning for home...

Shifting!

Quite possible the best sail I've ever had in Pap - ideal conditions for a Fantasie 19, top end 2, flat'ish water, full rig....  superb!

Turned for the harbour at the West Pole and had an interesting run into the harbour goosewinged - as always seems to happen it swung slightly once I got into the harbour but it was still a superb sail up the harbour - water was even flatter and we flew up there....

Got back to the top of the harbour about 15:30, high tide was at 19:00 so I was a bit early, but my plan was to find a deep water mooring going free, tidy up and then get the book out (and maybe a beer and a cigar!) - as it turns out I didn't need to - over 3 hours before high tide and there was plenty of water on my mooring - bonus!

GoogleEarth view..


Scores on the doors....

Distance: 28.73 miles (cumulative total in the 2012 mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Force 2 in the morning, force 3 in the afternoon - some gusts but perfect. Went from WSW to SW as day proceeded...
Sail Plan: Full main, full jib..
Speed: GPS says max speed was 6.6knots (!) guessing that would have been under motor on the way out of the harbour at the start of the day, with an average speed of 3.1 knots (not bad...  that would be my passage planning assumed speed for a "Fantasie 19")....

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Sunday afternoon messing about..

...  beautiful afternoon, and a late tide so I snuck out for a swifty...  no wind at all, but absolutely baking hot so I gave up trying to get anywhere, found a spare mooring, got out the new extendible/telescopic fishing  rod,and "wasted" an hour fishing (ie. caught nothing!)...  

Brilliant afternoon, nothing better than sitting on a boat in the sun, but I'd rather have been sailing...

No miles claimed - I motored most of the afternoon...

Thursday, 24 May 2012

No wind, no grey..

...at last...

...afternoon tide and 25 degrees and sunshine?? Sounds like the recipe for an afternoon off of work to me...  so I did...  a bit of a shame that there wasn't a whole load of wind, but there was enough, bit of a shame it was from a pants direction, but hey, it was warm and sunny.... 

So stupid wind direction, spent the whole afternoon tacking apart from an utterly idyllic run back to the mooring - a little bit of what all the hard work in the winter is about...

Look at those tacks between Sweare Deep and the Beacon.. was going nowhere for a time - tacking against the tide in low wind...

Got to Marker and a summer fog closed in so I headed back and decided to visit Bosham - lovely run looking at the boats (no Fantasies this year..) and then a brilliant beat back dodging in an around the boats, very satisfactory...


...and so back to the mooring for a well deserved beer and cigar while the general population fought their way over the bridge down to the beach...

Cracking afternoon...

Scores on the doors....

Distance: 9.33 miles (cumulative total in the 2012 mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: S to SSE - Force 2, gusting 3 at times
Sail Plan: Full main, full jib..
Speed: GPS says max speed was 2.3knots, with an average speed of 1.2 knots....  lots of beating to get down the harbour - squeezing the angles and against tide I was only seeing a couple of knots at most at times, so no surprises.....

Bad news?? The Windex is knackered.... stuck...  grr....  going to try one thing, but I may need to drop the mast to fit a new one...   never ends....    free smileys

Monday, 21 May 2012

More wind, more grey...

On the premise that any sailing is better than no sailing, and any weather without rain is better than weather with rain, I took Thermos in hand and headed out for a perambulate on Sunday...

4 knots and just short of "Marker" - the Chichester'ites will know exactly where I was! The thermos had already taken a hammering by this point, but the storage box is worth its weight in gold...

...to be honest, my low expectations of the weather were fully met - but for all that I still enjoyed myself in some fairly boisterous conditions, and in the end was out for about 3 hours....

Very busy day in the harbour - looked like both Emsworth and Hayling sailing clubs had major races on - the Emsworth one in particular involved a course laid right across the freeway, and about 30 or 40 Toppers or Laser Pico's all going for it hammer and tongs....  looked like brilliant fun, but difficult for those trying to get from top of harbour to bottom!

This was a lovely little thing - entire family out - all that sail and no heeling - very seaworthy...
This was my first time out with the Netbook to see how useful the plotting function is - mixed results I think it safe to say - software/GPS worked like a dream but the reflected glare makes it difficult to see the screen in it's current position - will have to figure out some way of shielding the screen, because on a bright day you'll have no chance...

Lovely run down the harbour - goosewinged at one time - always an awkward point of sailing when your running practically dead downwind, and sure enough when I went to roll in the jib the damn halyard had dropped off the drum due to the jib flapping - soon sorted though, and then a very quick trip...when I got to Fishery and turned to come back up the harbour I figured out why - it was blowing a right old hooligan....!

The Moth's were out again from HISC - even more of them this year, think I saw at least half a dozen - definitely saw this guy as I noticed the colourful markings on his sail - apparently he's Simon Payne UK National, six time European and three time World Championship Moth Sailor... they look just so much fun... 

I'd put one reef in the main before I left - should have made it two, the same as last week but it didn't seem as windy - so to compensate I also rolled in some jib and with that we managed to make some progress......  as I said, conditions were "boisterous"...



...what was going on 'ere then???


...practising my heaving to - that's what!

Scores on the doors....

Distance: 10.17 miles (cumulative total in the 2012 mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: N to NNE - cold - Force 4, gusting top end 5 at times
Sail Plan: Single reefed main, couple of rolls in the jib..
Speed: GPS says max speed was 4.8 knots, with an average speed of 2.9 knots....  lots of beating to get back up the harbour - squeezing the angles and against tide I was only seeing a couple of knots at times, so no surprises.....

...and to finish off - first time this year both for video and goosewinging...

Friday, 18 May 2012

Winnie the Pooh and the blustery day... the evidence...

...I have one of the chaps on the PBO forum to thank for the following... he was returning from a weekend cruise to Cowes and spotted me as he turned for home, and he had his camera with him...

Love this one...  two reefs in the main and full jib, and we were slipping along nicely

Little'un helming,me moveable ballast...

..is it me or is that a nice looking boat...?!

Love this one too...  she looks...  business-like...
... thanks Seajet - what a superb set of photo's - they made my day!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Winnie the Pooh and the blustery day...

...the forecasts showed force 4 but in the event I think we had a little more....

...finally got out for our first cruise of the season, and not bad for a shakedown...  no breakages, no issues, and so good to be out again...

...littl'est person joined me for this one which is always a pleasure..  she's turning into one mean helms-woman and helmed all the way from the mooring to just shy of Hayling Island Sailing Club at the mouth of the harbour...  not bad as it was a beat all the way which, with the exception of a couple of tacks, she managed to do in one.... she then borrowed my Henry Lloyd and disappeared inside it for a snooze on the way back!

...very gusty old day, two mast slides worth of reef on the main, full jib - but she was a handful in the gusts. If you'd asked me straight afterwards I would have said - no way was that a 4... some of the gusts were a handful.... turn out I was right and Cambermet shows that for the time we were out it was a bottom 5 consistently, gusting top end 5....  wind SSW so she did well on that big single beat following the second tack...!


So - what about the numbers???  GPS showed...

Distance: 8.55 miles (cumulative total in the 2012 mileage tab at the top of the page) - not bad in just a bit over a couple of hours!
Wind: SSW - bottom Force 5, gusting top end 5 at times
Speed: GPS says max speed was 5.2 knots, with an average speed of 3.1 knots....  at times though I was seeing 6 knots and even at one point 6.3 knots...  tide assisted clearly, as that's across the ground, but even so....!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Cowes "raid"...

Jellybean Phil visited me last week and over a beer or two we discussed the possibility of a "raid" on Cowes...

Plan....

~ Phil on Ciao Bella sails Poole to Chichester on the 13th July, stays overnight Northney Marina (Hayling), few beers on Friday evening either in the Ship, or the Royal Oak..
~ early tide the 14th and he (on Ciao Bella) and I (in Papillon) head for the Folly pontoon up the Medina at Cowes... overnight there (food/drink will be consumed)
~ return to our respective moorings Sunday - early'ish, but after brekkie..

Anyone want to join us for all, or part?? An ideal opportunity for a little accompanied sailing for the eastern Solent contingent, if you were always worried about doing it on your own???

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

People's Boat...

More information here, http://www.theboatproject.com/ but this morning on the way to work I came in via Thornham Marina to see the Peoples Boat in the flesh, and before she starts her journey along the south coast...  glad I did..  she's breathtaking..

Cockpit...  I liked the saw handle on the right - just above there's a chunk of the original HMS Victory mizzen mast..

Drop keel...  Hermitage Bitter - that'll be Emsworth then...

Port side...  showing some of the detail...
Spirit level - with spirit/bubble still intact...
She looks fast...




What a beauty.....

Monday, 7 May 2012

Bank Holiday rain..

I give up....  two days of rain and gusty wind...  sat on the boat damp for an hour today waiting for it to stop raining...  sun has just come out...  4 hours after high tide...

...ah well, work tomorrow to look forward to.....