Monday, 9 July 2012

Wet, sun, squall, wet, sun, squall... sun...

I think it safe to say that if it hadn't been for the fact that I hadn't been out on the boat in three weeks I would probably have sat at home and watched Wimbledon and the Formula 1 at Silverstone on Sunday..  as it was I was getting very frustrated with the British summer and decided to go out anyway for the first time in 3 weeks... (!)

All the forecasts were deeply unhelpful, every one of them seemed to be saying something different, and in the end what I experienced didn't seem to match any of them anyway! KIND of glad I did go out but I think it safe to say it wasn't a classic afternoon...

My plan was to head for the Itchenor channel and see how far I could get towards Chichester before having to run for home, in the end the wind direction (almost dead west) and strength (light at the beginning of the afternoon) sank that idea - a run down the channel to Itchenor while pleasant would have been an unpleasantly long beat back to the main channel..

Google Earth view of the afternoon activities....  down to HISC first and then a trip up to Emsworth Quay...
The afternoon didn't start well with a cloudburst just as I got on board, happily 5 minutes later it had cleared and I had the engine on, the main cleared for action, and the mooring off.... the new mooring is superb by the way, I looked over at my old mooring as I motored away and the boat on it this year was still sitting on the mud...

Wind was very light down the Northney channel and I had to resort to the motor twice to get me going - light wind and an adverse tide meant I was only doing half a knot over the ground at one point. Got hit by some sudden (and savage) rain squalls as I made my way down, a close view of the track shows me doing at least two 360's while I wrestled control...  nasty....  I knew the SPF 50 was a mistake...

OPENCPN view of the same....
After that it was all pretty much "plain sailing" westerly is a good direction when you have a nice north-south journey planned! A nice reach down to HISC in gradually strengthening wind saw me keeping much more to the west side of the channel than I normally do - interesting views over towards Mengham (where Pap came from originally). At the end of the reach I spotted these two lovelies....


In fact at one point I toyed with the idea of heading over to Mengham, but again, a narrow channel and head wind is a difficult combination, and anyway I was enjoying the sailing.... closer view of the larger of the two...


Fast reaching on the way back (5 knots+ with a little bit of tidal assist) and this was a dream wind for a reach to Emsworth and back...  so I did exactly that to round the day out, before finally motoring back to the mooring....

Scores on the doors:

Distance: 12.23 miles (cumulative total in the 2012 mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Started Force 2  built to Force 4 gusting Force 5 .. very westerly, though it was veering all afternoon...
Sail Plan: Full main, full jib..
Speed: GPS says max speed was 5 knots which was under sail on the way back up the harbour. Average speed of 2.8 knots (not bad given the very light conditions at the beginning of the afternoon)

Thoughts now turning to the "Cowes Raid" - it's all weather dependant but I'm looking forward to it, if not with a little trepidation!

6 comments:

  1. 10 out of 10 for getting out there. I should have gone out on Sunday but had already commited to other things. Looking forward to the weekend.. lets hope it pans out ok.

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  2. I was rowing at Langstone for much the same reason - cabin fever - so I saw you in the distance. A rather nicer day than was forecast. I'm hoping for an Indian summer....

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  3. Watcha Chris - didn't see you - wasn't too bad when I look back at it...

    I saw the two 4 man boats - looked like full ladies crews (??) heading towards HISC.. think I recognised Nathalie G. rowing but wasn't close enough...

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  4. I was in a single skiff, testing a pair of second-hand carbon fibre blades. Yes, that was Natalie - they are trying to get a Ladies Vets crew together but not enough will admit to being over 40....

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  5. Ah!! I may have seen you then - white hull?? Heading towards the Oak about 5:30/6'ish??

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  6. That would have been either me or one of the others who were trying it out. An interesting boat, just difficult to get going properly.

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