Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Bembridge bumble...

So rather than Sunday as I'd hoped, it was Monday, and another one of those crafty days off...

Tides were at 0730 and 2000, and were a bit neapy to be honest, but I was hoping for 3 hours either side of high tide, so I eventually left at about 0930, with hopes I could get back on the mooring by 1700'ish in the evening...

I had no passage plan - quelle horeure - I had a day to play with and a well set up boat, and to be blunt I'd go wherever the wind provided a reach to...

So - a decent breeze when I got to the boat, I almost put in a reef as I thought it was bound to be windier outside in the Solent (it usually is) but in the end I decided not to  - the wind was northerly, always easier over powered and I could always take some in later..

So a fast run down to the harbour entrance - I think I reached the West Pole in about an hour, and that was sailing as I switched the engine off when I found it was only really adding a knot or two to speed - Chi is a big old harbour and it all drains out of two places - bit like being sucked out of a plughole so it was worth at least a couple of knots..

Lovely and sunny but where's the breeze..
By the time I'd got to the West Pole - and it was mostly a drift there as the tide was running faster than the wind - it looked like the wind was going round to the forecast NW..  and it slowly started to fill in giving some nice close reaching over to the IoW...  aha I thought, Seaview or Bembridge.... by the time I got to the main shipping channel it was round to NWW and I was getting edged to the south of the island, so Bembridge it was...

No, I insist, after you...  (this guy was coming out of Southampton Water when I first spotted him and had got to here by the time I'd crossed the shipping lane...  he didn't seem to be shifting from the bow wave, but he sure was...)
So Bembridge it was - I'd always had a yen to have a closer look at St Helen's Fort anyway - couple of small tacks to take me up wind a little  and I was there...

St Helen's Fort ahead.. channel to the harbour is to the right..
Fort and harbour... chartlet courtesy Visit My Harbour website
I toyed with the idea of going north (past Seaview towards Ryde) or south (past Bembridge) but in the end I could sense the wind was dropping so I turned for home...

Seaview..  just up the coast looking right from the fort...
One last close up of the fort... more info here [clicky]

Close up...
The trip back was slow with the wind dropping all the time (Chimet reported 0 from 1500, with just a breath, and then no wind from 1545 to 1630) it was also effectively a run - utter purgatory... What I should have done of course was take the run south to give me a better angle, but hey, there still would have been no wind...

Engine went on just shy of the West Pole, went off for a while in a fitful breeze, and then went on again at the Bar Beacon - I stowed away while I took a very slow motor up the harbour, and managed to get on to the mooring about 1645 (3.25 hours before high water on a low tide.. amazing)

Good day... no breakages, no one died..  have added the cockpit locker lids to the job list - over the summer they have started to flake and on one the beading edge is coming away.. I've also identified them as a major source of rain leakage...

Log:


Distance: 28.41 miles (cumulative total in the 2014 mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Everything between nothing and a top end Force 3 with a few wibbles into Force 4.. started N/NE, went wound to NNW, then W and SW by end of the afternoon (sea breeze).
Sail Plan: Full main/genoa - engine to get down to the end of the Northney channel at the beginning of the day, and back from the Bar Beacon at the end of the trip when the wind had all but disappeared....
Speed: GPS track says max speed was 5.2 knots (and that was under sail as I saw a 5.3 at one point just after I turned for home off Bembridge) - average speed 3.2

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