Monday, 19 October 2015

Chaldock.. last sail of the season

Last sail of the season - I think, possibly..

Sparrow comes out two weeks yesterday (1st November) and other than a fairly strong proposed date of the 24th (next Saturday) to drop the mast, I do theoretically have 13 days of potential sailing left, though I 'd have to use holiday if I don't drop the mast next weekend...

I think that's probably it for this year...

So what did we do?? Bit of a long range jaunt - 15:11 high tide, got to the boat about 12, gave her a bit of a waterline scrub, and was off the mooring and motoring to my usual main sail lifting spot just before 12:30...

Wind was easterly (again..  so much for prevailing south westerly's this year) but with 4.5 mtrs of water behind it it was never going to be a super fast trip to the bottom of the harbour so I decided to enjoy the sail and make my mind up when I got down there... broad reach to Marker (the pinch point to the upper part of the harbour), and I was still doing 2/2.5 knots on a broad reach against the the tide...

At Verner the wind picked up a little so I hardened up and decided to take my usual short cut across Pilsea Sands with a view to seeing how far I could get..  after a short and lively beat to the Chichester channel in surprisingly short time, I had the welcome opportunity to ride the incoming tide for a while - not something that happens often! Decided to go for Bosham - a beat, and a tight beat at that, but with a helping tide for at least another hour (must have been about 2'ish when I exited the short cut) it would at least be helping me in the right direction..

Bosham in the distance - the entrance to the creek is just to the left of that line of moored yachts  Chaldock Point to the right
Got to Chaldock (which I think is the limit of my westbound excursions this year) and with the wind dropping, and the clouds above the South Downs beginning to look threatening (see following) I decided to head for home, but not before I'd done a little man overboard practice (dropped my cushion..! )

Chaldock Beacon - red circle in the chartlet above - look at those clouds over the Downs..
Rode the now (slowly) turning tide down wind and back to the "corner" where I turned across Pilsea Sands, and then hardened up on what was the last of a slowly dying wind...  started motor sailing about half way across (sails added a half knot or so), but then dropped the flappy things and tidied up just past Marker as the harbour looked like glass - no wind at all...

Cold day, warm day, windy, then not, but fun, and a new part of the harbour to have a look at ...


Distance: 13.19 miles (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Both ends of a F3 (very occasional gust into low F4) direction between NE and E
Sail Plan: Full main and full/reefed genoa - engine to manoeuvre and get back to the mooring after the wind dropped...
Speed: GPS track says the max speed was 4.9 knots (which would have been under motor - saw a few 4.5's/4.7's when we were sailing down the harbour) - average speed 2.7 knots


  1. Nice end of season sail - You didn't say whether the man over board drill was successful, or did the cushion drift off over the horizon heading for France?

    All the best for the haul out and winter layup.

    1. Alden - Robert Redford like, the cushion was plucked from the briny wave just as it was about to disappear.. it's now sitting on the radiator sipping hot toddy's... I have a thing about Bosham and cushions apparently... I lost one there the last time I went.. this one wasn't so lucky though... we don't like to talk about it... :o))

      PS. Fair winds for your upcoming little jaunt!