Monday, 30 May 2016

Down hill to Snowhill

Windy old weekend here in the UK at the moment though happily rain free and a UK National holiday..  unheard of... 

... early and late tides this weekend in my neck of the woods and I was 75% certain I was going to go for an all day'er yesterday leaving roughly half 8 or 9'ish and coming back in ion the next tide at about 3'ish, but the forecasts were really changeable and I really didn't fancy a day in the Solent freezing my buns off, and sailing everywhere over on my ear...  kept an eye on the forecasts all day which were also showing rain, and when I go up the next morning it looked fairly grey so I though sod it and went back to bed...  imagine my irritation then when I eventually got up to find that it was sunny, and continued to be all day, no rain, decent breeze as well! Forecasters are not doing well this year...

So with a day on the water out of the window I settled for a late afternoon bimble, which turned out be an absolute belter...  winds are northerly at the moment so just for once it would be a handy trip down harbour against the tide, but first things first, whacked some reefs in as it was blowing hard (and it felt much more than the local weather stations were saying it was!)...  reefed down to the third batten (which is about a number two reef on most sails I guess), fired up the metal donkey and headed for the end of the channel...

To start  with I thought I'd just have a play and practice some tacking, maybe a trip up to Emsworth, but having done some fast runs down to Marker and back all seemed well, despite the wind, so I headed off  down harbour on what turned out to be one gigantic goose wing run until I eventually ended up at East Head, rounded an old friend, and then headed up harbour on one of the best beats I've had..

"old friend"...
From Snowhill I aimed at Verner and did it in a single tack, could probably have made Marker but was a bit concerned about depth over the mud at the top of the beat.. either way, sail settings were perfect, reefs were perfect for the conditions, and I absolutely nailed it..  she was on rails...  Most pleasing... 

Mouth of the Prinstead Channel in the sun.... South Downs in the distance..
That's me, that is....
...cheers Dave, very much appreciated!
Back to the top of the harbour on the very last legs of the flow before dropping main and motor sailing on genoa to Northney, before then rolling it away for the last motor on to the mooring.. bloody brilliant sail..  wished I'd had all day though, lesson learnt!


Look at those tacks..  like a metronome..  tick 90', tock 90', etcetc  

Distance: 14.04 miles
Wind: Top end F4 gusting F5 (this from Cambermet [clicky], but I think it was windier than that...); direction N/NNE
Sail Plan: Maximum reefed main (roughly 60% I think, to the 3rd batten, basically. Any more and I'd need to take the batten out to be able to roll more on), and reefed genoa (5 or 6 rolls)
Speed: Max speed 5.8 knots (which would have been under sail), I did see a few 6+'s approaching Snowhill; average speed 3.6 knots


  1. That's a really nice photo of Sparrow sailing in a good breeze - must have been a great sail!