Wednesday, 17 May 2017


Almost three weeks since that first sail of the season down to Marker - the crafty day off a few weeks ago came to nothing as the wind also decided to take a crafty day off, coupled with lack of tides, cold, wet, and as you can imagine I was surely gagging for a little sailing action on my own boat ...

So it was that sunny weather, a stiff breeze (F4 gusting F5 forecast) and a 1500 HT  had all the portents of being a superb day out - and oh Lord, did it deliver in spades...

Got to the boat about 1'ish, got everything loaded and set up - I put in two and a half reefs (by sail slides as I have roller reefing) and have to admit was wondering if that would be enough - and dropped the mooring about 1:30'ish....

You could tell it was going to be an interesting day almost immediately - the brisk SW'ly I was getting full force on the reefed main, was a very broad reach, and down the "ditch" I was doing 3.5 knots against tide without engine... Rolled some genoa out as we got to the entrance of Northney and then we began to shift...  4.5 knots up wind as easy as you like..

Knowing it usually 'honks up' as you come round the headland into the main channel I hove to and put another half reef in the main, and pulled in a couple of rolls on the genoa, and away we went...

Single beat to the bottom of the harbour, 4.5 to 5 knots against the tide, sunny, lovely... Bore away at Verner for the shortcut over Pilsea sands and literally aimed the boat (like an RPG! ) at Hill Head and she went off like a grey hound....  5 to 5.5 knots straight as an arrow...  exhilarating sailing, one of those champagne days, the spray was flying and glittering in the sun (Lord he's gone all poetic on us...) and I was going so fast I couldn't get my waterproofs so ended up a mite ..  errr... damp.. 

Hill Head ahead..
Got to the other side of the sands and after dodging a couple of boats on Itchenor reach heading towards Chichester, I rounded Snowhill, and headed up harbour doing similar and better speeds back across the sands, before joining the main channel for home...  pheww...!

"Hello, my friend
So happy to see you again.."
Lyrics courtesy of Jimi .. naturally..

Some lovely, lovely, sites out today...  this is "Mikado" [clicky], and note, no reefs, unlike me!

What a brilliant day - ended up dropping sails at the entrance to Northney and then a wet motor back to the mooring saw me tidied up with time for a beer and a cigar in the sun before the tide went....parfait

Oh, and finally, do you want the good news or the bad news??

OK - lets be positive - the good news is that the arms on the windex are now pointing back in the right direction! Hurrah....!

Ah, bad news? The pointer/arrow went flying on that long beat down the harbour and has gone for a Burton...    Better start shopping for a fourth, and add it to the winter layup list


Distance: 10.41 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: .  SW top end F4 gusting 5
Sail Plan: Reefed main and genoa
Speed: Max 5.4 and that would have been under sail / average 4.2 knots - not a bad average for a two and a half hour sail!


  1. Sounds like you had a good time. But.... how many Windexes??? Maybe you should become Steve-the-Windex-Killer. :-D

    1. Mark - stunning day - fast exciting sailing - not bad for a 50+ year old skipper sailing a 50 year old boat...

      Windex's?? Pah.. I spit on them.... think this was my second... :o)

  2. Ah, so good to see little 'Sparrow' on the move again - such a great little boat. The question is did you speak to the buoy or did the buoy speak to you? I hope the buoy spoke to you first which would give an indication as to the current level in 'Sparrows' (For medicinal purposes only of course) Rum Bottle.

    1. Alden - I'd need some of Jimi's recreational medication before I start talking to buoys... :o)

  3. Steve, have you tried one of the 'topper' type Windex that you strap round the mast. You could add a lanyard to stop it blowing away...... etc

    Looks like you had a great day


    1. Ay up Julian - was a brilliant day... Yeah - thought about it (Topper windex), but if it was attached below the forestay it would get knocked every time I tacked, and if it was above the forestay I'm not sure I'd be able to see it...