Sunday, August 19, 2007

Black Holes and Red Arrows. June 9-10th.

With the weather in May being pretty dismal, our next trip out of the harbour was to the IOW on the festival weekend of June 8th-10th. We wanted to head down to The Folly for the night and we knew that things would be busy because of the Festival, so we slipped away from Chichester at 7:00am, much earlier than our usual later-than-we-intended time away.

It was a beautiful still morning as we headed down the harbour. For once the water wasn't churned up by all the day's activity and it was lovely having the glassy water to ourselves.

The wind was very hit and miss as we headed along the Solent as sea breezes began to fill in on both the island and the mainland. Coming up towards Osbourne House with the wind behind us, we were treated to the slightly worrying sight of a fleet of Sunsail boats racing towards us with their spinnakers flying. Fortunately it gave us opportunity to get the main sheet hauled in before the inevitable gybe.

Inevitably, the Folly visitors pontoons were busy. Our early start meant that wthe pontoons were full of boats on a lunch stop, which led to some interesting organisation and re-organisation as boats on the inside of the rafts had to get out. I'm still wondering if the Irish boat on the outside of four noticed that the boat inside of him wasn't the one that was there when he'd left for lunch.

As the afternoon turned to early evening, we were treated to a fantastic display by the Red Arrows, performing for the festival, but often being directly over us. It really was an awesome free show on the few really hot and sunny days of June.

Dinner at the Folly was eaten to a soundtrack of Amy Winehouse and we drifted off to sleep with the sound of Muse's Black Holes and Revelations coming over the water. Pretty cool.

Apparently it was somewhat crowded on the water down towards Newport. This was taken in the afternoon, before the crowds really started to arrive.

Returning home the next day, we had a great sail back to Chichester, with sunshine and a nice South Westerly breeze giving us a reach for most of the day. Things changed dramatically as we passed by the forts and the submarine barrier, though. A thick sea fret rolled in, reducing visibility to just a few tens of metres where we were and, apparently, less behind us. We could hear the horns of the ferries in the Solent, but headed past Hayling Island without seeing anything very much at all.

Amazingly, the thick mist only made it a few hundred yards onshore and we were in bright sunshine as we passed the Winner bank, very odd.

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