So, it was Thursday morning and the weather forecast was diabolical and looking to get worse. It was clear we weren't going to be going to Poole with rather bedraggled boat, but were we going to be able to get home? Should we wait until the forecast looked better or make a run for it? We eventually decided that we'd head off just before the tide changed and see how far we could comfortably reach before we had enough. Swanwick (Premier marina and therefore free for us as visitors) was potential stop number one and Gosport (same again!) was number 2.
The first hour out was slow going under the genoa only, with the tide against us, but was much calmer since we were travelling downwind.
Summer sailing, gotta love it!
As we approached Cowes, it became obvious that we weren't going to need Swanwick. With the wind and tide behind us we were doing a minimum of 6.5 knots over the ground. We even risked putting up a (very reefed) main. The sun came out as we came past Cowes and it actually turned into a very pleasant day for a sail.
Clemmie had had enough of the whole thing by now though, and had taken to her bed!
Anyway, we passed Portsmouth Harbour by 5pm, so we didn't need Gosport. We passed West Pole on our way into a wonderfully peaceful and deserted Chichester Harbour at about 6pm and were tied up by 7:30 after one of our best sails ever, following our worst the day before.
By 8pm we were in the Ship at Itchenor enjoying what felt like an extremely well-deserved dinner.