Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sumer is icumen in?

At last, at the end of May we finally had some reasonable weather to go sailing, so man and his finely-honed sea dawg were able to head over to the Folly for the weekend. To be frank, the weather wasn't great, but it was good enough. A little sun, a little wind and the only rain overnight.

Knowing that we're useless at heading off early from home on a Saturday morning, we went down on Friday evening, were up at an outlandish hour. (The alarm was set for 6am), and were one of the first boats out of the marina as the depth in the channel filled in to a decent level. It makes a change for us to be so organised.

Not much to report on the trip over to Cowes, although while we were to listening to the coastguard directing Whisky Bravo to a medical emergency on a yacht off Calshot, we were almost surprised by this monster coming up behind us. I wondered why the Southampton harbour launch was hanging around in the vicinity!

We arrived at the Folly while the lunch crowd were still hanging about, so we had to shift Moonshine twice before we got properly settled. For the first time, though, we were on the inside of the visitors pontoon. It's a nicer spot to be and feels less like being in a marine car park.

We were early all weekend for some reason, and were fed, watered (actually probably too much watered by the time we'd finished) and back on the boat by about 9:30.

We were able to have a lazy Sunday because of the tides. With low tide at Chichester at about 3pm, we had the option of getting up and away by 8:00am, or hanging around until about 11:00 and idling our way back. Not surprisingly we chose the latter, having a leasurely breakfast and a walk down to Island Harbour before heading to the fuel dock opposite East Cowes Marina (red diesel up from 45p a litre to 77p a litre since the last time we re-fueled!!!) We had just enough wind to sail, but it took until around 1pm for the tide to turn and we started to make a decent speed back to Chichester. For about the first time ever, we got into a decent position to get through the small craft channel in the submarine barrier off Portsmouth, so we didn't have to fire up the engine to get through.

We dawdled up the Itchenor channel, because we reckoned we'd be struggling for depth, but two hours after low water we had over a metre under the keel in the marina approach. It looks like the channel depth is actually more than they post.

So, back at 5pm and off home. At last, Moonshine actually went somewhere for the first time since October.

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