A north easterly breeze delayed my departure for half an hour as the boats were being blown inshore onto the pickup line, moving it to the other side would not help as the boats downstream would block my way out shoreside so I had to wait for a lull and for the flood to start overcoming the wind allowing me to get the boat out. Once out I had to get into the main channel which was a bit tricky as there was dozens of boats going down river, on the third attempt I made it out and joined the queue to get out of the Hamble.
It got rather dangerous around Hamble Point Buoy when two idiots driving large power boats abruptly accelerated creating a huge wash, Sancerre for one rolled a gunnel under and I suspect at least one other boat did the same. There could easily have been collisions especially if boats had been on autopilot which generally can’t respond to such violent deviations quickly enough, fortunately I saw it coming and grabbed the tiller in time and “only” briefly went about 45 degrees of course.
The rest of the trip across to Cowes was straightforward as I had planned it to be just ahead of a 200 boat parade celebrating the jubilee and another 100 starting a race from the Royal Yacht Squadron’s line off west Cowes and when I went through they were already assembled at their start line.
|Dodging east of the Bramble Bank where there|
is an annual cricket between the Island Sailing
Club and the Royal Southern.
Bramble Bank - Wikipedia
|Rather busy off Cowes and Osbourne Bay, and this is just the|
boats with AIS transceivers (switched on) a lot more would
not have one
A pleasant evening followed with decent food albeit chaotically served, most had finished theirs by the time I got my starter and I and all having the same main course did not get served until everyone else had finished theirs. I was back on board fairly early and with the planned early start was in the bunk promptly.
A still unexplained bump in the night woke me at 04:00 thirty minutes before the alarm, there was no point in delaying, so I was under way at 04:30 springing off the pontoon with no trouble. The forecast was for variable winds F2 or 3 occasionally 4 but except for a few minutes I did not see F4 and was mainly sailing in F2 or less, so it was a bit of a struggle.
Short of Anvil Point it was only making c 2 knots and it was clear I would not get past Anvil and St Alban’s Head before the tide changed so I reverted to engine because I wanted to get to Portland to take the inshore route at the optimal time on Monday, a days delay would mean starting an hour later on Tuesday. The wind perked up short of St Alban’s so I reverted to sail but should have held on for another twenty minutes or so as I missed the tidal gate and spent a long time getting past.
50 miles in Fourteen and three quarter hours of which 4.5 was under power but that did include well over an hour getting down the Medina river and entering Portland harbour.