|The April wind rose for Portland from Predictwind
showing the preponderance of favourable winds
to get from the Hamble to the west, the only month
of the year when westerlies are not predominant.
To save quite a lot of money I will, wind permitting, dry her out in the RAFYC maintenance dock on the 13th March and attack the mess with the industrial power washer, change the shaft anodes, and I will then be ready to go.
The plan is to have another go at St Kilda visiting Barra and hopefully the Monach Isles on-route, then either continue to Orkney and hopefully Shetland or to come south to Pwllheli for the start of the Jester Challenge to Baltimore (IRE) in mid June - that plan failed in 2021 but I may have a bit more time this year..
There is a good chance of easterly winds during April and often in late March, to help me down to Land's End, much preferable to bashing into a westerly, so I'll be tracking the weather very carefully.
To be able to use the inshore route around Portland Bill at daybreak I will be looking for decent weather with an easterly wind about two days before a neap tide so the 15th or 29th March would suit, the 13th April is after Easter so I might bite the bullet of an overnight trip with no sleep and go direct from the Solent to The Start on a spring tide in early April.
Hopefully it will still be possible to anchor behind Hurst Point now that a new bank has appeared, probably due to work stabilising Hurst Castle. Even close to neaps the depth of water was marginal over much of the area with a charted depth of only c 1m at LAT and 2.1m at LW on the 15th March and 3.3m in the deeper spots (Sancerre draws 1.7 metres) , it may be shallower or deeper now towards Keyhaven, hopefully the latter. I'll investigate on the day and go on to Studland if necessary.
Video by Nick Boxall on U-Tube
Update 18th Feb:
Looking good for favourable winds in mid to late march but it could be cold, we shall see.