Tuesday, April 30, 2024

2024 April 30th days 27 - 32, 2 steps forward, 1 back.

I did go into the harbour early on Thursday mainly because rain was forecast all day on Friday and I needed to walk into Penzance to do my laundry and I did not want to get wet. That was done, Friday was, as promised, wet and miserable and 3 solo sailors heading north spend the drier periods lamenting our fate. Saturday was spent visiting sailing friends in Hale.

Sunday was another wet day but it looked as if there would be a brief window on Tuesday to get to Milford Haven, then on Monday the inshore forecast predicted seas would be moderate of rough from Lands End to St Davids Head becoming rough, probably due to strong winds to the SW or Ireland. 

That evening I downloaded all of the available weather maps, 6 of them, for the next 7 - 10 days, no two agreed due to uncertainty over the position of a complex low pressure area off Ireland and how it would develop, what was clear however was that none suggested an easy passage up the Irish Sea and the possibility of strong winds coming from different directions in quick succession as fronts moved through, some models showing very strong winds likely on Thursday, possibly from the SE or SSE in Milford Haven which would mean a long trip up the river for a secure anchorage. Also tides to go up the coast of Wales were very inconvenient and a leg direct to Ireland would require a very early start (03:00 ish) to clear "The Smalls" before the tide turned adverse at several knots.

I posted on Facebook:

This weather is crazy, I might be able to get away tomorrow but it is looking unlikely with the sea state currently forecast to be rough tomorrow. And rough around Land’s End is seriously nasty. If I don’t leave tomorrow then I probably won’t be able to for a week due to strong head winds or no wind plus unfavourable tides. I suspect I will be heading back to the Fal to live on the anchor for a week to avoid berthing fees at Newlyn 🀬🀬🀬🀬🀬🀬🀬🀬

Tuesday morning the 07:00 inshore forecast had improved somewhat but not by much:

Lyme Regis to Lands End including the Isles of Scilly - Strong wind warning

24 hour forecast: Southerly or southwesterly 4 to 6, occasionally 7 at first, decreasing 2 to 4 later. Moderate or rough becoming slight or moderate in east and later elsewhere. Rain then showers later. Moderate or good, occasionally poor at first.

Lands End to St Davids Head including the Bristol Channel - Strong wind warning

24 hour forecast: Southerly or southeasterly 4 to 6, occasionally 7 at first in west, decreasing 2 to 4 later. Slight or moderate in east, moderate or rough in west. Rain or showers. Moderate or good, occasionally poor.

So decision made,  the sea state, weather (still raining as I write at 10:30 and like to continue well into the afternoon) compounded by a lack of sleep due to surge coming into the harbour causing the mooring lines to creak very loudly every few seconds, made worse by the weight of a 34 foot boat that is rafted up on me. Due to tidal gates around Land's End I could not leave till about 11:30 for an all night sail getting to Milford late afternoon or early evening on Wednesday but possibly having to motor for the last few hours as the wind goes light then turning into a headwind.

I will be moving back to the Fal tomorrow a.m. for a few days, I would go now but for the rain and the tide turning adverse and against a F4-6 wind before I could get round The Lizard (waves are predicted to be c3 metres, not allowing for tidal effects), tomorrow the wind will be much lighter. With the wind all over the place I will probably spend some time at St Mawes and some up the river switching between them as the wind changes - at least it will give me something to do some days.

One or two of the other boats here may well be leaving, but they are all bigger with younger skippers, I am not changing my revised plan, although I can't say I am pleased with progress, 16 days weather bound in 32 and 400 miles to get to Newlyn before retreating to the Fal.

Back to St Mawes

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

2024 April 24th Day 26, To Newlyn Gwavas Lake and Harbour

 A 07:30 start to round the Lizard at slack tide and for favourable tide from there on. It started off quite warm with little wind but it clouded over as I reached to Manacles under engine. The wind stayed very light until 20 minutes short of Newlyn so I motored all the way, naturally the wind headwind went from 4 knots to about 7 as I went through the Lizard over-falls, with 6 knots of boat speed and 2 knots of tide, rather more than I expected even on a spring tide, there was 15 knots of cold wind over the deck and I went from shirt sleeves when I left to a fleece and a down gilets.

I had hoped to spend a night at Mullion Cove but the wind was blowing straight in and could go to Force 5 so decided against it, a shame as, along with Chapman's Pool (St Alban's Head), its one of the few recognised anchorages along this coast that I have not been too. So in the end I anchored in Gwavas Lake, close by Newlyn harbour in a gap between loads of pot buoys and at low water the clear water allowed me to plant the anchor in clean sand, missing the patches of weed.

40 pot buoys in Gwavas Lake, more to seaward.

My plan to go into the harbour on Friday remains intact although I really could do with a shower so I might change my mind in the morning.

More pics later

33 nautical miles in 7.5 hours.

Update: it’s now Sunday the 28th and I and 3 other boats, all but one single handed, might get away on Tuesday.

2024 To Newlyn the 1st time

I didn't click here for 2 steps forward and 1 back - to the Fal

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

2024 April 22nd Days 24 & 25, Fowey and St Mawes

A very satisfactory short visit to Fowey, as planned I arrived at 08:45 and once secure to the short stay (free) walk ashore pontoon, did a quick shop, including a couple of reasonable frozen pasties to cook onboard, then went to the fuel berth to top up with diesel and was away to St Mawes in less than an hour.

I came away very pleased with myself having executing a perfect “ferry glide” to and from the short stay pontoon through numerous moorings and following that up getting onto the fuel berth with 1.5 knots flowing past it, fortunately almost directly along it, and just stepping off at exactly the right place with a couple of lines that did not strain until made off, springing off was straightforward using the tide and I was well clear of the rocks just downstream of the pontoon. Having done that I will have to be very careful at Newlyn as the odds say I will mess that up big time.

I particularly wanted to fill up in Fowey, it is the last chance for a long way to fill up from a pump and my back has still not fully recovered from lifting a 20 litre can of diesel out of the locker when at Portland the second time. Secondly filling to the top gave me a chance to validate my fuel consumption figures, in the event my planned consumption at 1.5 litres per hour compares with actual consumption since I got the boat in 2017 of 1.54 litres per hour; and over the 200 hours since the last refill the consumption calculated from the fuel gauge was only 6.3 litres out and on the safe, conservative, side.

The wind was light and almost on the nose but with more forecast and likely to be adverse later from Dodman point, I motored for an hour to Dodman then sailed close hauled in a nice 10 knots of wind until just short of  St Anthony Head when the wind dropped, by the time I had the engine on and the sails stowed if came in quite fresh from the north but I carried on under engine for the short distance into St Mawes.

The season in this part of the world doesn't get started until May
so very few boats on the water off St Mawes.

Mooring maintenance at St Mawes
Polkerris to Fowey and St Mawes.

I plan to have a rest day here before making my way slowly to Newlyn hopefully going onto a pontoon on Friday morning so that I can get laundry done before visiting on Saturday when yet another gale is forecast, then head out some time between Sunday (preferable for the best tide) and Tuesday depending on the weather, probably heading for St Ives to shorten the trip to South Wales or Ireland.

To Fowey, 4 miles in an hour. To St Mawes, 24 miles in five and a half hours.

2024 Polkerris and St Mawes

Polkerris and St Mawes

Click here for Newlyn.

2024 April 21st Day 23, to Polkerris

  WIP - a place holder to be fleshed out when I have time and energy after a dash west.

I left at 08:00 for a pleasant sail to Polkerris with hardly a cloud in the sky during the morning and a light to moderate following wind, it was even quite warm for an hour or so until the cold wind increased and the cruising chute had to come down.. 

An interesting concept, an old boat about 24 feet long re-rigged
as a Junk and with davits on the back for the tender.
With a variable wind I sailed on to just short of  Gribben Head when the wind finally died and I motored the last 3 or 4 miles into Polkerris for a quite night.

Par Sands at sunset

34 miles in eight and a quarter hours.

Click here for Fowey and St Mawes.

2024 April 20th Day 22, to Hope Cove

With the "gate" around the Bill of Portland not "opening" until 09:27 there was no need for the normal early start and I weighed anchor at 07:50, and after motoring out of the harbour it was a leisurely sail much of the way down the east side of Portland until the wind shifted and dropped and I was going slowly on a dead run so on went the engine to get to the Bill at the optimum time to get the best push from the west going tide.

As usual there was a flotilla going round, 1 way ahead, 3 of use
pretty much to the schedule and a few well behind.
Passing close to the Bill and even closer to the off
lying rocks and pot buoys. Note the scale.
The obelisk on the left marks submerged rocks just offshore. 
I miss judged it very slightly and went round 5 minutes early in benign conditions with the wind filling in from the ENE at 11 knots, up went the cruising chute and I headed off better than 4 knots, over the next 3 hours I made good progress until the wind died to 6 knots or less so on went the engine.

The first filmed dolphin of the trip, apparently a singleton.

Unfortunately the engine had to stay on for the rest of the day but on the bright side it did allow me to get all the way to Hope Cove in daylight.

Turning into Hope Cove.
68 nautical miles in twelve and a half hours.

2024 Portland to Hope Cove

Sunday, April 21, 2024

2024 April 19th Day 21, to Portland.

The inshore forecast on Friday morning dropped the strong wind warning, although the weather gods had a different idea, so with a bit of a scramble to get off the mooring before the tide turned, I was off at 09:00 in a light wind that increased to F5 as I got into the Solent. I could not quite weather Sconce Buoy (south of Yarmouth) so on went the engine to go through Hurt Narrows and the mile or so though the North channel.

Approaching Hurst Point, note the water breaking over the
norther end of the Shingles bank (centre).

It was a quick but bumpy ride in a strong F5 wind, sailing for comfort (a relative term) under a double reefed genoa and no mainsail. The boat is very well balanced under this rig giving the autopilot very little to do.

Then, at just the wrong time and place, the wind increased to F6 as I was approaching Anvil Point and the expected bumpy ride turned into very bumpy until I was past St Alban's having gone outside of St Alban's ledge.

Hamble to Portland 55 miles in 12 hours, 5 minutes slower than
the east bound trip going back to Hamble for repairs.

Click here for the trip to Hope Cove.

2024 April 17th Days 19 & 20,back to Hamble to fix the anchor windlass.

WIP - a place holder to be fleshed out when I have time and energy after a dash west.

A bumpy but quick ride back under headsail only in a stronger than forecast F5-6 wind. With a F5 northerly wind forecast that would have made getting onto the mooring difficult I booked a couple of nights on the RAFYC walk ashore pontoon which would also be more convenient and save getting the dinghy and outboard into and out of the water.

I will write up the windlass problem in my normal post on defects for the cruise, but for now there turned out to other issues than a burnt out motor and I had to replace the whole windlass.

The offending windlass came out easily
then the problems started.

With brisk winds forecast overnight on the 18th and through the 19th I moved to the mooring earlier than planned to avoid struggling with the wind.

56 nautical miles in 12 hours.

Click here for my return to Portland.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

2024 April 16th Days 18, away to Hamble tomorrow?

The weather is still problematical but on Wednesday I should be able to move out, it is going to be windy but offshore at least until I am into the Solent. A problem was that the wind could be anywhere from NW to NE and still fresh by the time I get to the Hamble which would make getting onto the trot mooring difficult single handed with wind against tide, but I have been able to book a berth at the RAFYC from Wednesday morning through Friday morning which will be easier to get on to, save getting the dinghy out and making multiple trips to and from shore and hopefully give a more stable platform for repairs to the anchor windlass.

Selsey Bill to Lyme Regis - Strong wind warning

24 hour forecast: West or northwest, veering north for a time, 4 to 6. Slight or moderate becoming smooth or slight later. Showers. Good, occasionally poor.

Outlook for the following 24 hours: Northwest 4 to 6, veering north or northeast 3 or 4 later. Smooth or slight. Showers. Good, occasionally poor.

If I can fix the windlass in time I could then head off for points west on Friday morning.

Click here for the rough trip back.

Monday, April 15, 2024

2024 April 14th Days 16 - 17, back to Portland Marina and weather bound again.

The weather forecasts are driving me to distraction! As things turned out I could have left Saturday and, with some night sailing and motoring been on the mooring in good weather on Sunday. 

Sunday morning I woke up to no wind and did not check the forecast till past 09:30; the new forecast showed a relatively calm day with strong winds reaching the Hamble after c 04:00 Monday, quick calculations showed if I motored I could be in Hamble by 02:00, tight but possible with Portland Marina a safe fall back, the eco buoys at Studland would not be a sensible option with wind forecast to be F7 occ F8 for Monday.

I was underway within 10 minutes with washing up still to be done and bedding needing to be stored but with calm seas that was soon sorted and I motored across Lyme Bay making better than 6 knots in calm seas.

Typically the wind increased from 8 knots at 15:40 when I was 6 miles off the Bill of Portland with the tide about to turn adverse. By 16:26 it was blowing 16 knots and by 17:26 up to 20 but this time there was less tide and I had the wind and waves behind me and with some gentle surfing was making c 7 knots through the water and quite comfortable.

A rather more direct track eastbound than west bound.

A decision had to be made, Portland or Hamble? According to the met office domestic forecast for Hamble I still had several hours in hand to get to Hamble but it did not feel right, it would mean a couple of expensive nights in the marina but it seemed sensible to go there.

Another decision was to go west or east of the Shambles bank. West is a good deal shorter but would have more adverse tide and goes rather close to the Portland Race. I went east as the safe option but I don’t think it took that much longer because as soon as I turned round the bank I had the tide c30 degrees off the bow rather than dead ahead and I made 6 knots over the ground to the harbour entrance.

Portland from south of the Shambles Bank

Getting onto the pontoon was a big challenge, when I was allocated the berth I was very pleased, I would be almost dead into wind (I had said I was single handed and would not be able to get into a berth down wind) with a slight bias blowing me on to the pontoon, but when the gale arrived I would be blown off. Unfortunately in the 30 minutes it took to rig fenders etc. and to get into the marina the 20 knt wind had veered from SSW - SW to West I was going to be blown off. 

Fortunately the berth master has realised what had happened and came to take my lines; but it was a fraught couple of minutes and two attempts before I was secure.

My route in cutting the corner a bit inside the buoy.

It was a very good decision, by 02:00 the wind was over 20 knots and by 03:00 30 knots, getting onto the mooring in that would at best have been extremely difficult.

The down side is that the forecasts have changed again, on Sunday the gale was to blow through Monday night but as I write on Monday morning winds will keep me here until Thursday 🀬🀬🀬🀬🀬🀬!

The gale is also stronger than forecast, the wind gusting to 53 knots at the breakwater at 09:30.

55 nautical miles in nine and a half hours.

Update Monday evening. Perhaps Wednesday?

Selsey Bill to Lyme Regis - Strong wind warning

24 hour forecast: West or northwest 6 to gale 8, decreasing 4 or 5 later. Moderate or rough, becoming slight or moderate. Squally showers, fair for a time. Good, occasionally poor.

Outlook for the following 24 hours: Northwest 3 to 5. Slight or moderate, occasionally smooth in north. Showers. Moderate or good.

Click here for what is hopefully the denouement.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

2024 April 12th Days 14 - ?, Anchor problems & going back to square one.

Unfortunately Brixham is as far as am going to get on this attempt, the anchor windlass failed when I was anchoring, I had hoped that it was a minor electrical problem but the motor is dead and will have to be replaced. 

I am going back to the mooring on the Hamble to do that, I’m not sure how long the job will take and I don’t want to run up big bills at a marina if it turns into a long job and I can then hopefully pick a new start date with better weather than on this attempt. 

Now I have to wait for some calm weather to manually pull up 40 metres of chain and a 10Kg anchor. Fortunately in an emergency I can still anchor using the bower and chain rode or with one of the other anchors and rope rode, but getting either back up will always be an issue so I will probably head for a buoy at Studland so I can time my entry to the Solent with the tide and onto the mooring. Of course the weather is making life complicated again with more high winds arriving Sunday / Monday.

Saturday 13th April.

The view from Fishcombe Cove
I woke up at 06:00 to find no wind vs the F3 - 5 forecast so I got the anchor up and with less difficulty than I thought I would have - but it was very calm, it would have been very difficult pulling into fresh wind or tide. I moved a short distance to pick up one of the new "Eco Buoys".

In Fiscombe / Churston Cove waiting for yet more bad
weather to hit. It would be very picturesque and peaceful but
For jet skis dashing about, I guess they don’t like the noise
either as many have music blasting out to drown out the engine.

2024 Fishcombe Cove

I could be here for a while:

Selsey Bill to Lyme Regis - Strong wind warning

24 hour forecast: Southwest veering northwest, 3 to 5, increasing 6 for a time. Slight or moderate. Mainly fair. Good.

Outlook for the following 24 hours: Northwest 3 or 4, backing west or southwest 5 or 6, increasing 7 or gale 8 later. Slight or moderate, becoming moderate or rough later. Fair, squally showers later. Good, occasionally moderate later.

It could easily be Wednesday or Thursday before I get away. Typical, the 19:00 forecast remove the F6 bit.

Click here for yet another change of plan and the trip back to Portland.

2024 April 11th Day 13, Portland to Brixham

With a reasonable forecast I took the plunge and set off towards the west, the official forecast was for winds from the SW but the models showed winds were likely to have more south in them, I wasn’t sure where I would end up, Brixham seemed most likely but Hallsand, behind Start Point, or an overnight sail to Plymouth (or in 2 days via Brixham) might be possible to get me to a place of safety before more bad weather arriving Sunday or Monday depending on which model you looked at.

Close to spring tide the inshore route would not open until the afternoon and would likely be too dangerous, even if the wind remained quite light at F3 so I left at 09:45 to be past the Shambles before the tide changed to the west, this would keep me clear and down tide of the Race and the shallow water and hopefully I would be past The Bill before the strongest tide for a good push across Lyme Bay.

It was quite foggy with visibility initially about ¾ of a mile so I motored out at 3 or 4 knots behind a very large radar “blip” that turned out to be a huge sailing catamaran heading towards Weymouth. I motored on towards the East Shambles buoy until the wind picked up a bit then hoisted sail and made good progress wondering what a c 45 yacht was doing heading down the east side of Portland, it turned out they were not making a dangerous attempt at the inshore route but heading for West Shambles before heading west. I kept thinking perhaps I should do the same but decided being upstream and upwind of the Shambles with the possibility of getting swept into the Portland race when the tide turned was not where I wanted to be even in quite benign conditions, as things turned out it would have saved some grief and got me well on my way but I would do the same again.

One line from the boat is the heading, the other the direction 
I was actually going because of the tide.

Plain Sailing until 14:39 and 3 miles off Portland, normally
 a safe distance in reasonable weather although I had aimed
for 4 miles but was set in by the tide and pushed north by
the south westerly wind.
After all of the strong winds the tide was rather late turning and having made better than expected time out under sail I spent quite a while making little progress to the west, then the tide turned quickly and I was off with 3 – 4 knots under me. The fog was now thicker and I did not see a yacht coming the other way until she was a cable away, she did not have AIS and I was no longer using radar, perhaps I should but any large vessel should have AIS / Radar in if it was a warship, boarder force etc. not transmitting AIS info they would certainly see me so I was happy to save amps.

Then the trouble started with the wind quickly increasing to 20 knots or a little more and although I was well off The Bill the seas with wind against tide became very confused, waves were not that big but very steep, close together and coming from various directions, probably the most dangerous, although by no means the biggest I have been in for years.

Once SW of the Bill the sea quickly became the forecast “slight to moderate” and I made reasonable speed close hauled but was set well into Lyme Bay by the tide and leeway and I was forever reefing and shaking them out as the wind, largely SSW, varied from 12 – 10 knots. 

Struggling to make progress before motoring in.
This put me down tide of Brixham once the tide had turned and getting from 5 – 9 miles off Teinmouth was going to be a problem, especially with the wind now varying from WNW to S and from 5 – 25 knots. Having gone from well reefed to full sail then back to 2 reefs in the main and head sails I decided to motor the last 7 miles in and hour and a half rather than sail for 4 or 5 hours. I arrived off Churston / Fishcombe Coves and anchored at 02:00, but not without incident, the anchor winch not working properly, to be covered in the next post.

The whole leg (dashed line). 70 miles in 16.25 hours.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

2024 April 1st Days 3 - 12, Portland Marina.

Last night the UKMO model predicted winds gusting to > 40 knots tomorrow (Wednesday) and strong winds  before and after - it was blowing >25 last night but with a few hours of lighter winds on Wednesday morning. 40 knots would be at best uncomfortable and if things went wrong getting into the marina would at best be problematic. I therefore moved at 09:30 and am now secured to a berth and likely to be here until Monday or Tuesday.

It’s going to be a long wait with not a lot to do on the boat, except there is always something, last night most of the main cabin stopped working, as some on the same circuit were ok and the others blinked before going out it was clearly a dodgy connection, probably on a connector block. So it proved. An easy fix as I had cable and crimped connectors.

The failed linked between 2 parts of the negative 
connector block that has been in place above the
headliner for many years.
It got a bit windy Tuesday evening….
Screenshot on my iPad, slaved to the Garmin chart plotter /
Multi Functional Display.

I have been here for a week now, 3 gales including 2 named storms, not much sleep last night with the motion and the creaking of the mooring lines. 56 knots recorded on the breakwater. The westerly wind is blowing straight into the marina, fortunately not as bad as on the sailing centre pontoon, also I am now on the lea side.

I may be able to get away on Friday but it will be a pain with the inshore route unavailable, a spring tide and a likely head wind to weather The Start, Brixham may be OK but more bad weather may come in Sunday or Monday.

Update Wednesday 10th:

Stil quite windy but not extreme , there was a lull early morning so I took the opportunity to get out of the marina and moved back to the anchorage to save the expensive marina charges. The bad weather may arrive Saturday so I may accept a bumpy ride with a F3-5 headwind and move before then, heading towards Brixham with the option of making it an overnight trip to Plymouth, perhaps motoring from Brixham to Start Point(into the wind and with some shelter from the wind and waves) before reaching to Plymouth. Unfortunately the inshore route around Portland Bill will not be practical due to timing, weather and a Spring tide so it will be a 10:00 start to go outside of the Shambles and then passing 6 miles off the Bill. Assuming the forecast Fog tomorrow is not too bad.

This is getting rather tedious πŸ€¬πŸ€¬πŸ€¬πŸ€¬πŸ™

Monday, April 1, 2024

2024 March 30th Days 1 - 2, Hamble to Hurst and Portland.

The objectives of and preparations for the trip can be found here: 2024 - Towards Muckle Flugga?

For the past week the start date has been touch and go, on Thursday it was off but Friday mornings forecast from 6 different models was OK for Saturday and Sunday with a reasonable chance of getting to Brixham or beyond on Monday and Plymouth or Fowey by the end of the week, dodging bad weather. The remaining worry was the very strong wind still blowing but forecast to drop during the day.

One of at least two sails trashed in Thursday nights blow, each
within view from my boat. The other was a seriously expensive
  hi-tech sail, completely shredded, on a 40+ ft boat. And neither will be
covered by insurance as they were not caused by contact with
something other than the wind or water.
The car was quickly loaded and after a visit to the supermarket I was at the club by 12:00. The wind was about 15 knots so it was safe to use the dinghy and the club launches were operating. Two trips to the boat had everything aboard, getting the outboard off the dinghy and onto the boat was worrying when a squall came through and we were bouncing around but the derrick did the job and by 15:30 the launch picked me up and I was home in time for dinner.

On Saturday it was a 3.5 hour journey by train and bus back to the boat which went pretty well although my arthritis is still complaining about the brisk walk from the station to the bus stop. I had largely prepared the boat for sea on Friday so hoped for a quick get away on first high water but when I turned on the electronics the wind instruments were not working, they had been two weeks previously.

I had a pretty good idea what the problem was, a very expensive "waterproof " plug and socket by Aquasignal was not very water proof, it had failed a year ago and I had hard wired the connection and it had worked fine for couple of thousand miles and a winter on the mooring but gave up the ghost at the last minute, but there was 2 good points, it had failed before I left rather than just after and I had taken the precaution of buying a replacement (of a different make) and it was on board with a length of the correct cable.

It was a struggle to get it done quickly but with the timber headlining I put on a few years ago getting access to the tag block under the deck was easy, although I did not get panels back up until this morning (Monday) at Portland. I made it with a few minutes to spare and slipped at slack water on the second high, 15 minutes later and I might not have got off with the ebb tide and a SE wind.

The brisk wind dropped and backed as I passed Calshot and I reached down to Hurst under headsail only, because I could not be bothered to put up the main as I had plenty of time to get there and with the delay there was no question of heading further west. If the sail had not put a shadow over the deck it would have been a pleasant warm sail rather than just a pleasant one.

Dusk at Hurst. 11 NM in 2 3/4 hours

Sunday - Hurst to Portland

I set the alarm for 04:00 BST (BST starting at 02:00) a couple of hours into the ebb tide but was awake at 02:00Z so had the anchor up and was away at 03:30 BST (all future times Local) with a light wind from the SE but more forecast. I motored through Hurst narrows and turned quickly into the North channel to avoid having the Shingles bank under my lea; I generally prefer this route as it avoids the over-falls at "Bridge" and once through the short channel you are clear of dangers, there is then a bit less tide but often you make that up sailing a slightly shorter route.

The wind was forecast to rise so, being close to a run  I did not bother with the mainsail. The wind gradually increased and I made good speed although at some discomfort because the boat was rolling a lot with a following wind and the sea on the beam. I passed St Albans still with a fair tide with the wind now F5 and the sea more behind me life was more comfortable apart from the cold. 

I had thought to head round Portland Bill on the outside route but with the cold and tiredness from all of the rolling it was an easy decision to abandon that when I saw the forecast and I headed for Portland. It was a good decision not to try for more, the wind piped up with a few miles to go and if I had decided to get round the Bill on the offshore route I would have been plugging into 2 - 3 knots of tide with F6 behind me that would create ugly seas. 

Hurst to Portland 40 NM in seven and a quarter hours, averaging
better than 6 knots over the ground if you ignore anchoring time.

After some experiments over the winter, Sunday dinner was egg fried rice with chicken and water chestnuts, new on the boat but so easy it and variants are likely to be regular events, especially at fishing harbours when I can get prawns.
Monday morning was sunny with no wind when I got up
to chase away the crows making a mess on the deck, by the
time I had made the coffee the breeze had set in and by 12:00
if was F4 - 5. 
The forecast for the next couple of days is not pleasant and with the inshore route not viable I am staying put.

Inshore water forecast from Selsey to Lyme Regis at 07:00 Monday.

24 hour forecast: South or southwest 4 to 6, increasing 6 or 7 for a time later. Slight or moderate be moderate or rough later. Showers, perhaps thundery. Good, occasionally poor at first.

Outlook for the following 24 hours: Southwest 4 to 6. Moderate or rough. Showers, then rain. Moderate or good.

And the lunch time one west from Lyme was worse:

24 hour forecast: South or southwest 4 to 6, veering west or southwest 6 to gale 8 for a time. Slight or moderate, becoming moderate or rough. Showers, occasional rain later. Good, occasionally poor. 

The problem is, with the updated forecasts I could be here for a week ☹️, I'm at anchor in about 5 metres of water, with good holding and an 8:1 scope of chain with plenty of water behind me so should be OK in whatever gets thrown at me but it could be gusting 45+ knots at the end of the week by which time I would welcome a shower so will probably pony up for a couple of nights in the marina.

Anchorpro plot overnight, arriving in F6 easterly, veering
to SSW F4 with more to come.

ECMWF gust map for Friday.
Click here for the move to the marina.