Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday, 23rd July

General view of Eastoke Point at the narrows of Chichester Harbour
Zoomed-in view of the Sailing Club at Eastoke
Running downwind to Brighton

‘Ladybird’ is now at Brighton after a 36 mile passage from East Head, Chichester Harbour. The morning was full of promise with a light wind from the NW. The anchor was up at 0530, and we were away, the engine purring, giving 3.5 knots against the first of the flood tide into Chichester Harbour. Outside at West Pole the tide was still flooding up the English Channel, but it was due to turn against us at 0915, by which time I hoped to be two or three miles beyond the Mixon Beacon that marks the southern extremity of Selsey Bill. The current there is a brute beast if you get it wrong so that you can be held up for hours until the tide turns in your favour.

Everything worked according to plan, and the wind even backed to the SW, so that we had a dead run on 80 degrees for Brighton Marina 28 miles along the coast - that’s from the Boulder Buoy at the western end of the Loo Passage.

A thing that struck me was an almost absence of wildlife. Only at the beginning of the trip did I see a number of gulls grouped together on Pole Sands. In fact, from the start, it was a solitary experience until nearing Brighton, where yachts from all directions were arriving simultaneously. The Marina was packed with French, German and Belgium yachts. Unusually, ‘Ladybird’ was the first yacht to arrive.Three others closely followed her in.

I’m always pleased when I make it to a secure harbour where the water is flat so that I need no longer to expend energy on keeping upright, and at night I can lay down in horizontal mode at rest. So that’s what I am looking forward to after I’ve had a shower.

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