Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tuesday, 10th May

Tuesday, 10th May

After filling all five cans with diesel at the Brighton Marina fuel pontoon, we made our start for the next leg to Chichester Harbour. For the first time since the beginning of the cruise the forecast was exceptionally good: North Easterly 3 or 4, then veering east, and so it turned out to be.

I went to use the Autohelm, but sadly it would no longer work. The instruction manual stated if anything fails, it should be taken to the nearest dealer. Fortunately the windvane works reasonably well, except in stronger winds while running; therefore I used that instead.

Most of the day at sea was sunny, while clouds hovered over the land. A mile or so out from Brighton I heard a strange clonking noise which seemed to come from the rudder, and as I was near some crab pot buoys I thought the propeller had snagged a line, but in the event it was a small plank of wood which extricated itself when I sailed the boat backwards.

Our course to the Owers Light Buoy was 246 true, and by offsetting 10 degrees to port to compensate for the favourable tide, the course held good. There was little by way of interest apart from some rod fishing boats over various shoals and the odd crab pot buoy here and there.

At 1620 we rounded the Owers Light Buoy after sailing 23 miles in 5 hours 20 minutes, giving an average speed of 4.3 knots. Our next mark was the South Pullar Buoy, nearly 5 miles to the west. From there we were able to sail a course directly to the West Pole Beacon marking the approach to Chichester harbour to our north.

While 5 miles from the West Pole Beacon I prepared dinner and hove near the entrance of the harbour. After eating my meal I sailed to the West Pole Beacon where I took the sail down and started the engine. I paid good attention the depth sounder as we crossed the bar shortly after low water with a reading of 9 feet.

By following the buoyed channel, first to the north, then to the east, it was easy to find the marked anchorage near East Head, which is North West of West Wittering. A quiet anchorage it has turned out to be as I type this log at 2200 before turning in for the night.

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