Friday, 17th May I sailed from Brighton Marina to Chichester Harbour, a total of approximately 40 miles. To work the tides I left Brighton at 04.00 and with a force 3 from behind, 'Sandpiper' skipped along, at times doing 5 knots.
By 06.00 Shoreham was to the north as we headed to the East Borough Head Buoy approximately 20 miles away. A stream of large yachts all under engine overtook 'Sandpiper' and showed the way ahead - useful markers for steering a course towards Boulder Buoy off Selsey Bill.
The flood tide turned against us well before the Looe Passsge, and at Boulder Buoy I had to put the engine on to make over the cascade of water shooting through the gap between Malt Owers to the north and Boulder Bank to the south. That was a hairy bit.
From there I had a fine reach to West Pole, the lattice marker for Chichester Harbour. By then the wind backed to come from the north, so I took in sail and motored to sandy East Head, a favourite anchorage of mine, where I stopped for a meal.
At 18.20 'Sandpiper' was firmly beached at Snowbill* Creek, in the lee of East Head. Len Wingfield, a veteran sailor of the Dinghy Cruising Association, had sailed by in his Bosun dinghy as I was anchored, and later walked along the beach to suggest I should join him.
When I arrived at the beach he was busy reefing the mainsail, and within a minute or so he was gone! I was left mystified on the beach, but I was grateful because I shall have a peaceful night until high water tomorrow.
* This should be 'Snowhill Creek'.