Sunday, 22 August 2010

Where did he go?

We’d sat in Weymouth waiting for the right weather for 3 days, gradually getting more and more harbor bound. Weymouth is lovely, but there is only so much you can do when its raining, and when you’ve already spent a fortune, and are trying to keep costs down!... it suddenly looked like we’d have a weather window for Sunday, albeit with a forecast for a F9 in the evening!!!!!!.... and Pipedream II turned up as well to keep us company… it was agreed that we’d head towards Brighton, with an option to dive into Poole or the Solent should the weather come through early.

Tides dictated a start around lunchtime, but this was far too late given the weather forecast, so we agreed to punch the tide for a good long while, and slipped out of Weymouth at 08h30, via the fuel pontoon.

It looked like it was going to be a long tedious journey, with little wind when we reached open water, and this was to prove entirely true… only the weather gods threw in a few ‘extras’ to liven things up!

We’d been out 3 hours when cloud loomed on the horizon behind us… gradually it caught up, and within an hour the front of the boat had disappeared… heavy fog… its not so much of a drama nowadays though, as we simply stuck the radar on, and magically we could see anything around us (not much).

Only excitement was a small wooden yacht appearing out of the fog at about 100m range during one slightly better period of visibility… completely undetected on the radar!

The weather pattern continued on and off for the next few hours, mixed with huge rain-showers, so large that we could see them coming on the radar… we were wet and fed up… still motoring…. As we passed St Catherines point (only informed by the chart plotter – you couldn’t see past the bow) we finally said sod it, and turned in towards Portsmouth…. The tide had only just turned to help us, and we were still 4 or 5 hours from Brighton… what little wind there was had shifted into the SW, along with the previous rock stable barometer starting to drop, and I was beginning to wonder if it was the first evidence of the coming weather….and in essence made a decision to err on the side of caution. Alan agreed completely on Pipedream, so we rounded via Bembridge with the visibility looking OK, until we reached Horse Sand Fort where you cross all the shipping channels, and then the world disappeared again!

With radar helping we entered Portsmouth harbor, and were soon safely tied up in Haslar… wet, fed up, and without a sail getting anywhere near being hoisted… ho hum…

Miles logged 73nm
Miles this trip 545nm
Miles this season 925nm
Miles since this blog started 5,505nm

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