Younger readers* will recall that Riff Raff has arrived at Cowes, just in time to for the Isle of Wight festival. Our next stop would be Yarmouth or even Poole. It meant using a west going tide. We had delayed in Cowes for a day so that the morning west going tide was not quite too early, so Sunday found us in the offing of Cowes at 0800 (breakfast and coffee having been scoffed and sandwiches prepared before cast off) waiting for the tide to run westward. There was a breath of wind** from the North East and the sails were up. Freddy2 was on too as we moved ponderously towards the Needles channel. By 08:30, the wind had disappeared and the tide and Freddy were carrying us along at just over 5 knots. In no time at all (or so it seemed) we were passing Yarmouth, noting the enormous motor yacht moored outside the harbour. Well, it couldn’t have got in.
We kept well clear in case some officious “guard boat” full of gents in black balaclavas came to visit.
Woosh. That was us through the narrows past Hurst castle and then jiggling to the West to take the inshore passage.
Now the tidal current deserted us. There seemed to be some wind. An on shore breeze, possibly of the sea breeze varietyUp went the sails, off went Freddy2 and we sauntered past Christchurch and Bournemouth at a sedate 2 knots, taking in the sights and bathing in the sun (or the shade of the mainsail) depending on how the wind felt.
Brownsea Island hove into view and we sailed along the small ship passage to within spitting distance of the obnoxious chain ferry, before cranking up Freddy 2, lowering the main and breasting the outgoing tide into the harbour to look for a space to park. A marina took us in, and sandwiched us into a corner between some rather large things.
The sunset was great.
What shall we do on Monday. The forecast looks hot.
* e.g. those who have unimpaird short term memories
** Force 2, if you really want to know