On a lovely bright morning 9 Seavets met at HISC for the first cruise of the season from Hayling Island to Chichester, those sailing were Maurice Humberstone, Chris Rowland, John Chubb, Steve Fletcher, Alan Jackson, Dave Rabbetts, Russell Polden, Andy Lacy and myself.
We launched at 10.15 and headed east towards the Chichester Channel. With wind against tide the first few hundred yards were in fairly choppy water, at this point Russell decided the conditions were not to his liking and returned to base, so the remaining 8 carried on and beat up to Bosham into a fairly gusty 12mph wind. On arrival we parked our boards on the road which was now being covered by the rapidly rising tide, we then had to clear a space for a car being driven through deep water by two elderly ladies who had misjudged the tide times, they just made it in time. Bosham never disappoints!
After a pleasant coffee break sitting on the wall outside the café and some light hearted banter with some similarly aged cyclists we made our way on a run back up the Bosham Channel and then turned east through the moorings past West Ichenor and then northeast for a beat up to our lunch stop at the Crown & Anchor, Dell Quay. On arrival at 12.45 the pub looked busy but after stowing our boards on the beach outside we managed to get a table outside in the what was now warm sunshine and ordered our traditional Fish & Chip lunch, it was pretty expensive but was served quickly given how busy it was, and went down well with a much deserved pint.
Launching again at 2.00 for the final leg we then had a run back to West Ichenor, followed by a broad reach in what was now a steadier 12mph wind all the way back to HISC. We were fairly spread out on this long leg and landed between 3 and 3.30 all in line of sight on this wide expanse of water. According to Maurice's Garmin we had covered a total of 20.4 miles, (he also omitted to switch it off for his return journey home and clocked a total of 75 miles and achieved a top speed of 68mph).
All in all it was a very enjoyable early season outing after the long lay of this winter, with everyone feeling the effects after a long lay-off.