On a lovely bright morning 6 of us met on Hayling seafront for the Island cruise. We had postponed the trip from the previous day due to challenging conditions so sadly a few couldn’t make it but those who did were Andy, Owen, Maurice, Steve, John C and myself. The forecast was for an 8 mph SE wind rising to 12 mph and swinging round to the SW, this turned out to be pretty accurate. We set off at 10.30 from the middle of the seafront and headed E towards the Chichester harbour entrance, the water was as confused as ever but we all negotiated it safely and stopped briefly to regroup at HISC.
Launching again it was then a run with a bit more wind down to Emsworth, passing a seal on the way. The harbour was busy with a regatta at the sailing club but we managed to land on the hard and Steve treated us to a coffee. Setting sail again we avoided all the sailing boats and had a lovely beat up through the moorings in the still freshening wind, and then a reach across to our lunch stop at the Ship Inn next to the bridge. We were met there by Barbara and John E (not sailing due to the after effects of an eye operation) who had cycled there to make arrangements for our fish and chip lunch.
We arrived there bang on schedule at 1.30, and enjoyed a very pleasant lunch break.
We set sail again with the wind now 12+ mph from the SW, and after pushing under the bridge had a great beat across Langstone harbour before landing to regroup again at the Ferry. The tide was now running out quite fast as we launched and beat up to the harbour entrance, where there was more confused water, but we stayed close to the island shore with no sign of the East Winner bank, and had a fast reach / broad reach along the seafront back to base. It was a good job we flew the Seavets flag as it's not easy to spot this location from the sea.
After de-rigging and enjoying a well-deserved ice cream in the warm sunshine, we were treated to an aerobatic display from a WW2 Spitfire over the seafront, rounding off nicely what had been a perfect day's cruising.