We rounded off the cruising season this week with a trip to Chichester, 11 of us met at HISC on a lovely sunny morning, where our hosts kindly offered us use of their facilities for a very reasonable fee of £4.70. Those sailing were Steve Fletcher, James Leeming, Simon Barker, Dave Rabbetts, Andy Lacy, Joe Coulson, Owen Dimond, John Ellis, Bill Keeling, John Chubb and myself.
The forecast was for light winds in the morning rising to 11mph after lunch, and as we launched at 11am there was little or no wind at all, but we trusted the forecast and were able to make slow progress with the help of the incoming tide, and arrived at Cobnor Point after an hour of gentle drifting. It was decided to give the visit to Bosham a miss due to the slow start and head straight to Dell Quay instead, at this point just after midday the wind started to show signs of life and we had a pleasant reach through the moorings at Itchenor, and then a run down to the Crown & Anchor, arriving at 13.15.
On arrival at the pub we were informed they couldn't serve food outside, and inside was fully booked, so after a few words of disappointment we ordered drinks and 11 packets of crisps and sat outside in the warm sunshine, moments later the manager offered us the option of sitting in pods and being served food which being hungry we accepted, the pods turned out to be small polytunnel's with 6 seats and were very hot, at least we got our fish & chips and managed to grow at least 6 inches in height.
We set sail again at 14.30 and had a great sail back upwind on the rail in 12/13 knots, a complete contrast to the outward leg, and landed at Cobnor Point again to regroup, we then watched some historic yachts racing for a while, and then set off on an even beat in even fresher wind back to base, arriving at 16.00 still in glorious sunshine. We had covered 16.8 miles in 3h 23m according to Andys Strava track.
After de-rigging we were treated by John E to refreshments on the terrace of his club, he has a magic wristband that buys much appreciated drinks after a long day on the water, Joe was still peckish after his large fish lunch so ordered a risotto, only to be told the main menu wasn't available, but was able to get a large chicken curry from the snack menu instead, we now know the secret of his eternal youth, eat as much as you possibly can.
It turned out to be a great day to end the 6 trip season, after a not too promising start and an awkward lunch arrangement. Please find attached Andy's Strava, and photos provided by Dave and Steve.