Monday, 22 April 2013
What a weekend!
Well I hope all you folks out there in Internet land had as good of a weekend as me with your boats. I invited a friend along who, although we have sailed together many times, has never been aboard Live Magic. We slipped lines at Emsworth at around 8.30am on Saturday and left the marina with 6" of water under the keels. It's funny how you forget things like neaps over the winter, I think we actually could have gone out later but it still felt like a close shave. Adam took charge of the boat and I got the sails up almost straight away so by the time we passed the waiting pontoon in Emsworth we were under sail and the engine was silent with a nice easterly wind giving us a gentle beam reach all the way up the harbour. Once at the harbour mouth we sailed to Bar Beacon and turned for Cowes. I'll admit that because it was such a calm day we didn't actually get all the way to Bar Beacon, and had no intention of going near West Pole so started the turn early. On a run with the sails goosewinged we continued on toward the forts before crossing the shipping channel. We were nearly halfway across this when a ship steamed up and seemed determined to pass ahead of us, so we turned 90 degrees and sailed straight down the channel for a while with the ship passing us to port. A second ship could be seen at this point so we decided to wait for that to pass to port as well before resuming our crossing. Immediately after this we finished crossing to allow a third ship to pass to our starboard. After Ryde we turned in towards Cowes and on to a more sail friendly course until the wind died at Osbourne Bay. We started the motor for the remaining short hop to the Medina. After passing Shrape we noticed several new buoys marking the new small boat channel into Cowes. These are considerably more straightforward than last year with both red and green buoys, and an extra set being added. We followed this channel and motored up the river to East Cowes Marina. Having called for a berth we were told to proceed to Quebec 18 but when we arrived it was taken. Q16 then, taken as well, then Q15 and finally P18 where we eventually tied up. We then went on to have a couple of pints in various establishments on the island before having a decidedly disappointing meal in The Anchor. Hopefully they will improve again before the season but I Felt they we're now relying on the fact that they are close to the marina to get business where in the past the food had been good quality. Our "sizzling steaks" for instance were silent with raw onion beneath them on a warm cast iron plate. The following morning, due to tides, we left at 4am and motored back on mirror calm seas and saw the most wonderful sunrise. The remainder of the day was spent sleeping :)