Aimee and I arrived at Northney Marina later on Friday night than I would have liked and we did not manage to launch Aurora until 10pm and even then then foresails were not rigged. I had planned to spend the night on the pin (much to Aimee’s excitement) at East Head but the wind was stronger and had more northerly in it than I wanted for a quiet night. Also, I was unwilling to leave the marina without being absolutely sure (in the light) everything was rigged correctly.
In the end, we did not leave Northney till 11.30 next morning, as there were several niggly problems to solve. Just as well then. We motored out of the marina at low tide and and followed the very last of the ebb to the first turn at Sweare Deep (all 3m of it!) where we put the main up. Our course was nearly dead downwind, with the main shadowing the jib and I had to gybe a few times to keep us out of the accidental gybe zone (bearing in mind my recent injury!!!).
It was a glorious day and there was a procession of boats out to West Pole (including the RS800 fleet from Hayling Island SC. Sadly though, when we hardened up, turning round West Pole, the wind dropped and we slowed to less than a kt against the modest tide.
Reluctantly, I put the engine on, but the breeze soon filled back in and the donk was put back to sleep. We were soon making over 4kt towards the passage through the submerged barrier near Southsea Pier. There were few boats about, but of course a large power boat had to come sweeping past just as we approached the narrow gap.
Turning into the entrance to Portsmouth, the wind was by then behind is and very light, so we made slow progress. Not realising about the small vessel channel, we were soon buzzed by the harbour master, as the Isle of Wight ferry wanted our water. Needless to say, we made way in short order, courtesy of Mr. Honda!
This evening also marked the inauguration of the new Origo stove. Though my new galley unit has not yet been fitted, as it the joiner had not got the size quite right, we still cooked on the new stove, rather than the trusty Trangia (though it did donate its pans). It has been a glorious evening and we exported everything to the cockpit, cooking, eating (and drinking!) until the sun finally bid a reluctant farewell to use at about 8pm.
14.1nm, 4hr 39min, avg speed 3.0kt, max speed 5.2kt
Location:Haslar Marina,Gosport,United Kingdom