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Trip log: Pwllheli to Porthmadog

Having spent two days on non-sailing enterprises, with Aurora safely tied up on a pontoon riding out the strong, gusty and biting Easterlies, the promised break in the weather turned up. After a week of strong winds, Saturday dawned bright and windless. Taking the train from Porthmadog to Pwllheli, Aimee and I arrived at the marina early but had to wait a bit for the wind to fill in. When it did, it was a lovely F2 South Westerly, perfect for a reach across towards Abersoch.

Zephyr and Aurora made convoy out of the marina and we hoisted all sail for a beat West. To avoid a crew mutiny, we decided to stop at the bay called Llanbedrog. Aimee helmed us in close to the shore and we tacked into the wind in 3m of water and I dropped anchor. A few moments later we were lying at anchor a few boat lengths away from Zephyr, who had performed the same trick. After a pleasant lunch, we performed the manuever in reverse and reached away towards Porthmadog.

It was a perfect afternoon with a downwind sail in a light air with all the canvas up in the sun. We initially made a steady 4kts in the breeze which swung to the west with the high pressure system passing overhead. However, our luck was not to last and the breeze petered out. About 2nm from the safe water mark, we had to admit defeat and start up the engine, motoring across the glassy sea with the setting sun behind us. We made Porthmadog at high tide in time for a pleasant curry and a beer or two in the yacht club bar.

22nm, avg speed 3.2kts.

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Trip Log: Northney – Itchenor

Saturday October 6th 2012

This has been my first solo sailing trip. An early start from home got me to Northney at breakfast time and the launch was very smooth. Fortunately the boat just floated off the trailer and it was a simple matter to pull her alongside the pontoon.

The heavy rain of the previous night cleared away nicely and the weather was set fair, though with very little wind. When I set off, it was a case of motoring down to the turn at Fowley.

I ran on main and Yankee towards Hayling Island SC, though at low speed and had to use the engine after being overtaken by motoring boats. Once I reached the turn at the Fishery buoy, the engine was not needed and a nice gust had me reaching in fine style towards East Head.

East Head was popular today in the bright sun and light winds and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch watching the world go by.

After this was a beat up towards Itchenor, which ended up in company with two other gaffers and we played dodge the dinghy race in a steady F2-3 breeze.

I passed Itchenor but had to motor up the narrow channel with what wind there was on my nose. Turning in Chichester pool and cutting he engine, I sailed up past Dell Quay SC and contemplated anchoring at Copperas.

In the end I decided I would prefer to go ashore, so I motored into the sunset back to Itchenor and retired to the Ship Inn for tea.

Morning, 1115-13-15; 4.3nm, avg spd 2.0kt
Afternoon. 1415-1715; 7.8nm, avg speed 2.7kt

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