Chichester and back

image415432298.jpgYesterday morning was warm and sunny, and I had mild sunburn by 10am. The crew were up and about earlier after a more restrained evening. I had to call the coastguard after I saw a flare being let of 210° from East Cowes Marina. the coastguard phoned me to say the flare had been let off over land, so not sure what was happening.

Had a good sail across to Chichester Harbour, which has an interesting navigation: lots of buoys and marks and it would have been good, challenging fun to sail this at night. The pattern of buoys didn’t quite match the chartplotter or the charts. We sailed goose-winged most of the way from East Cowes.

At Itchenor we moored up on one of five swinging buoys. Our first attempt was a bit premature and we bashed into one of the other boats. We gave up on that buoy, and tried another joining on as the fifth boat onto a raft. After we tied up we were told to ‘please leave’, because the buoy was overburdened for the strong wind and tide conditions in Chichester Harbour. I agreed. During this time the Commodores, Reggie and Ray, arrived with Bob and Steve, and moored on an almost empty buoy that we hadn’t spotted. After a few attemps to pick up the buoy in the strong wind they managed to safely moor up and we joined, rafting alongside them.

Later we were joined by a couple of other S&CA yachts so there were fours boats in total. We had drinks aboard Aurora, before Reggie and Ray towed us ashore on our tender. The row was required as we were missing the handle of one of the oars. We could have paddled but the tide was very fast (springs).

We had drinks and ate at the Itchenor Sailing Club. Lovely club house with a self-service restaurant with paella, which we ate outdoors (the wind had died down a bit). We got thrown out the Club House at 10:30 and, one prop-wrap-in-the-dark later, three of the boats were partying on Northern Spirit. it turned out to be Ross’ 28th birthday. The booze was a bit limited because we’d planned to stock up in France, so we literally drank the boat dry. Our boat emptied out at 2, and partying shifted to Aurora.

Today was another great start. I was up a couple of hours before the others again and read yesterday’s papers, slowly grilling in the sun on deck. Guy made a great fry up. Easy off the buoy and a slow sail / motor around to Gosport. We went through the Dolphin Channel (gap in the WW2 submarine nets. The wind was N-NE but fell well short of the F4-5 forecast.

Frantic scrubbing of boat, and heads, and a big slab of home-baked apple pie before we headed off. Left Haslar Marina about 5. All tired on train back to London. Had a good chat with Tim (who’ll be sailing with our flotilla in Croatia in September). I was able to connect with 30 secs to spare onto the 19:52 to Cambridge, which was good going. Looking forward to getting home to Michael, and supper is waiting 🙂

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Tweets this Week (2010-05-30)

  • Eating the wafers to try to rid the kitchen of the smell of durian. Wow, it lingers. #
  • So pleased to have made it to the 37th Cambridge Beer Festival. #cbf37 #
  • #cbf37 Lovely, fruity pint of Orkney, Red McGregor. A tawny red ale apparently (and sadly all gone). Next! #
  • #cbf37 hoppy pint of Milk Street ' Gulp'. Can't taste any burnt orange, but there's lots of hops! Only 3.5%, so had a pint! #
  • #cbf37 Hereward Flatlands Bigsky. Worth a punt. Hints of mild, but more of a punch. #
  • #cbf37 my fingers smell of Bottisham Smoked Eel (and that's not a euphemism), which I can't seem to wash off: out damned spot. #
  • *37th Cambridge Beer Festival* blog post #
  • #cbf37 back again! #
  • #cbf37 two pints in: like the Wincle Beer Co. Undertaker #
  • #cbf37Hmmm … Not so sure about the Springhead Leveller, rather too flavoursome. Mind you it was described as smoky and intense. #
  • #cbf37 The conversation is deteriorating. I blame Rob (of course). #
  • Nice Yorkshire Beer! Having a Wensleydale ' Coverdale Gamekeeper' gorgeous copper-coloured, citrus beer. Best beer of the evening. #
  • It was supposed to be a penis hat. Oh dear Rob. #
  • #cbf37 ah, Rob's penis hat has arrived! #
  • #cbf37 Got Michael a pint of Wensleydale ' Coverdale Gamekeeper', he liked the little taste he had of mine. Goes well with the pork pie! #
  • Enjoying the Park and Ride bus journey out to the Science Park, it's a beautiful sunny morning, and I'm in a holiday mood. #
  • #cbf37 thanks to yesterdays enjoyable beer fest session, I forgot to have breakfast this morning and only realised when I got to work. #
  • The taxi driver was so excited showing me his new iPad on the way to the train station. Had a quick play—very nice, very dangerous! #
  • On the train to Portsmouth Harbour. No space for suitcases and loads of cases on the train 🙁 #
  • Off the train, ferry for Gosport leaves off Platform One. Very quick. #
  • Spinnaker Tower is impressive. #
  • On board the yacht, with six of the crew. Won't be going to Honfleur, it would be head to wind there and back. Planning a new route. #
  • Night sail from Gosport to Southampton was lovely, via a close encounter with an unlit post 200 yards from Shamrock Quay. #
  • The crew are emerging from their bunks—hangovers all round! It's going to be a slow morning. #
  • Grey and windy on Southampton. Not going anywhere at the moment #
  • Arrived in Cowes after a rough dash from Southampton. Lots of ferries, and Bramble Bank quite exciting. Kevin was a star. #
  • Fun meal in the Lifeboat at Cowes. London Pride was nice. #
  • Woohwo for a sunny morning. In East Cowes Marina, queuing for a shower—pretty busy. #
  • Sunny and warm enough for tea on deck. #
  • Arrived at Chichester Harbour, lovely sail over in the sun, and now rafted up on a visitors buoy. #
  • ÂŁ11.50 for a night in Itchenor, said the nice young harbourmaster in the rib. #

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Rough afternoon at sea

image408457393.jpgRegaled by stories this morning about the wild night out at ‘The Edge’. A jacket was lost, and somone had rather too much to drink, sounds like it was wild evening amongst drunk teenagers.

I cooked a late English Breakfast for eight people at about 11:30 and then we mooched around reading the papers till 4:00, when we set off to sail south to Cowes. The wind was F6 and some of the gusts were powerful and the yacht was hard to handle. I spent a good amount of time passage planning the passage down below, which was tricky with the busy shipping lane and the Bramble Bank. Kevin did a super job on the helm, in difficult conditions with large cruise ships bearing down on us. A few of us were sick on the passage, me included and frustratingly less than 5 mins from Cowes!

Good meal in the pub close to the Marina at the Lifeboat followed by some wine on board. In bed now, everyone else will be by 11:45. Bit of a contrast to last night!

Mobile Blogging from here.

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Night sail to Southampton

image1274544582.jpgTook the train down to Portsmouth yesterday and the handy little ferry across to Gosport (leaves via platform 1 of the train station), to meet Guy, Giles, Kevin, Tim, Keith, Billy, Michael for a bank holiday charter of Northern Spirit, a Jeanneau 37, from Solent Yacht Charter based at Haslar Marina. Guy managed to get us a good deal on the charter fee, so it is pretty good value. Our plans were to sail across the channel to Honfleur, overnight from Plymouth, in flotilla with a couple of other boats from the S&CA. The wind was literally against us and the forecast was for a Force 6 southerly, and a northerly on Sunday when we would would have been coming back. None of us fancied two channel crossings under motor, head to wind. Dieppe was a possibility, but our main sail only has two reefing points and with the strong wind, that didn’t sound sensible. So, we had a lovely evening sail around the coast to Southampton, drawn by the bright lights and rumours of an all-night gay nightclub. We had a lovely peaceful sail, with clear skies and good winds.

Tim made a great shepherd’s pie, individually portioned in foil trays. lots of fresh herbs, tomato and some parsnitp made for a culinary treat not often encountered on board, when serving up from foil trays.

The peace came to an end outside Shamrock Quay when we touched an unlit post, as we were getting the sails in. No major damage done to the boat, but some impressive electrical sparks for the powered post.

We arrived in Shamrock Quay about midnight, and six of the crew headed out to explore the all night clubs of the city, only about a mile away. The other two (me being one) felt sleep was a better option.

It’s 10am on Saturday and it’s raining gently. Forecast is for F6, SW, then F5, SW about 6pm, then F4, W at midnight. So time for a good leisurely breakfast.


37th Cambridge Beer Festival

The weather took a turn for the chillier yesterday cbf37_simple.png but was still great for the second day of the Cambridge Beer Festival.



Michael raided the cheese and scotch eggs, and I had a pork pie and plump Bottisham smoked eel (which was good, as good as eel can get). Jason and Dylan were sipping the mead—dangerous.

Tweets this Week (2010-05-23)

  • If you heard the excruciating Thought for the Day on Radio 4 this morning, you'll love today's Platitude of the Day #
  • Enjoying a lovely salmon sandwich, that Muchael made for me to take on train to London. Off to plan sailing trip to Croatia. #
  • Adventure—on the 45 bus to Lambeth from Kings Cross (ok a small adventure)! #
  • Looks a long way by bus, but I've got 30 mins. #
  • Had an ok meal at Tas, 97-99 Isabella Street, London in good company. 18 of us in the end for dinner. #
  • Waiting till the 00:04 to Cambridge, missed the 11:15, oh well! #
  • Someone on the train threw up. Amazing OTT reaction from other passengers. #
  • Review: The New and Improved Sainsbury’s [From the TAB] Amusing! #
  • The narration in "The Lovely Bones", by a murder victim, is unsettling me. My world view doesn't allow for any dialogue for the dead. #
  • Having a hot, relaxing afternoon at the riverbank club. In and out the sun and a long swim in the river—a perfect Sunday #

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Tweets this Week (2010-05-16)

  • The slapstick in Four Lions was great but the film was dark beneath. The scene with the family at night was upsetting. #
  • On our way to the Elysian Beer Festival. Just in the mood for some interesting beer! #
  • Can just see Ely Cathedral from the Beer Festival, viewed across the football pitch. #
  • Starting with a half of Bridge House Diken Gold. (Yorkshire) Refreshing! #
  • Next half: Buntingford Polar Star, gingery (suits me!) and fresh. Michael's Yard of Ale Triple Tipple has some S on the nose but jolly tasty #
  • Sadly the worst food I've had at a beer festival (although the chips were fine). More Buntingford ordered: Master Cutler (From Royston) #
  • On 4th half and starting to slow down: Windsor & Eaton Guardsman, tangy, conditioned in oak. New brewery this year. #
  • Had a feeling milk stout might be a bad move: Havant Herd, sweet stout from Hampshire. First time for milk stout—well made but too intense! #
  • Last drink at the Elysian Beer Festival: Aventinus Weissenbock—strong smell of bananas, fruity flavour. More enjoyable than the milk stout! #
  • RT @LabSpaces: Mathematicians solve 140-year-old Boltzmann equation – /via @modernscientist #
  • Handy minibus shuttle from the Elysian Beer Festival to the train station. Lots of trains to Cambridge! Waiting for the bus. #
  • Piglet found on Adam and Eve Street. #

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Tweets this Week (2010-05-09)

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Tweets this Week (2010-05-02)

  • On way to Liverpool for the day. Cambridge is lovely and peaceful with hardly any traffic. #
  • Home again! That was a lot of train travel. Home 20 mins earlier than schedule thanks to a late-running train from Nuneaton #
  • Nice pint of Old Cannon Brass Monkey (Bury St Edmunds) at the Elm Stree #
  • Spent a couple of hours in the garden—much hacking! #
  • Also started rearranging the border, to suit the new fountain. Need to restock, a few things died over winter. #

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