Wednesday 16th so Day 1 of Stage 1, on the way!
A lovely morning to set off on, warm sunny and good visibility as I depart Lymington at 07:50. Unfortunately only light winds so engine on and we motor-sail east. I have the western Solent to myself and very few other boats as I pass through the eastern Solent and clear No Man's Land fort at 10:35.
Western Solent on a beautiful morning. The views to come will need to be good to match this.
As I clear the east of the Isle of Wight the wind picks up to a SSE F4 so engine off and we manage 5Kts plus with the tide under us, reaching the entrance to the Looe Channel at 12:45 and clearing east of it at 14:00 and set a course for Shoreham.
Now the tide is against me so speed is down to 3.5Kts over the ground and in addition the wind is now F4 to 5 against the tide and right on my tail setting up an uncomfortable following sea. The auto-pilot cannot cope with these conditions so I have to helm for the rest of the sail. Shoreham entrance is noted in the pilot as being a bit on the rough side with strong SE winds, this proved to be correct and the sea state was akin to Poole Swash Channel on a bad day as I got the sails down and entered the harbour with Hyrst rolling from rail to rail in the now beam sea.
Once inside the shelter of the harbour I am able to catch the lock straight away. I raft alongside another yacht in the lock and the skipper invites me to use a berth and facilities at the Sussex Yacht Club (thanks Lawrence). Turns out that the berth I use is that of Moon River, another Yarmouth 23 which has already set off for the Dutch cruise! Moored up for 18:00, cleaned up and great meal at The Schooner pub. A long day but satisfying.
A Y23 visitor on a Y23 home berth (thanks for the space Barbara)
The Schooner's desserts were too good to miss!