Thursday, 27 August 2015

Sailing on the Solent - Leaving Emsworth


Heading out to the Solent
Low Water in pretty Emsworth
DAY 1
Heidi’s Café - Heading out - Goose Winged –
A minesweeper swishes by

An early sunny July morning and we arrive in Emsworth at 0800 hours. It is much too early to early for the tide. So there is nothing for it but a good breakfast in Heidi's Café before we head over to Emsworth Sailing Club to wait for the tide.

This is to be our fifth voyage together, Skipper Tom, Chris and I aboard Rag Doll. She is the prettiest boat on the Solent; this year is her fiftieth birthday. Later in the month Rag Doll is due to take part in series of races off Cowes. Rest assured that the next few days with us aboard will not greatly enhance her being match-fit. However we will try not to break anything! 

At last the tide is right and we are moving on. On the jetty into the dinghy go the stores, provisions and personal items for the trip. Looking on others club members make comments about the number of bottles of wine and such we are taking for a three-day trip. I fail to see the import of their comments for there are few Waitrose's on the Solent.

Just before noon we leave the mooring. Soon the jib and mainsail are up and working well for us. The sun is high now. We head out of Chichester Harbour, Hayling Island on starboard, heading southwest. Behind us the lovely South Downs shimmer in the heat.


We enjoy a lovely afternoon's sail. The wind is right behind us and we are goose-winged (having foresail set on one side and mainsail on the other) and are zipping through the water at seven knots. The Isle of Wight is ahead and Portsmouth clearly in view on the other side of us.  I make the lads salad rolls preceded by a Stella Artois, serving coffee afterwards, as we get closer to the I-o-W.  

Emsworth shown top left on the chart