Last weekend Ronhilda had a messing about on the Water weekend. The wind was easterly so for once we were able to sail down Chichester Harbour on the ebb in good time with the waters to ourselves. Once out over the bar this relaxed sailing continued down wind in 3/4 knots apparent wind, in the sun with just the geny up until the Hamble was reached midafteroon and we decided to have an early day. The day had given ample time for several rounds of bacon and sausages in the Ronhilda tradition anyway.
The Hamble turned out to be an accquired taste that weekend for Ronhilda. Lots of sneering from the surrounding racers when I backed out of the downtide and downwind pushing us off the berth the first time to get the approach just right to allow the crew to step not leap onto the pontoon. When we approached this berth advised to us only minutes before hand, the racing yacht in the next berth started shouting, claiming and insisting it was his berth and he was just going to move in to it. I said I was in the berth I was told to go in. On reporting up to the office the long suffering berthing master just sighed, it turn out he was from another MDL Hamble marina and was nowhere near his allocated 'visitors berth anyway. Thank goodness the LSC is not into racing.
That evening to complete the Hamble picture, the pub were full of boorish boasting racing crews, and the service from the Indian Resturant up the hill was rubbish. We did not give the staff any undeserved tips and made a note in the log not to visit that establishment again.
The next day we got up earlyish and gently slipped away before the bores around us started their yelling, bumping and barging. The wind filled in from the SW and we had an excellent sail back finishing up with a gentle spinnaker run before the wind headed us at the forts. Debbie 'muscles' Wheeler surprised us with her hidden strength as the kicking strap halyard snapped with a loud 'twang' as she tensioned it.
Chichester harbour was still quiet as we got back back to Chichester Marina at LW. The channel has a couple of silt lumps in it, so a couple of others got stuck as they tried the channel, the depth being about half a metre less than the Marina advised over the VHF.
An excellent sailing weekend but Ronhilda will not be putting any more money into MDL's marinas any time soon.
Five poor souls had drawn the short straw and were with Ronhilda for this weekend. It was a springs weekend so we were the first to plough the silt going out of Chichester Marina at 9am.
Again we were blessed with a NE breeze in the sun so we sailed down the empty harbour against the full flood tide, taking well over an hour but the crew were happy to be sailing not motoring. Robin's weekend sailing instructions had kindly left those of us living in Siberia the freedom to do our own thing, there being no chance of getting to the start in Osbourne Bay against the tide.
We therefore practised kedge anchoring under sail just off the beach in Hayling Bay, taking cocked hat bearings, confirming with depth and finally GPS check. All did very well.
Then we did our sail balancing and rounding South Winner twice tasks, the wind had got up by now to require 2 reefs. Crew seemed impressed we were doing 9.5 knots with 2 reefs and scrap of geny with gunwhale tickling the water. Finally we set off to find the others in the Rally by blasting thorugh the submarine gap and going down to North Sturbridge, heaving to to let a car carrier safely go past.
By the time we turned back for the Forts the others were actually well past the Forts and the helmsman were enjoying dodging the large group of racers powering past us down tide on the beat. Wind dropped off so in order to maintain progress we had to shake a reef out and sailed to the finish at St Helns.
As it was couple of houjrs after high water we went into Bembridge and after a couple of three point turns moored up outside Ariel with three other smaller LSC yachts outside us.
An excellent but in the wind cold pontoon party was had followed by the BBQ ashore. Thank goodness the marina has a gazeebo which provided much needed wind shelter.
The following morning I wanted to leave as soon as possible so Robin and I agreed with the coperation of others that we would demonstrate how to leave a raft with Ronhilda slipping out of the raft astern leaving Robin to pull himself and the two other yachts back alongside Ariel. This went well though I say it myself.
Ronhilda then went to the Dulver and celebrated by picking up the bouy in the pool there for an excellent round of Bacon and Mushroom sandwiches.
We then motored over the bar and had a very pleasant sail back to Chichester. What a differences a week makes, some excellent practice was had in assesssing where the multi race dinghies were going, turning and thus avoiding them.
So a big thanks to my crew for the weekend apart from Bembridge and the lock they did all the helming and sail work and most importainly keeping the skipper supplied with bacon sarnies. Thanks to Kate and Robin as well for the orgainsation.