Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Heading East

Dave and Julie Patuck with a French ferry
Today we got up early to catch the tide and a Northerly wind which turned out to be much lighter than predicted. Heading East from Cowes past Portsmouth it was noticeable that a) most of the big ship traffic we saw consisted of ferries, and b) that most of these ferries are French.   Is this a sign of a once proud seafaring trading nation in decline, or a symbol of economic strength that other nations want to share?  As so often with these sort of questions you can make the answer fit either way.

We had light winds as far as the Looe channel off Selsey Bill, but after that a south-westerly breeze of slowly increasing strength set in.  We must have made a fine sight passing Brighton pier for any punters who happened to be looking out to sea. The video below shows us making good progress off Shoreham.

Our return to Brighton marina was complicated by the problems of manoeuvring in a strong crosswind but eventually we settled into a suitable berth with some assistance from the marina staff and as much elegance as was possible in the circumstances. An advantage of wooden boats is that minor damage can easily be made good with stopping and paint and its soon easy to forget that it ever happened.

We have returned to Brighton so soon after our last visit for a crew change: D has to return to home and to work, and we welcomed Julie Patuck who has not previously been aboard Bonita but has plenty of experience in smaller boats. If the strong winds persist then getting out of the harbour tomorrow may be her first experience of a different sort of sailing.

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