Sunday, 19 August 2018

East to Newhaven

With Allan as crew we disentangled ourselves from the other rafted up gaffers at about 8.30 this morning as we, and others, started heading back to our various homes.  We had a blustery force 5 SW wind which increased to 6 or 7 at times.  The swell started building up once we were clear of the Isle of Wight.  Bonita was running well with lots of reefs in but the decks got thoroughly cleaned by flying spray.  We thought it was better not to go through the Looe channel off Selsey Bill as this can be uncomfortable and even dangerous with a heavy swell at low tide, so we went south round the Owers light buoy.  Similarly the entrance to Brighton Marina can be difficult with onshore waves, especially in a boat without much engine power, so we carried on the few more miles to Newhaven.

The total distance of 65 - 70 miles we covered in around 9 hours of lively downwind sailing. We had a fair tide most of the way, but nevertheless this is about as fast as Bonita goes.

The waves were breaking over Newhaven breakwater as we approached and we were pleased to get in to the shelter behind it to take the sails down. Newhaven is still an active ferry port with huge ferries turning round in the port looking alarmingly close to the yachts. There is also a dredger at work - seemingly all the time day and night so there is plenty of activity, though more commercial than yachting. We could not find anywhere open to eat on a Sunday evening so Allan cooked supper onboard. 

We are hoping for more fair winds but slightly gentler tomorrow.

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