Friday, 27 August 2010


We escaped Portland on a gap in the weather in the afternoon and made for the Isle of Wight and the Solent. Motoring all the way, we made good progress, arriving at St Alban's Head at the change of direction of the tide, so as to minimise the problems going over St Alban's Ledge, which is notorious for overfalls and eddies.

As we neared, another yacht radioed us to check which was the best route, as he was unfamiliar with the area. Robin was able to reassure him, based on both the official almanac information and his own previous experience, that close in plus this state of the tide was the best option. It was a little rough, but not too bad.

We carried on passing the Jurassic Coast and Durdle Door, debating the point in the film, Far From the Madding Crowd, where Gabriel Oak's sheep went over the cliffs. The sun went down and we continued towards the Needles, where the tide caught us and we flew into the Solent. Trying to pick out the correct lights was confused a little by a firework display on the coast. We anchored off Yarmouth for a few hours rest, while the tide changed.

In the dawnlight we set off along the Solent, which is a very busy area. Southampton and Portsmouth ports , the naval base, ferries in all directions, and huge numbers of yachts all use this stretch of water.
We picked our way through, and passed the midwater forts and underwater barrier, to go to Chichester Harbour. This is a very pretty location, and we went up to Chichester Marina for the night. Robin went off to investigate Chichester, while I slept!

50 48.173' N  00 49.019' W

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