We packed away and neatly (for us) stored the sleeping bags and pillows etc the tide by now was about - 3.5hrs HW so in reality we had only gained 1 hour! (as my tidal mooring is +/- 2.5hrs HW) but none the less it was an experience and that one hour could be make or break!. We decided to save some time & use up the milk before it got too warm we and start on the mini selections of breakfast cerials we'd bought with us, after all we'd be spending our next night on Bembridge beach so could have the eggs and bacon then!
I'm not a fan of the expression "Every days a school day" however every trip out on a boat you learn something new! - well soon as we set off from our 'borrowed' mooring and down to the harbour entrance @ -3.5HW in Chichester means you are motoring out of the harbour entrance against a steady 3kts of tide..
With my headsail up (yet undecided if this is a Gib or Genoa) and PutPut on 50% we were making headway of 1kt.. i know this because I was sitting on the boat watching some early morning fishermen walk past us at nearly 3 times our speed, set up their gear & cast in, anyway I put the time to good use and started to set up the Garmin 72 gps that came with the boat. it must of taken us best part of 40 mins to get to the first pole outside of Chichester at which point it became very apparent there was no wind.. not even the gentle breeze we'd felt waking up on our mooring bouy.. we just bobbed up and down with gently water lapping at Monties side.. with PutPut now resting as she'd gotten a bit warm fighting the tidal flow we just drifted with the tide about 1/3 mile in 30 mins.. I didn't want to have to motor the entire way to Bembridge, in fact 2 stroke outboards aren't the most frugal of methods for getting anywhere, So our options were:
1. Motor the entire way to Bembridge (not keen as noise + fuel usage + reliability = no fun)
2. Go back into Chichester for a gentle sail, & try to catch the earlier breeze
3. Go home (not keen as spent a lot of $$ and time preping & stocking the boat)
We decided we'd go back into Chichester harbour, there really was no wind by now, so we went back upto our over night mooring and moored up, on a warm sunny day with no wind and no tide there's nothing else to do but have a couple of hours snooze. (this time I set an alarm so as to NOT miss the tide!)
When we woke up it was HW+1.5, still no wind, so we cast off our mooring and headed back upto Wilsons Boat Yard, We then had a bright idea of heading back to the boat yard, tying up on the pontoon, using the free showers and loo's for an SBD! (shore based dump! (somethings you just CAN'T do in a bucket!)) then head back to our overnight mooring and just chill - after all we had eggs, we had bacon, we had cider! - it would be rude not too!
So just over an hour later with a quickly going out tide (ebb?) we were leaving Wilsons pontoon, somewhat cleaner, lighter and feeling refreshed as we headed back to 'our' mooring bouy we saw some guy in a 36ft'er just mooring up!, but luckily there was still 3 more that i've never seen used all season, just a little further in shore than last nights, so we took up on one of those. Dinner consisted off 2 freshly cooked Bacon Egg & Mushroom burgers and a fairly cold cider!
Now anyone that's spent a night moored in Chi harbour will know what I mean here, but the sunset was amazing, well rather the noise & qty of birds that just seem to come out of nowhere! I have some photo's of the tide going further and further out till out gps read -6 meters to sea level (kind of worrying that!) but the mud banks that on a high tide make up the sea floor some 4-5 meters below you were on a level half way up our mast, it was an amazing experience, kind of creepy yet amazing to see at the same time, the nearest thing i can think of to describe the noise is on BBC wildlife when they show you a rainforest at night.
You can see from the photo's why it's important to not cut the wrong side of the navigation poles on anything buy the highest of tides too! - just before low tide, a fairly new looking Cornish Shrimper style boat (lifting keel) came and moored up just 2 bouys down, this was no bother to me! but fairly amusing when Kathy had to use the bucket!