I finally got Monty (Leisure 17SL) into the water & on the mooring & have taken her out 5 times i think now, with 3 of those being quite memorable for both good and bad reasons!
I will never forget the feeling of a fantastic voyage that only a few people in history would of felt, namely Christopher Columbus, Captain James Cook & now Skipper Graham Allan.. well this was the feeling I had the first time I ventured out of the infamous Chichester Harbour entrance!
It was a warm sunny day, a gentle breeze and a gentle sea.. 'Lets just do it!' the crew (Kathy) agreed and off we sailed.. well motored actually, it felt like we'd gone for miles.. we cleared the entrance, went to the first marker post and turned right.. it was a high tide & the depth was showing at over 5 meters, we pulled up the sails & turned trusty PutPut the outboard off.. we sailed along in front of Hayling island, putting in a few tacks and gybes to see how the boat handled - & I have to say it's a superb difference over the last boat..
Having real keels with balast means it doesn't matter where you store the cool back with the diet cokes in! the boat also steers where YOU need it to go, and not just left.. in fact I was surprised just how well it will point into the wind.
We sailed around aimlessly for about an hour & then headed back into the harbour for safety, after all at this time I had no VHF & no GPS! - my safety kit was lifejackets, Flares and a mobile phone!.
After i'd got home I checked online for some of the yellow dingy racing bouys we'd sailed around.. & was quite amazed to see i'd only gone roughly 1 mile south of Hayling! that kind of explains the 2 people coming past us on paddle boards!
When we made it to Parker - we thought we'd travelled miles!!
Google earth later confirmed It was roughly - 1 mile!