“Five Go Sailing” – Day Four

by PowerSail contributor Stephen West

Day Four dawned with an ominous grey sky and although both the BBC and the inshore forecast promised a nice day ahead, it was going to be cold and damp for the morning it seemed. It didn’t dampen the crew’s spirits however, and they assembled our plan for the day with the now familiar tide tables, tidal stream atlas and almanac.

By eleven o’clock we were ship-shape and ready to head off to our next berth in Haslar Marina, Portsmouth. Waterproofs on, we motored out of Lymington river and into a misty rain and turned east towards Cowes.

Everyone was keen to sail now whenever they could and even though the mizzle persisted, we set sail, finished with the engine, and began beating into a SSE wind gusting up to Force 4. For the next three hours we made slow, but steady progress towards Cowes marking off progress on the charts as we passed Newtown Creek; the entrance to the Beaulieu River and Lepe Beach; and Gurnard until finally we reached the shipping channel off Cowes.Fortified by warm drinks (and yes, the inevitable cake!) it mattered not that our overall progress was at an average of three knots!

Small boat channel guide for Portsmouth Harbour

By now the wind had all but disappeared – as forecast – and it was time to finish our journey under motor. Today’s lesson had been all about transits, their use in predicting other crafts relative motions and how they can be used to assist in position fixing.

The final lesson in transit use was to be had after passing Gilkicker Point, off Portsmouth: by lining up the war memorial with a known block of flats we were able to follow our transit in towards Portsmouth Harbour. A short journey along the small boat channel and our berth for the night in Haslar Marina.

Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth

After an efficient berthing, a quick wash-down and tidy, the crew assembled for the short ferry hop to Gunwharf Quay for a well-earned supper. Another great day onboard Kingfisher!

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