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Gosport to Brighton 27th July 2007

08:30 and we are on our way motoring out of Portsmouth Harbour, and heading for Horse Sand Fort. Les Sutcliff http://www.2oldgitsinaboat.co.uk/reports/17.htm. was right when he said they need to do a bit of paint job, and if you see this report Les it still looks the same.  As soon as we clear the harbour we raise the sails, and turn the engine off. We are on a run and making good progress. We need to round Selsey Bill with the tide which will speed us on our way. With the right weather conditions and the tides utilised to the full, its possible to have a fair tidal flow from Selsey Bill, to Dover. Anita 'A' probably isn't  fast enough for that, but we will try to make use of the tidal sequence around Dungeness when we get there, but not today.

The wind has dropped to F2/3, and I start the engine to make sure we arrive at Selsey Bill for the east going tide. 10:05 and we are passed the Horse Elbow starboard buoy, and alter course to 106degT for Boulder & Street buoys marking the passage through The Looe. 11:35 and we are through boulder & Street with and with a fair tide, its engine off and a gentle sail onward towards our destination. Although the wind strength is only F3/4 we are on a broad reach, and there is a reasonable swell from astern. The motion of the boat isn't good for Ron, he isn't feeling sick but he doesn't feel too happy about the motion, and decides something to eat is in order, so he has gone below to make some cheese & tomato sandwiches and a hot drink, which goes down well.

Our next waypoint, is to pass just north of the East Borough Head cardinal buoy, where we alter course for Brighton marina 72degT. 12:45 and we are through the next waypoint and heading for Brighton, on course 72degT. With the wind in our sails we were making good time towards Brighton. Our course takes us over the Kingmere Rocks which isn't a problem with our draught, but we will keep a look out for lobster pots, as the fishermen still seem to be using old plastic milk containers etc for marker buoys, which are difficult to see most of the time.

There has been no rain since Ron joined me in Weymouth, let's hope it continues for the rest of the voyage. We are pushing the tide now, but it's not too strong, as its only a couple of days after neaps, but we have wind over tide which has built up the swell causing the motion that Ron hates. The sun is shining and its not cold, we are sailing, and making good time so all is well. As we approach Brighton Marina, the entrance looks difficult with the southerly wind, there is a large swell across the entrance, with the waves breaking on the harbour wall, with the spray going over the top. The backwash off the wall isn't helping either. We drop the sails and with the motor on head for the entrance running parallel to the wall. The boat is rolling about like crazy, and we are getting soaked from both sides. Ron is on the helm, with a worried look on his face, but he is concentrating on keeping Anita on course for the entrance. A crash from below, and the kettle has taken a dive off the hob,

Once through the entrance and behind the western breakwater, calm is returned to the boat, and we motor to the visitor buoy and tie up. We both go to the office to check in, and were told that we would have to move off the visitor berth as they were expecting to be busy later in the day. We were given a berth off the east jetty, and on motoring round to the pontoon, and down the narrow channel between the fingers, found the allotted berth taken. There wasn't enough room to turn Anita round, and as Anita won't steer astern, due to her long keel, and rudder configuration, we struggled with lines to the pontoon, and Ron steering the boat astern out of the channel. We tied up to the end of the pontoon, and returned to the office, where we were given another berth. We first checked the new allotted space was unoccupied before moving.

I must say at this point that the staff at Brighton Marina didn't seem to care whether we were there or not, with no apology for their incompetence at allotting berths, and a don't care attitude. Brighton is not a marina I would care to visit again, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it!!

With Anita berthed safely, we ventured out of the marina for a walk, and to have a look at Brighton Marina Village, then on to find a pub/restaurant for a meal. There are lots of boats here at Brighton and lots of apartments, but there is little atmosphere, no hustle bustle around the village, and it is Friday. However the pub seemed busy enough and the staff were friendly too. We had a meal and a couple of drinks before returning to the boat for the night, for a good nights sleep.

Its a short hop to Eastbourne tomorrow, approximately 19nm, so there is no rush leave and the tide dictates 11:00 to be the earliest departure time.