After the failure of the initial voyage, I tried to keep my excitement about the possibility of finally having my boat in the same location as I live and work well in check. I am an excitable person so it didn’t really work. But the voyage was a success so all is well.
It’s a simple sail, navigationally speaking. Follow the coast from Portland Harbour until Anvil Point Lighthouse, once there aim for the Needles Lighthouse then follow the channel buoys through the Solent and up Southampton Water. Done. I figured all this out with the aid of Navionics Boating app. And when I say ‘I figured out’ what I actually mean is the app did it all and I just followed it. Navigation made easy – if that is not their tagline, it should be.
For the first eight hours we sailed/motored against the tide making two and a half knots. This is slow. Really really slow. About half the speed an average person walks. It’s frustratingly slow, especially when you need to be somewhere. Lesson, don’t sail to deadlines. Without deadlines sailing slow isn’t bad at all, it’s not like being stuck in traffic which is a soul destroying experience. You can drink a beer, read a book, make lunch, have a swim or a snooze, to name but a few. On a good day travelling by sail, whatever speed, is the best way to travel.
More engine trouble was encountered at about hour nine. The coolant kept disappearing regardless of how much I poured into the top of the engine. It wasn’t coming out the bottom so I don’t know where it went. Still don’t. If you know I would be grateful to hear from you.
Sailing past the needles was big. I always found them somewhat magical. If you live on the Island they are probably a shit tourist attraction. But I have never lived on the island so they are awesome. It also meant home was in sight.
I felt so proud of Isabella entering the Solent. We sailed in with seven other boats all of which had at least five meters hull length on us but not only did we not slip to the back we actually overtook several of them. She is quicker than I thought.
The Solent gave way to Southampton Water and in turn the mooring. The lines were tied just as the sun was setting. Home at last, fifteen hours after leaving Portland.