First big trip

I left Deacons marina at 10am and headed across the river to get some fuel at premier marinas… none left 😳 ok there is another one near the entrance to the hamble, I’ll phone them as they need an appointment. Booked in for 12.30 so off down the river I went. I arrived around 11.45 but was told they are taking a delivery and nobody allowed on the fuel pontoon while they transfer fuel, so come back in an hour. I tied up across the river and had a cup of tea. An hour later I returned, still delivering, be another hour 😳. Back across the river for a coffee this time. The marina phoned me to apologise and said they would call back when ready. It turns out they had a problem with a valve. Β£100 lighter, and 90 litres heavier in fuel, I was off.

I decided not to raise the sails today, 20knot winds with squalls gusting up to 40 knots were forecast, not the day for a solo sailor to raise the sails for the very first time on an unfamiliar boat. I decided to motor all the way and boy am i glad I did. Two squalls hit me, one just after Portsmouth that heeled the boat with bare poles, the second as I just entered Chichester Harbour. Luckily it had mostly blown through by the time I set the anchor.

A squall passing through near Portsmouth

Setting the anchor was not without problems but I did it, and so far it seems to be holding. Another squall has just blown through so I we passed that test. First the anchor chain jammed in the winch, it looks like a guide is bent so the chain can get under it, I will look tomorrow, it may need what is technically called a whack, with a precision instrument called a hammer. The second problem was the chain jammed in the pipe to the chain locker, simple fix but nerve wracking to go below when the anchor is half down.

So I think today was a success, all the instruments worked, including speed through the water. I ran most of the way using the autopilot which worked like a charm. Neither dotty nor I was seasick despite the conditions and I arrived safely. Tomorrow and the next few days look ideal for a novice sailer, sailing solo for the first time, on a new (to me) boat to practice sailing. Light winds and sunny conditions 😎

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