Over the first few days after the opening of the harbour, I’ve been out many times, once with Signora, including a trip down to Bosham again. So much for social distancing there! The green at Bosham was heaving with picnickers, and I don’t think any were over 2 metres apart! Ah well.
One of the more recent sails was a test to see how long it would take to get to East Head. We’ve had a few Easterlies recently, which makes it easy to get down harbour in good time, but results in a windward slog on the way back.
Blowing a 2-3, it took only an hour to get within spitting distance of East Head, and on the way, I picked up some company from an International 12 creeping out of Bosham.
In principle, the Morbic 12 conforms to the Int 12 design, so this would be a good test, although their sail does seem to be quite a bit larger, and they use a stayed mast. However, I was pretty sure that would be offset by their greater weight, as they are built from solid wood planks
Boudicca acquitted herself very well, showing him a clean pair of heels downwind on the way to East Head. This was on a close reach – not exactly planing, but a good turn of speed. My competitor peeled off to sail up Thorney channel, so I continued to East Head, where about 25 yachts were anchored up and many people on the beach.
I was starting to worry about how long it would take me to get back to Dell Quay, so rather than landing, I turned for the long beat back.
The 12 reappeared and joined me on the sail back to Deep End, and once again, Boudicca had the better of it. In fact, I think the 12er was a bit miffed by her performance. A quick wave of acknowledgement and he was away up the Bosham channel.
I continued to beat up past Itchenor, and Boudicca really is a delight to sail – very well balanced, and you quickly learn how to tack with minimal loss of way. Take it slowly, let off the sail a bit and accelerate out of the tack before the centreboard stall, and then bring the sheet back in.
Against the falling tide, I had to hug the shore, but as we rounded the point opposite Birdham, I could crack off the sheet, and relax. I got back from East Head in 90 minutes. Good reference for future trips!