Thursday, 17 April 2008

A Trip to Thornham Marina in the Snow

Here is a account from the yacht Moonbeam who was arriving onto her mooring at Thornham Marina, Emsworth for the summer in some unsually snowy conditions for the south cost.

The journey was very interesting, we got to the end of the East Winner just when the snow & squalls came up the Solent. We could see it approach us at speed and just got ourselves wrapped up before we were in a whiteout. I had prepared a passage plan and we used the compass, GPS and chart to find the bar beacon. I then thought we could use reciprocal bearings between each mark to enter Chichester Harbour. However, the visibility was too bad and the sea very confused. The wind seemed to be holding back the tide significantly. The horizontal icicles on the shrouds were something I have never seen before and won’t forget. After a good time edging our way in with my brother monitoring the chart plotter we got to Hayling lifeboat station. At HISC the tide seemed have got over the “hump” and pushed us fast across the channel to Itchenor. After making the turn toward Itchenor conditions calmed down a little in wave terms, although the wind was still very strong across the front of East Head. Once in the Thorney channel we got the kettle on and enjoyed the view a bit except that the tide was lower than expected when I got to the turn (or what I thought was the turn) into Thornham Marina and we ran aground twice !  Still 2 boats out in the Eastern Solent/Portsmouth harbour entrance had to be rescued so my night school classes this winter were worthwhile. Its good to be back at Thornham and more interesting than Langstone Harbour or Southsea marina.

Yacht Moonbeam

Sounds like on this trip all the preperation paid off and shows that sometimes even on a short trip a good passage plan saves a lot of heartache.

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