Thursday, 27 August 2009

Outbreak of rowing in Chichester Harbour

The Dinghy Cruising Association occupies Cobnor, a sailing centre and campsite in Chichester Harbour, for ten days every August and the Home Built Boat Rally tags along, though many HBBR members are DCA members anyway. This year the weather was nearly perfect, sunny with a nice breeze most of the time, but I had no boat. Snarleyow, my sliding seat skiff, is being refurbished, and Nessy, my flattie, has developed huge areas of delamination and may be approaching her final end.
The upshot was I spent the week sailing, except for the intervals of furious rowing trying to get Wayne Oliver's Ever Hopeful (a beautifully built Natzio Oystercatcher) out of Bosham channel against wind and tide.
On Saturday, having paddled for what seemed like hours to get the few hundred yards out of the channel, Wayne and I drifted lazily up channel to Dell Quay where the flotilla stopped at the hospitable sailing club for lunch.
Then Ever Hopeful continued up to Fishbourne, where we were overtaken by a Virus Yole (top pic) and a shell, rowed up from East Head apparently.
It is not very often I see any rowing on Chichester Harbour, so it was nice to meet them. And I discovered later that we just missed Langstone Cutters in the Solent galley Bembridge, on a long row practising for the Great River Race.
We then drifted back. Here is a view towards Birdham Pool, the sun twinkling off the wavelets. The sail is Liz Baker's Cormorant, Tess.

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