Sumara moored in Brighton
Sumara moored in Brighton

1st June 2013
We had our first sail of the year and it was quite wonderful. A northerly wind of F3-4 gave us a reasonably flat sea and the neep tide let us slip out at a respectable 0600 GMT and get over the bar and through the Looe Channel on fair streams. The sun even came out. We arrived relaxed at Brighton mid-Saturday afternoon with plenty of the weekend left to finish off all those after launch tasks that never happened in Chichester.
Chichester Marina is set in quiet countryside and there are pleasant walks, or runs, through woods or along lanes to Dell Quay or Itchenor. Both villages have excellent pubs with good food. There is also a restaurant in the marina but somehow the food doesn’t quite hit the spot. It’s not bad but not as good as the local pubs. (The Pizza Pasta Pub on the road to the marina is brilliant too).
The marina staff in Chichester are first class with a very “can do” attitude. The showers are amazing with piped Classic FM and lounge areas with magazines to read. Everything is spotless. They were a bit embarrassingly smart. Whilst I was wearing my boiler suit working on my boat I felt I ought to smarten myself up before using them. I noticed a couple of planks were a little bit rotten on my pontoon and the following week with no prompting they had been replaced with new ones. My over winter charges were reasonable enough for such well-maintained facilities but of course once I was back in the water the visitor charges were a bit eye watering (although, to be fair, they all are on the South Coast).
My only gripe was with the on-site riggers who do most of the mast stepping and slipping. The person from the company that I was dealing with was so negative about absolutely everything that I eventually put my foot down and simply refused to use them. This caused a bit of a stir as the marina obviously prefers you to use the on-site riggers. However the crane is owned by the marina and they suggested another rigger who came down the following week and popped the stick in the hole in a cheery manner. It wasted a week but I hate working with negative people.
My broken arm has its ups and downs but it was good to me this weekend. I have been upping the physiotherapy and pushing my exercises to the limit which seem to help. I can winch OK and grab the handrails. I can haul an anchor but haven’t attempted rowing yet. I wouldn’t be able to climb the mast. I went for a quick dip in the sea at Brighton only to discover I can’t swim yet! I am going the BMF running club again but sticking with the blue bib for another month or so. I doubt I will be capable of full military fitness until August. I have pretty much decided against sailing to Norway this year. This may mean I miss an opportunity to sail through the canal from St Petersburg to the White Sea the following year. There is a slight chance things may get delayed allowing me to catch up. My new friend Maxine is currently sailing the route from the North to the South. They have a blog which I am looking forward to following.

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