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Diaries 2013 diary for the watchet return trip - DZ3 to Weston bay everything is going so balmy and well - then, to 'spoil the party', the wind stiffens to the west. Its a 13.6m tide at Avonmouth and 6 mile short of Steep H its getting 'very lumpy'. Two miles off and its evil.

I wallow into it saying a few quiet prayers - this was the worst I'd ever been in in Lena I think and all on my ownsome too.

Luckily I had set a goto on the gps to Waypoint 5 - so I had a direct track line to guide me - and I was drifting too far S. This helped a bit for a while as I could work into the braking stuff to get back on a good line. You don't want to be swept too close to the end of Brean Down !

I mile from Steep I put up the genoa - which I should have done earlier. Thats one lesson I learned that day. You need that sail up to keep control.

Steep Holm and the end of Brean down form a sort of gate - once through you leg it into Weston bay. I honestly don't remember much about the last mile - but I know I was doing 7.9 kts - and as soon as I reckoned I sould be moving in I was just being swept in on a surf of water. I was looking down into 'holes' in the water - a very strange sea indeed. The trusty gps was showing me a cog of 98 deg T which was just fine. I was swept in like a cork out of a bottle.

I had a max speed of 10.6 kts - where that was I don't know !

Quite a relief to be ito the bay proper - I had about 3.5m on the shelf. A bit lumpy but quite pleasant. I was well early on HW - like three hours before. I could have got up the Axe at 2 1/2 before and hung around on my river mooring. After running across a few times on the genoa with the engine ticking over - I was rather enjoying it - it felt so safe and secure now and it was actually quite a nice warm evening. An hour or so later and everything seemed quite placid. Still some big swells near Brean Down end.

I killed time to 5.45pm - then lowered sail and sorted a few lines to moor up single handed - and made a slow approach to the outer red buoys. I was still kicking white water spray over the bow when lining up to come in - so it was still lumpy out there. After what I'd come thorough it seemed nothing - such is life - ying and yang !

No problems navigating the river or the Pill - and got her ito the berth first attempt. Bumped the bow a bit - but that was accidentally leavng her in gear foward when I jumped ashore !

No help about - and no audience, thankfully.

A memorable days sailing - I was on my own, I coped and I got her in on time. I learned a lot - both about the boat and about myself. Still can't work out why it was so bad out there - wind did not seem that strong, odd ?

That is the Bristol Channel - it bites at times.

Geoff - Aug 2013