Following last year’s successful Big Mac at Windermere in Cumbria, next year’s gathering is planned for the South of England. We have used the excellent Solent area several times before, but this time we’ve decided on Chichester Harbour as a base.
“Harbour” is a bit of a misnomer, as it’s more of a reverse-delta - a number of separate channels all converging at one mouth into the sea. You can see on the section of Navionics chart shown here that it’s all the water to the East of Hayling Island (you can view all the Navionics charts on our web site, just login and look under Members Area).
This provides a safe area for pottering around, especially if the weather conditions don’t favour sailing out to sea. Except at very low tides, most of the green areas are under water of course, but other than at high springs you need to be a bit careful of shallows if you sail outside the marked channels.
We will be using Chichester Marina on the Eastern arm as our base (it’s the largest marina in the harbour) from where you can venture up the different channels to historic Bosham - birthplace of King Harold - or Thornham, Emsworth, or Northney, or stop off at Itchenor, or beach at West Wittering.
By venturing out to sea, you can visit the unspoilt Langstone Harbour to the West, or Portsmouth Harbour a bit farther on, where there are several more marinas. It’s also an easy sail across to Bembridge or Ryde on the Isle of Wight, and further West to the rest of the Solent.
There’s plenty of scope for land-based activities, either in case of bad weather, or for those that prefer not to spend all their time afloat. Chichester itself is a charming place, a small historic city with a largely pedestrianised center and impressive cathedral. Substantial sections of the old city wall are still intact, which you can walk along. It’s only 3 miles by road, or you can take a 3½ mile walk along the old canal towpath.
If we stop over in Portsmouth Harbour, there’s the Historic Dockyard with HMS Victory, Mary Rose, and lots more, as well as Spinnaker Tower, or if you like shopping, Gunwharf Quays. There’s also plenty of opportunities for country walks, including on the Isle of Wight. So something for everyone!
Chichester is part of the Premier Marinas group, and is very well serviced. It’s accessible at all states of tide via a lock. It is easy to reach by road, being just 3 miles from the A27 South coast trunk road, itself directly linked to the M3 and A3. There is a slipway and trailer parking.
You can find more information about the marina on the web at premiermarinas.com/UK-Marina-locations/Chichester-Marina/
We have made a provisional group booking for 22 - 29 July 2020, we don’t have an exact price, but anticipate around £25/night.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested, in particular we need to form a good idea of how many boats will be attending so we can firm up the booking.
You can post on the forum thread, or email me using firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone me on 07970 183631. Use these channels either to confirm your interest or ask any questions.
Let’s make 2020 as good an event as 2019!
Rick Jones (Treasurer) 1994 Mac 19 "White Lightning", Isle of Wight