I left my lovely little anchorage at East Head at about 9.30am on Sunday. What a perfect little spot and although I always feel a little uneasy about dragging the anchor throughout the night, I slept very well with the soothing sound of water running by the hull and a gentle bobbing up and down. Bliss.
Mum left home in Burnham-on-Crouch at 8am and had her journey planned as if it was a military operation. I called Sparkes Marina where I had agreed to meet Mum but unfortunately there was no room at the Inn. I had assumed there wouldn’t be any need to book in advance because I have never been to a place in the UK where sailors are so keen to get out on the water so early in the season. I jumped into action and called the other Chichester Harbour marinas and after a couple of knock backs I called Emsworth Yacht Harbour and they had room. Phew!
I nervously called the Mother ship with the change of plan and once the news was accepted and the sat nav reprogrammed, the plan was all good again.
Emsworth Yacht Harbour, funnily enough is in Emsworth, right up in the drying part of the harbour accessed by a very narrow, shallow and winding channel where any deviation from the marked channel is going to result in over 6 hours of dunce hat wearing embarrassment while you wait for the next tide to float you off. This is perfect catamaran territory. I only need 2ft 8” to float so we crept in without any drama. Its a very tight entrance into the marina and you go over a sill that holds enough water in the marina to keep all the boats afloat when the tide drains out of the main harbour outside. When we went over the sill there was about 6 inches spare under the keels.
Ok, I feel guilty about exposing this secret. Who has been keeping quiet about Emsworth? What a total delight this place is! Barely a corporation in sight other than the world’s smallest Costa Coffee and a small Co-op. An absolutely beautiful place with lots of pubs, lovely walks, excellent views and really friendly people. Long may Emsworth tell the big corporations to do one in favour of the small independents. Its a step back in time here and its great. As for Emsworth Yacht Harbour itself, the same applies here. It is one of only a few remaining privately owned marina’s / boat yards left and its absolutely spot on. The family that run it are very helpful, there is lovely cafe (licensed!) overlooking the marina and its simply perfect!
The old dear approves too and despite being chastised for my late change of plan, order has been restored and mummy’s little soldier is back in favour again! About time too after providing breakfast lunch and dinner, all you can drink and a thousand apologies for cocking up the other marina! I’m only joking Mum, you accepted your new set of instructions reasonably well!
Yesterday (Monday) we visited a beautiful little village called Prinsted which was a 45 minute walk away from Emsworth Yacht Harbour. A real gem of a place and the stuff that chocolate boxes are made of. I don’t know how I knew that it would be beautiful here, someone must have told me but it is and I love it.
It’s Tuesday now and Mum is going to stay until Thursday because then we can have a full family reunion as the other part of the family, the pikey contingent, are in the New Forest in their caravan so they are going to drive over to find us on Thursday. I need to remember to tell the Harbour Master to expect another car in the car park but must also remember not to tell them that they have come from a home on wheels. I don’t want to be responsible for a wave of panic throughout this peaceful unspoilt place…….
Fiesta moored up in Emsworth Yacht Harbour and a view of the entrance between the red and green posts
Along the walk to Prinsted
A few local birds
The pikeys are coming…