Cobnor to the IOW and back, via Langstone Entrance

The Saturday of the Bank Holiday Weekend had a superb wind forecast, F3-4 from the SE, good sun and warm temperatures. The DCA were in the middle of their two week camp at Cobnor, and Simon had circulated an invitation from Tudor SC to join them on their outing to Priory Bay.
Putting all these together created a passage plan that we knew would be ambitious.
Starting from a slightly chilly Cobnor at 07:15 we took the ebb with a lovely F3 spinnaker run to reach out of the harbour, past West Pole and picked up the ebb, deliberately sailing offshore on a spinnaker broad reach to maximise the help towards Langstone. The visibility was hazy, and when roughly the entrance was abeam we gybed onto the starboard broad reach that took us to Langstone Fairway and into Langstone Harbour.
The tide was ebbing, and by staying close to the eastern shore we took a series of back-eddies and anchored at the pub and cafe. We arrived at 09:30. Hot drinks at the cafe, and a change out of the drysuits were welcome.
We contacted Simon at 10:15 and he confirmed that the white sails we observed up the harbour were Tudor setting out. As their first boat passed us we joined in for the close reach to Priory Bay. Tudor sail with safety boats, and it seemed that any boat was welcome, including a Laser, several Wayfarers, Simon in his Trio, a Lightning, an RS Vision and so on. The safety boats made sure that crossing the main big ship channel was safe, and herded us to the beach.
I’ve not been to Priory Bay before, and it’s lovely, if lacking basic amenities. The gently shelving sandy beach is predictable, and has good holding for the anchor. We stayed with members of Tudor and Simon, Adri and Anne until 13:30, when we took to the water to sail the 8 miles back to Chichester Entrance. The visibility was poor with haze, so we used the compass to guide us, past anchored large ships, over the big ship channel and eventually we picked out the big hotel on Hayling seafront which illuminated briefly through the patchy haze to confirm our pilotage. At the deep water channel we hoisted the spinnaker to get across the channel quickly, then continued in light and patchy winds to the harbour entrance. The wind picked up a little and by 17:00 we were in the pub at Bosham having taken the whole flood tide to our advantage. The short sail back to Cobnor completed the 33 mile sail.
Simon reported that Tudor SC had very light winds on the way back. Some boats had a tow for a bit. They got back to Tudor at 17:15 pm having left about 14:00.
Our thanks to Tudor SC for inviting us to tag along, and to Simon for organising the Cody SC bit of the sailing.