Just arrived at Littlehampton, the first leg of the trip, so I will tell you all about it, whether you are interested or not. Meanwhile the boat is falling apart. Also meanwhile here is the Nab Tower, without scaffolding, a first for me. Big boats go very close to the Tower – and me.
Before all the equipment failures I have to say that I screwed up putting the main up, mind you it was the first time in about a year. Then the foresail sheets wrapped around each other. Full house! sail fuck-up wise.The wind instrument does not tell the direction, I assume the speed readout is OK. I had to stop outside Littlhampton for 3 hours to wait for enough water in the entrance. I anchored but it was very rough and very uncomfortable, have been thrown about before but not like this and am very bruised, the anchor dragged at first but settled down, probably because it fouled a lobster pot marker, when it came time to leave the windlass worked for about 10 secs before giving up the ghost, so I had to pull the anchor by hand, and nearly went over the side as the boat rocked on the big waves, luckily not as big as they were as it had begun to rain. Got to Littlehampton and parked with only a small scratch on the new paintwork. Huge tidal stream going in, never saw the tide gauge that was supposed to be there but had plenty of water, the harbour master tells me it is on the East beacon but is damaged because it has been hit by a boat, the boat must be in some state, but was probably a scabby old fishing boat anyway. By the way I saw a scabby fishing boat being towed into harbour by the RNLI whilst I was being thrown around at anchor. It is now pissing with rain, again, Will go for a pub dinner and explore tomorrow. Here for at least 2 nights then on to Brighton, weather permitting. The harbour master is young and very helpful. Completely knackered and need a shower (tomorrow will have to do).
Well, after that little preamble of disasters that I wrote last night here is the low-down on Littlehampton. the milk has gone off but the good news is that there is a Lidl, I’ve never been to a Lil but I assume that it is like Asda, in that it keeps the riff-raff out of Waitrose, not that I go there either. So Lidl first then the museum. Apparently you can take the dingy up river (Arun) to Arundel, not that I did it, Lidl was enough exitement for one day.
I was up early, about the first person abroad, showered, shat but not shaved as yet. The place was deserted then slowly the incontinent made an appearance (Harwich for the Continent, Frinton (or Littlehampton) for the incontinent) generally pushing a wheel chair with some poor soul in it.
This picture was taken on the front. I went to look at the drying bar in the entrance but it didn’t, dry that is.
The harbour silts up due to a longshore rip of sediment. Duing WW2 the army (bless ’em) tried to open the entrance up with explosive. It worked by showering the town with sand and gravel, the bang could be heard miles away (amazing what the museum tells you). The museum also tells that the town was very pleased with the revolving bridge installed once they got rid of the ferry after 2000 years. That went in the 60’s to be replaced by this footbridge, which pulls back to allow big ships through, although why a big ship would want to go through I have no idea.
Next to appear were hordes of primary school kids festooned with dayglo waistcoats, it’s easy enough to spot 30 small kids and their teachers without these dayglo fashion accessories. A bit like the biggest lorries on the roads have the loudest horns and the most flashing yellow lights- why for God’s sake?
Finally the language school students appeared about lunchtime.
Altogether Littlehampton (Hampton Wick, I am told, is rhymimg slang) is less exiting than I had thought, footbridge excepted, the height of sophistication here seems to be a barber shop called “Jimmey Riddles” next door to a hair dresser’s called “Hairlucinations”, very droll!
Littlehampton’s only other claim to fame is that they were the recipints of the Blue Peter 1. The inflatable inshore rescue boat provided by the Blue Peter appeal paid for by millions of bottle tops or stamps or some such.