Chchester Harbour shortcut
Submitted by Philip Linsell
I’ve been looking at this one for years, always a problem; too much wind, not enough water, too much water, not enough time.
I’ve been sailing Chichester Harbour for more years than I care to remember, often coming down the main Chichester Channel and going into the Thorney Channel, to go fishing, just for a day sail, or twice a year for laying up/launching.
I started my little adventure about 2 hours before high water (neaps), when hopefully there would be enough water in the creeks and before the water covered the flats and obscured the route.
The voyage is from the Thorney Channel into Creek Rithe where about 4m of water suggests a possible fishing spot or even a very quiet night's anchorage. On turning off Creek Rithe the channel becomes much narrower and twisting, in far less water, about 1m.
The sharp turns of Green Rithe really are as sharp as they look on the map, then it widens and straightens for a bit. This is where I met 2 wildfowlers with about 50 decoys set most of the way across the creek. I’ m not sure who was most surprised, me on finding other people ‘en-route’ or them, seeing a yacht coming down their creek! I left the ducks to port.
Where you would think you would pass back into deep water, you can’t, there is a row of stakes across the creek. The way out is to turn 90° to starboard (don’t cut the corner, there’s no water), another 100m and you can turn to port through a gap in the stakes. Only about 0.5m at this point, then out into the Chichester Channel.
Normal charts are not much use for this trip, but the OS explorer map sheet 120 (chart) shows the creeks well, also a chartplotter will help.
I didn’t have my camera with me so sorry, no pictures, maybe next time.
Super Seal Rascal.