- Last Updated: Sunday, 30 September 2018 22:15
Seven went to Fleetwood ...
When members head to the North West coast it's usually Fleetwood or West Kirby. At weekends, Fleetwood usually wins - no car parking charges and we have the water to ourselves. Cross-shore winds are best - Westerly or Easterly. You can then sail South to North straight out along the river channel - as far as the derelict Wyre light if you want - 2 miles offshore! At low tide the water is flat thanks to a sandbar on one side of the channel and mussel beds on the other so you get to stand up on the sandbar as much as 2 miles out if you want. The drawback is the channel is only about 200 metres wide, so NW or NE winds mean a lot of tacking/gybing and shorter runs. That's what we had on 30th September. Typical runs were about 400 metres. We'd expected a WNW wind, but actually got a North Westerly of about 18mph - good with a 7.5 metre sail.
I've never caught my fin as many times in one session as this one! Sometimes on the sandy bed near the sandbar - not so bad. A couple of times on the stony bed near the landward end of the sandbar - rapid catapult and not good for fins. That one did for the nose of Andy Pep's board too. And I hit my fin a couple of times on the mussel bed - rock-like, so could have ended worse. At least it didn't break.
Low tide was 9.15am, so the plan was to be on the water about 8.30 and sail til 11.15am. One cheated with an overnight stay in a motorhome - new purchase, so would have been rude not to! Even so, we were all a bit late on the water, especially the 2 or 3 who didn't arrive til nearly 9am - you know who you are.
All in all a good session despite the wind direction not being perfect. We finished with a chat over a cuppa in the local cafe - yes, we know how to live!
After the rest of our group left a windsurfer went out at 1.30pm. That's about 90 minutes before HIGH tide. By then the wind had built to Force 5, as it was forecast to be. So, plenty of choppy water and white caps. He was sailing a bit South of the main river channel, so no currents to worry about and presumably enough depth over the mussel beds by then. So that's another option for us .... but not if you really want flat water.
Here are shots of how it was for us ....