Mid October: Storms

The weather in the week after my Birthday celebration was not too bad, but I didn’t manage to take Seatern out – whether it was nervous exhaustion after organising the event, or whether I was fighting what felt like a potential cold, I’m not sure! On Thursday 12th October I could have gone sailing but instead visited Mottisfont, a National Trust property. One of the best things in the grounds is the fishing lodge (see photos).

Hurricane off Iberia!

After that week the weather deteriorated! On the 15th October the chart was showing a hurricane approaching! In the event it passed over Ireland as an ex-hurricane but the training frontal system brought us a dusk like midday with a weird orange light which was variously ascribed to Sahara dust or (my bet) smoke particles from wild fires in Portugal.

Then on the 21st storm “Brian” resulted in a flood alert from the Environment Agency. They added a 0.48m surge to a 4.78m tide ( for Portsmouth) and forecast a 5.26m tide for Southampton Water. However the actual Admiralty tide for Southampton was 4.55m (using the TideTimes web site) which implies 5.03m. At Dock Head the water reached 4.99m and Nigel reckoned 5.06m at the Public Hard. I’ve complained to the EA before about them using the Portsmouth tide for Southampton Water.

On the afternoon of the 21st wind gusts at the jetty reached 36 kt  (force 8), here are some photos taken at the peak of the tide. I had taken the mizzen mast off Seatern and, since the wind was roughly SSW, I let the mainsheet out to try to cut down windage on the boom – but in retrospect I don’t think that was a good idea.  By the way, the black swan and the white swan seem to be a “couple”!