I've just seen the results sheet for the PCC fleet who were racing off Portishead on Sunday as we were coming back up channel. The race officer recorded the wind speed and direction as NNE 18 knots. Which is gratifying, as it means my guess (albeit based on the forecast I'd had) of a force 5 wasn't an over estimate.
Doubly gratifying, as it means I now have a feel for how she handles in that sort of wind when it's laid straight over the tide. Though I shall keep in mind that we were at neaps, so only 2 to 3 knots of tidal flow at worst. Springs will push almost twice that velocity of water up and down the channel.
It also means I wasn't exaggerating (albeit unintentionally) in my recollection, which is always a worry without actual metrics, as I find when you're in the thick of it, there's always a tendency to judge it it as being somewhat worse than it actually is.
Noticed an interesting article on the Yachting Monthly website this morning, about "syzygy" and the effect it has on tidal range. Avonmouth (my home waters, the port itself being about a mile up channel) gets honourable mention more than once:
A couple of tracks, outbound and return respectively, recorded on Dad's iPhone:
And a YouTube clip from the return trip. Dad, snuggled up under the dodger, was double-checking my own navigation with the Navionics App on his iPhone. Ben, clearly, was still suffering from the excesses of our shore leave the night before, but was, as previously mentioned, an otherwise unflappable helmsman.
If I were a kind father, I suppose I'd have deleted this clip for the sake of my son's dignity. But his Mum says he's cute, so for her sake I felt obliged to share it with the world.