If you’ve ever wondered what it must be like to own Chichester Harbour – and by owning, I mean going out in your boat, throwing away the rule book and enjoying the harbour as if it was your very own private boating pond.
Sit back, relax and imagine life as the only mariner in the harbour.
No need to worry about keeping a vigilant look out for other water users; making sure you’re obeying the ‘rules of the road’; paying particular attention to ensure you’re not getting in the way of larger craft that have restricted movement or smaller, more vulnerable users like kids sailing in small dingys.
Well this is exactly what two guys in a motor boat did last week!
Threw away the rule book and indulged themselves as if they were the only harbour user and the water, their own private lake.
In over 40 years of boating, I have never witnessed such an event.
But, here it is.
Shortly after the above boat sped past us, there was a black cloud of smoke coming from the engines and the boat began drifting.
Initially, we thought it was in trouble. I mean who kills their engines right in the middle of what was a busy harbour?
Well these two guys did and after a few minutes watching them, I realised that they had cut their engines intentionally and were bizarrely preparing a picnic in the rear cockpit of their expensive motor boat.
So here’s our friends drifting along in the middle of the busy harbour. You can see a larger motor boat approaching them as they’re in the middle of the channel. A bit like stopping in the fast lane of the motorway, whipping out your travel rug and having a picnic.
It creeps in front of our picnicking friends, note how the wash from the boat is now less apparent than in the previous picture – this is because it has slowed down dramatically as the skipper is clearly confused as to the intentions of the picnicking boat.
Here they are enjoying lunch. Note the waves in the background created by the large motorboat which has just past them by. Nothing to worry them, however as they enjoy the harbour as if it were their own.
As they saying goes, tide waits for no man and it’s not long before our friends are drifting with the tide, which is coming in taking them towards Itchenor. Another boat is forced to avoid them and the skipper of this sailing boat can be seen keeping a watch on our picnic boat as it approaches them. If you click on the above picture, you can actually make out the skipper of the sailing boat watching the other boat with his binoculars. Obviously, he’s as shocked as were were.
Doesn’t take long for the picnickers to drift into the main entrance for Bosham Harbour with Itchenor Harbour. A place were those of us who obey the rules know to keep an extra special look out for smaller boats and those exiting Bosham harbour. Our two pals are still enjoying lunch in the back and not once taking any interests in their surroundings.
Even the children sailing their dingys out of Bosham harbour aren’t going to interrupt lunch. No, these two guys have it in their head that there’s is the only boat in Chichester harbour and it’s up to everyone else to avoid them.
When they’d eventually drifted into Itchenor harbour, they moored to a visitor’s buoy.