Return to Bosham

20th April 2013 was probably the first Saturday in this year when it was nice enough to be called Spring. Taking the opportunity to enjoy good weather we went to Bosham, the West Sussex village on the shores of Chichester Harbour where the plot for ‘A Cast of Hawks’ actually starts.

Excerpt from Chapter 1

Using the depth sounder to help him, he had located the centre of the channel that wound past Bosham Quay. Looking up he realised that the yacht in front had missed the turn in the channel and was making straight for the spit, which was the old Roman road going west from Bosham, hard fording the creek and forming a solid finger on the other side. Old

The spit at low tide. Note the stumps of timber piles.

The spit at low tide. Note the stumps of timber piles.

timber pile stumps and ribs of wrecks, all of which were covered at high tide, edged the spit.

Umi Sama look out!” he had shouted. “You will run aground there!”

The woman’s head turned in the other boat only to disappear as she and her two companions were hurled headlong by the impact of the boat striking the spit. Ian had worked feverishly for the next ten minutes getting lines rigged across to the stricken yacht 

Excerpt from Chapter 6

 A few draws on the stem and the pipe was glowing well, clouds of aromatic scented smoke billowing up to be lost in the general fug around the bar ceiling light.

“Hey Phil, are you still on about those boats?” The speaker a thickset foreman from the local boatyard was getting more than a little bored by Phil Saints constant questions and conjecture about the loss, three weeks earlier, of two yachts the other side of the Channel.

Another draw on the pipe and slow exhalation, and the penetrating blue eyes gleamed steely across the bar. “Barry my boy, events will prove me right you’ll see.” Then turning, Phil fixed his gaze back onto the punk-style youth across the table to him.

“You said the big Beneteau with the fancy radar gear went aground and the Victoria pulled it

Brian Yoling's favourite pub The Anchor Bleu Bosham

Brian Yoling’s favourite pub The Anchor Bleu Bosham

off,” Phil’s gaze now fixed on the youth’s eyes.

“Yeh that’s right. They towed it off then after a bit of leapin backwards and forwards when they was bof back on the buoy, they’s ups and goes round to the quay; I fort they was gona beach er there.”

The youth sniffed loudly and wiped his nose on his sleeve, returning Phil’s gaze through brown dull eyes.

“What happened then?” Phil asked.

“Dunno, me mate told me to pull the ne….”. His voice embarrassed tailed off. 

(For anyone visiting Bosham The Anchor Bleu is a great pub or if it’s afternoon tea Mariners is excellant. The walks around the harbour offer superb waterside vistas.)


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