Sunset on Chichester Harbour
by Chris Partridge

We British don’t seem to do the things we invented very well these days. Things like railways, computing and world domination. Take weather forecasting. Weather forecasting was invented by Admiral Robert Fitzroy in the 1850s, becoming ‘Chopper Bob’ on London Weekend TV.

No, I made that up but he was the man who realised that if you got lots of people to note the weather and send the readings to London by electric telegraph, you might be able to build up a good enough picture of what was going on to make short term predictions.

Of course, the main thing that happened was the newspapers invented the now-global sport of mocking the weatherman, and Fitzroy got so depressed by this he slit his throat, which was a tragic end for a great scientist.

However, even today with sensors every few yards, satellites everywhere and supercomputers up the wazzoo, the weathermen still get it wrong.
Especially in Britain, which sits neatly between two competing climates – the Atlantic ocean and the European continent. It only takes a tiny change in wind speed over northern France and rain that was confidently predicted for Plymouth falls on Blackpool instead.

This is why the weather is our number one topic of conversation. But there is an upside.

This weekend was predicted to be dismal. Wet, windy and generally miserable. But at the last minute it all went North and hit Wales instead ha ha ha ha hahahahahah!

So I got to row my skiff on the mirror-like water of Chichester Harbour on England’s south coast with hardly anybody else around except for swans.
It looked like this (you can just see the spire of Chichester Cathedral sticking up in the middle).

And then the sun began to set, like this:

And swans came in to land like this:

And when I hauled out at Dell Quay they came to grab a load of bread that some amateur photographers had brought, like this:

Which goes to show that you should always take your digital camera with you when it is not actually raining.