Port Hamble rally – 29/30 June 2021

Six boats made it to Port Hamble marina during overcast conditions with little or no wind.  It is advisable to arrive at the marina at slack water to minimise the tidal stream flowing through the moorings. High water in the Hamble River has a two hour stand which gave us a window between 1400 and 1600 hours to aim at for our arrival. Most boats made it in time and all found the marina staff very helpful. Payment was only required on arrival, which is a pleasant change from the growing policy of many destinations who require payment in advance with little or no refund if conditions make the trip untenable.

It was decided that the prudent plan was to advise the marina early to ensure berthing availability for all. Consequently, notice of the rally was posted some eight weeks ahead and a deadline cut-off of 10th June set for registrations. Originally nine boats registered, but three had to withdrawn for various reasons.

Fairwind was the first to arrive, followed shortly by Parity with a berth alongside. Firebird, Moody Maid and Snoopy followed a short while later, with Mandalay getting in a couple of hours later.


On route from West Pole, Parity came across a loan sailor in an X-boat who was becalmed. After a short discussion, we threw him a line and set up a tow. The sailor, who told us he was in his eighty’s, was sailing from Itchenor to Cowes. Parity towed him to mid-way along the north passage past the Bramble Bank, where we cast him off as the wind had returned from the west.

With the Covid restrictions in mind, a pre-dinner drinks party was arranged on the pontoon between Parity and Fairwind. Social distance was maintained and everyone enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere.

Dinner was booked (in advance) at Banana Wharf, the on-site bar / restaurant. The staff there were very helpful in rearranging our tables so we sat relatively close. Thirteen sat down to dinner in three tables of four or five. Service was good and the meal was excellent.

Most boats travelled back to their home port on Wednesday, with Parity opting to stop over at Gosport. The journey home on Thursday was enhanced by the sight of a newly refurbished J-class yacht that followed us out of the harbour, and a good sail home.

All in all a good trip.

Dick Hoare / Parity