DQSC Cruisers to Yarmouth IOW

Saturday 24 July 2021

They were eight cruisers planning on making this rally so potentially a good turn out for a lovely destination. Scallywag, Parity, Frith of Glasgow, Frith, Hi Time, Osprey, Laudi and Moody Moon with the idea of all meeting up for a drink on the pontoon and meal in the Bugle Coaching House Yarmouth at 1930 on Saturday 24th July 2021.

The best laid plans of Dell Quay sailors don’t always come to fruition and some had to drop out Scallywag had engine problems (sounded expensive), Parity who had departed on Friday spending the night in Cowes got weed in the cooling intake, Osprey with transport issues and Laudi whose crew cancelled so we were left with only four.

Moody Moon had been on the beach at Dell Quay on Friday afternnon for a scrub and antifoul, the water was a nice temperature for wading and scrubbing.

image1After watching a stunning sunset, Moody Moon floated at around 2300 with the intention of going down to Westlands and picking up a buoy but thunder, lightning and F7 winds suggested a better option was the Chichester Marina waiting pontoon. We picked the rest of the crew on Saturday morning around 0900 and then went down harbour maintaining a listening watch on VHF #8. Out into the Solent and a very gentle easterly breeze enabled us to put up sail and move at a bit more than the tide however, as we went through the Forts the wind faded away so it was on with the engine. Frith had reported the same lack of wind when off Wooton Creek. So, a nice steady motor all the way to Yarmouth.


Unfortunately, Yarmouth Harbour was fully booked for rallies and so we had to take pot luck on where we were going to be berthed, thankfully we were all close together. Frith arriving first then Moody Moon, Firth of Glasgow and finally Hi Time of which more later.

image2Meeting for a drink on the pontoon before going to the Bugle was a good chance to catch up and tell stories of daring doings as well as finding out what members had been up to during the lock down.

It wasn’t until we were seated in the Bugle that we realised Hi Time was not with us and unfortunately in the Old Coaching House I had no phone signal so couldn’t find out where they were or what was happening.

We had a lovely meal in the Bugle which had all been pre-ordered and as we left my phone pinged to say that Hi Time had just got in after a bit of engine/fuel issue. It transpires that Hi Time took a lot longer than expected to get to Yarmouth, leaving Thornham Marina at 11am sailing all the way to Cowes, reaching Yarmouth around 22:00.

Sunday morning the forecast was for a northerly F3 and showers, lovely - ha we should have known better.

Frith of Glasgow left around 0650 after a bit of tricky time reversing out of our berth (Finesse 24’s don’t steer to port very well in reverse!) so despite a big lurch in the wrong direction not helped by the wind they narrowly avoided smashing their bowsprit through Frith’s  washboards. Wind on the nose on the whole way home to Dell Quay so they motored home in the drizzle and got back at 11:45.

Frith left at about 08:30 and Martin later reported “I beat out to the middle of the channel in F2 winds and then had a long board reach to Gurnard before putting in a tack to get me back out into the channel again, as I passed Egypt Head, the wind went further north and increased to F3 for a while and so I ended up on a broad reach straight down the middle to Gilkicker, doing 6.5kts over the ground in 6.5kts apparent wind” as he went back to Portsmouth.

Hi Time Googled their engine problem in the morning, sorting the issue out and then leaving at 05:00 catching some good wind back almost to Cowes - although while sailing part of our rigging broke …….. - it slowed them down rather than stopping them. The wind then died off to about F1/F2 and they motored the rest of the way home arriving in Thornham marina at 14:30 with about 10 minutes to spare before losing the water.

Moody Moon left at 09:00 and had a light F1-2 easterly……. And then the heavens opened so on engine and oilskins and motored all the way home to Dell Quay dropping off one at Chichester Marina as we went past. Offloading the extra crew and bags etc at the Quay with about 30 mins of water left and so back out to the mooring – where the heavens opened and there was more thunder and lightning.

A great cruiser rally enjoyed by all, with crews re-learning or remembering skills and requirements for fuel and navigation planning but most importantly getting together for a social, chatting face to face even if socially distanced.

Piers Chamberlain - Moody Moon