Newtown River Informal Rally 24 – 25 August 2021

Fairwind (Sue and Barrie Pearson with grandchildren Archie and Freddie) and Frith of Dell Quay (Martin Watson) left early to catch the westerly tide in the Solent in a moderate easterly breeze and fine weather.  Frith arrived first and once Fairwind had picked up a white visitors buoy a little further north of Hamstead Jetty, Frith relocated and tied alongside.

A BBQ on the beach was planned and although getting ashore at dead low water springs was a bit muddy, Martin impressed with a very efficient BBQ, windbreak tent and a trowel to bury the ashes.



Wednesday was another gloriously sunny day and Frith and Fairwind had both planned to stay out another night so with the advice from a grandchild “If you want a lie in until 7am Granny, you need to tire us out” ringing in our ears a full day of tiring activities was planned.

Firstly a trip ashore for treasure hunting on the shingle beach which turned in to more of a beach clean as an empty plastic sack labelled galvanised shackles was found and quickly filled with other plastic rubbish, whilst special shells, stones and sea glass went into a rucksack.

Next, a dinghy trip with Martin up to Shalfeet Quay followed by a brisk walk to the village shop for the promised ice creams. We found the well -stocked shop is now open from 08:00 to 19:00 with no extended afternoon break so there had been no need to rush!  The New Inn was functioning and we were tempted to pop in but we had a picnic with us and we had swimming and fishing activities on the agenda for the afternoon.


Finally, the fishing; however despite Archie’s best efforts to entice fish with rather smelly bait, neither he, Freddie nor Martin were successful and we had pasta for supper. We all slept well.

An early start in cloudier conditions saw Frith away to Lymington on Thursday whilst Fairwind had a beat back to Chichester on the flood tide but against a moderate to fresh easterly.  The fishing was more successful and the boys went home with three splendid mackerel caught in quick succession in Hayling Bay whilst Fairwind was close hauled and doing 6kts.

This was the first time an informal rally had been organised with Newtown River the perfect destination for such an event. The National Trust manages the river and the Harbour Master comes around in his launch to collect berthing fees when the tide allows.  Anchoring is free. It is a special place with creeks to explore, beaches to swim from and wildlife in abundance. Water is available from the tap at the end of the bridge across the salt marshes and there are bins for rubbish at Shalfleet Quay, both destinations are accessible over high water that conveniently stands for two hours.

Sue Pearson Fairwind of Dell Quay