Beaulieu Rally & BBQ Saturday 2-Sunday 3 July 2022

The day started with a forecast of SW F4~5 and despite Chichester to Beaulieu being easily doable, because of the relatively late high water (14:41 Portsmouth), it meant that those boats tidally constrained by their mooring positions, needed to find somewhere to overnight where they could get away at any time, otherwise, it would be quite late arriving up at the Marina. Tony Booker in Hi Time was in just such a position as he keeps his boat in Thornham Marina so by anchoring off Pilsey Island for the night, he was able to set off and arrive at Chichester Bar at the same time as Sue and Barrie in Fairwind. They both then had a stiff sail down towards the forts where I was loitering to accompany them on the rest of the trip. After the forts, the wind was such that they could both make the entrance to Beaulieu on one tack although it was quite lumpy (wind against the tide), especially past Cowes. image1I hung back to guide Tony into Beaulieu entrance as he has not been there before, and it was interesting to note that if you follow the Almanac directions of 324ºM to the lighthouse, it takes you to the East of the entrance.

Having arrived at the marina at about 1730, I went to check the BBQ area to find it was full of revelers as they now has a cooked fish/lobster stand set up there as well as a bar. We elected to continue with our plans for a BBQ but there being only four of us, I set up my BBQ on my rear deck, and Sue and Barrie pre-cooked their food on board. This took place after enjoying drinks and nibbles onboard Frith which actually went on rather longer than planned, so we did not start eating till about 8pm, having started the drinks and nibbles at 6 pm. After we had eaten our various meals we carried on with the social drinks and finally broke up at about 11 pm having had a very pleasant evening, despite the small numbers.

The next day, the forecast had moderated a little to F3 from the West so we all set off within about an hour of each other. Even though we left an hour or so after of low water (close to springs) I never saw less than 3.5M of water.  All three had a very pleasant sail back, myself back to Gosport, completed in under three hours and Hi Time and Fairwind picked up some wind under a big black cloud off West Pole and came in to the harbour in fine style carrying the tide all the way and arriving back well before high water.

Well done to Tony Booker on Hi Time for not only persevering in challenging conditions on Saturday on his first long trip out west this year but also for catching fish for supper on the way home.  We hope to see you on more rallies,Tony.

Martin Watson - Frith