Bembridge Rally

Tuesday 18 – Thursday 20 April 2023

With warm and settled conditions promised by the forecasters, six cruisers had originally signed up but the deteriorating forecast, injury and untried new engine meant that only three intrepid cruisers set off early on Tuesday in a fresh NE and cloudy conditions. It was a down wind sail under reduced foresails and rapid progress was made into Bembridge harbour. Mandalay (Martin and Sarah) and Fairwind (Sue and Barrie) secured themselves to the longer alongside rally pontoon at the Duver whilst Piquant (Chris) was directed into a shore-side finger berth.
Drinks and nibbles were enjoyed on board Fairwind before we made our way across the causeway and up into St Helens for a meal in The Vine. Food was promptly served and enjoyed by all.

image1There was a strong wind warning on Wednesday and so another night booked in. With the promise of a sunny day, crews set off to explore the countryside either on foot or by bus. The café was open for bacon butties and Steve’s Bar too for refreshment later. Out of the wind it was delightfully warm. Chris kindly provided entertainment and hospitality aboard Piquant.

We all decided to move off on Thursday, the wind had dropped to F4-6 and although it was still NE the sun was shining; it was going to rain on Friday, no joy sailing back in that. Piquant and Fairwind headed back for Chichester whilst Mandalay headed west downwind to Shepard’s Marina in W. Cowes to bag a berth for their rally there over the weekend.

Piquant made good progress under motor until Cobnor when the new engine developed a failure and Chris required a tow to a pontoon by the Harbour Master. Fairwind went for the full shake down and had a beat back under much reduced sail and did not escape the odd greenie over the bow.

Conditions inside the harbour were less bouncy and the sails put away for another day. The promised rain on Friday washed the salt off the decks and windows.





Sue Pearson
Fairwind of Dell Quay