Cruiser Rally to Marchwood Yacht Club
Southampton Water
Tuesday 23rd May to Wednesday 24th May 2023
HW Chichester Bar 14:50 Range: 3.2 metres

Paving the Way . . .

With a forecast of a steady North-easterly 4/5, three DQSC boats set out around noon on the
Tuesday for a previously untried destination for a club rally - Marchwood Yacht Club.
( Hobo and Jacob Faithful leaving from their respective berths at
Northney and Emsworth, headed down the Emsworth Channel to Chichester Bar in anticipation
of a brisk sail on a westerly heading, with wind aft of the beam for a welcome change.
Fairwind, having stayed on in the Solent after participating in the Gosport rally the previous
weekend, set off from Newtown Creek on a North-easterly heading, braced for the prospect of a
windward bash to Calshot before reaching Southampton water.

In the event the wind strength was less gusty than was forecast and soon faded, becoming
lighter and more variable, so that by mid-afternoon, with a couple of hours more to go on a five
hour passage in sunny conditions, all three yachts were motor sailing in Southampton Water.
Marchwood Yacht Club had very obligingly provided clear sailing instructions for the approach to
their pontoons on the south side of the estuary of the river Test opposite the Southampton
Container port. Their advice was to keep just outside of the port side of the main channel,
leaving all the red port hand buoys very close to starboard nearing the port – the phrase they
used for this approach was, “keeping on the pavement” which was very apt. There was plenty of
room on the outermost pontoon, which has 3 metres depth at MLWS, and all three yachts were
alongside before 18:00hrs. It was interesting to have navigated to the upper reaches of
Southampton Water and to witness the arrival and berthing of a large container ship,
manoeuvred by powerful tugboats, and experience the strange sound effects conducted through
the water and our hull – fortunately not in the middle of the night, as we were warned can
sometimes occur.

Hobo (Ron and Pam) hosted Fairwind (Sue and Barrie) and Jacob Faithful (Esmond, Paul and Ian)
for drinks and nibbles aboard before all crews proceeded up the ramp to the Clubhouse. The
club has a fleet of Pico dinghies and runs a popular Cadet section on a Tuesday evening during
the summer months, where youngsters from members' families and the local community are
given the opportunity to learn how to sail. There was a very convivial lively scene in the club
bar with friendly volunteer club members serving drinks. We had a table reserved for seven in
the bar area and enjoyed choices from a varied menu offered by the inhouse caterer.

It was a breakfast time departure on the Wednesday morning with Jacob Faithful first to get
under way later followed by Hobo and Fairwind, edging their way “on the pavement” past the
docks into Southampton Water. The wind was again light and variable from the northern sector
but picked up a little in strength in the eastern Solent enabling some steady progress under sail
for a time. The wind eventually faded and the final leg of the passage across Hayling Bay was
completed as a motor sail with all arriving back in the Harbour by mid- afternoon. Sue and
Barrie managing to leave Fairwind back on their mooring in time to join the annual celebratory
Victoria birthday tea party at DQSC.