Dinghy Cruising Reports


Cobnor Camp 7th to 9th September 2012

As promised the weather gods delivered on their promise.

The sun was shining the tide was falling & the wind was (almost) blowing.

A good turn out of boats (7) for the event namely the Wayfarers Molly Malone, Jumblies, Lamina, Sea Spadger an Albacore “Provocation” and a Pico.

We all left Dell quay with Lamina, Sea Spadger & Provocation leading the way, wind was SE 2 at best.

Molly Malone & Jumblies left a fraction later due to an operational issue, however once the person concerned had been executed and the remains buried under a mooring, were able to begin their journey.

They got as far as Chichester lake, when the wind decided to take a short break. This resulted in some aerobic exercise for the helm of Jumblies. encouaged by enthusiastic, constructive input & technical guidance from the two junior crew members, together with enquiries as to the ETA to our destination.


Molly Malone also resorted to paddling, whilst the ships dog looked on.

Both boats watched the lead boats sail of up the Itchenor reach into the now rapidly approaching sunset.

Fortunately the wind retuned after twenty minutes and once more the boats proceeded down harbour aided by the falling tide. A leisurely sail down to Deep end, into a beautiful sunset over the water: The evening sky ablaze with pinks & oranges’ and promise of a delightful day tomorrow.

Once at Deep end more paddling was required for the short hop to Cobnor hard. Upon arrival all boats were beached and moored up safely for the night.

A superb fish & chip supper was provided by the Bosham fish & Chip shop and enjoyed by all crews.


Saturday morning arrived with sunshine & still air, it was very peaceful. Not even a dog stirred.

The water of the Bosham channel was like glass and such a pretty sight.

Over night the fairies had put out bunting on the tents of the Pope family in preparation for the birthday of Chris Pope that day, there was also cake for all.

Following the celebrations crews made ready for a sail to Pilsea Island, the boats enjoyed a beat up to Pilsea, arriving on a sandy beach for a swim and a glass of chilled rose.

cobnor-camp3-rLeaving shortly before 16.30 the fleet made for Cobnor once again, the tide falling & the wind dropping. Fortunately Molly Malone had brought an outboard, which on this occasion proved to be exactly what was required. Thus all boats returned to Cobnor for the promised BYO BBQ.

The evening’s arrival brought with it several DQSC members who had chosen not to sail down, which was super: Eric the Viking arrived, ably assisted by first mate Phil Scott (no relation) in a motor home and the Warrington and Allardice families also joined in the fun.

A good time was had by all and all were fed and watered to satisfaction.

Sunday morning arrived with some frantic racing provided by BSC who enthusiastically filed the waters off Cobnor with a dazzling display of craft, all jockeying for position & water in the narrow channel.

The wind increased by the afternoon and by the time the camp was struck and boats ready to depart a good F4 was blowing from the SW. This ensured an exciting departure & an energetic & rapid sail to home.

The wind increased as we turned the corner at Westlands as a cold front came through, this caused a capsize of the Pico. The crew of Jumblies stood by to assist the recovery of the helm and the Pico was piloted gallantly back to base by our Gallic hero with no further incident.

All boats had returned by 1700 that afternoon, just before a heavy rain squal.

cobnor-camp-rAll in all very enjoyable & successful cruise & camp experience, big thanks to all participants & families.

Don’t forget the Beaujolais evening coming up on 17th November , hosted by those cheeky French chappies Marcel & Christophe. Breton shirts, berets & moustaches are optional.

Looking forward to the 2013 season.


Mark Moranne and Chris Pope







The Cruise that Wasn't

Saturday 9th June was supposed to be our first Bembridge cruise of the season, however the weather decided not to play ball. Three Wayfarers and Five cruisers had signed up for this event, using the new dinghy cruising sign up form on the website.



The Dinghy crews and the escort boat crew (Don't ask) all met up at 1200hrs at the clubhouse, refering to the newly installed monitor we were able to view the weather down harbour at Camber (SW F6 to F7). The desicion was made to cancel the event.

The hardy Wayfarer crews duly elected to sail down to the harbour entrance to view the sea conditions for themselves, the prediction was that the wind strength would decrease as the day went on. This meant that Bembridge was still possible or the second choice was Sparkes Marina at Hayling Island. Scallywag of Dell Quay was already making preparations to leave Gosport at this time and were alerted to the change of plan, they also elected to make for the West pole platform and talk later. At this stage Fridays Child skippered by Phil Scott with Eric the Viking as crew, Chris Sprules on Delphis and Peter on Sandpiper all decided to join in the fun.

The Wayfarers, Molly Malone, Sunny Lady, & Jumblies, were reefed and the three boats departed DQ at around 1400, into a comfortable F5 from the SW. The beat down to Westlands was quite hard work and involved various comments to do with choice of foresails, condition of rig & opinions about the standard of the summer so far. This was followed by ducking & diving up the Itchenor reach during which there was not a hint of competition between boats or any desire to race whatsoever.

By the time the Wayfarers had reached Deep End several things became obvious.

  1. It was wet.
  2. It was windy.
  3. We would not be going to Bembridge.
  4. No one had any cake!.

A quick call to Scallywag to confirm our intentions and off we headed to East Head. Again quite a hard sail down but rewarded with a superb reach across Camber sands to the Emsworth channel, ensured all of last seasons cobwebs were well and truly blown out and most of the water we had collected on the way down was drained out through the self bailers.

Sandpiper and Fridays Child had shadowed the dinghies most of the way down the harbour then headed into Sparkes Marina.

At this stage Sunny Lady and Jumblies headed out of the habour for a shufti at the West Pole platform, whilst Molly Malone retired to Sparkes Marina for an early tea, the crewman being more used to a Mediterranean climate, had to be thawed out by means of a long shower and some intensive grooming.

Onward to the harbour entrance went the two remaining boats,who between them had just about enough hair to make a very small shaving brush, they were greeted by a gentle F3 still SW acccompanied by two Metre waves. This ensured some lively sailing and exiting conditions tempered only by the handsomness of the crews.



Just shy of the West Pole platform the boats turned around and headed back to the harbour, picking up the waves from the following seas proved to be very exhilarating as the boats exceeded their hull speed in a Hawaii Five O stylie. Heading into the shelter of the harbour once again, just a short hop into Sparkes Marina. The Wayfarers moored alongside the visitors quay. At this point Megs from Sunny Lady produced a superb Cherry Genoa cake which she had managed to bake on the way down! As you can imagine this went down very well with the flask of hot tea that also accompanied it. I am sure that the other crews would have also enjoyed this too, had they bothered to be waiting to greet us on the jetty when we came in.....but they didn't so we scoffed the lot.









Drinks that evening were hosted by Scallywag, then off to HISC for a BBQ arranged by Bill Munnery. After dinner, some retired to the verandah to enjoy a pint and watch the sunset, where there were isolated outbreaks of wind, but this settled as the evening wore on. Scallywag & Fridays Child provided accommodation for the dinghy crews the latter also providing refreshments until past midnight. Sunday morning greeted us with drizzle and a fresh NE F4 another beat! Phil Scot prepared a superb old testament breakfast whilst Eric the Viking rode shotgun with the fire extinguisher.

dinghy-hisc9Dell Quay people.... always the LAST to leave !


The three Wayfarers decided to depart for DQ at about 1100, this lead to some skilfull exit manouevers from the marina and vigorus tacking up the channel towards HISC. We had a superb sail up the harbour & even managed to take part in a mixed class reggata that was being run by ISC.

By the time we reached Deep end it was time for a helm change then the true skills were revealed, on our journey to DQ all crews gained detailed and valuable knowledge about the formation of sand bars, mud banks and the network of channels leading up to Dell Quay.We eventually arrived and managed to retrieve the dinghies & get all our gear packed away just before a months rainfall descended upon us.

Thanks to all involved in this enjoyable adventure.

Mark Moranne

(Photographs by Phil Scott and Chris Pope)



Weather and winds were near perfect for the East Head Cruise held on 12th August 2012. After a briefing meeting 8 dinghies, the yacht Delphis and Alfie departed at 10am for East Head. The wind direction allowed a single tack down the Itchenor reach. The dinghies ranged from Wayfarers, Laser 2000, graduate, Wanderer and Feva. All ages took part and even a Labrador enjoyed the sail. For some this was there first time to East Head.

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A relaxing sail back under jib.

A relaxing few hours were spent on East Head with BBQ's and Boules.

After some anchoring lessons we headed back to Dell Quay.

Posted by: Chris Pope