Medina Rally 23 September 2017

Dell Quay high tide 14:26 Saturday, 15:05 Sunday.

Boats registered:-
Opus IV (leading), White Magic, Frith, Friday’s Child, Zephyr, Mavis Crewit, Mandalay, Delphis,Harami, and Hully Gully (who was posted missing, no radio response, but later found safe and sound having mistaken Bembridge for Cowes!!). 15 people arrived in Cowes.

Our destination was the East Cowes Marina, chosen partly because of its reputation for good facilities (and I hadn’t been there before), and partly because the Folly was likely to be very busy with 3 other rallies booked in. Island Harbour was considered, and would be good to try out, but with tidal restrictions the mid afternoon tide on Sunday made a timely arrival home risky for those on Dell Quay moorings. Maybe a future rally on a summer weekend with 7 or 8 o’clock tides might go there. 


Photo Richard Hancock

A brisk 3~4 southerly wind provided a good passage to Cowes, just over 4 hours from Dell Quay.  East Cowes Marina staff were very helpful in making the arrangements and gave a discount on their berthing fees to those of us who booked and paid in advance. Good facilities, and all the DQ boats were berthed in the same area. The visitors moorings are at the north (seaward) end of the marina on pontoons A & B, each split into several bays by finger pontoons with room for 6+ boats in each bay before rafting. The marina is comfortable, but there is a tidal current through the berths requiring some consideration when mooring. The only disadvantage is that the facilities are a bit of a walk first thing in the morning!


The customary drinks and nibbles on the lead boat was interesting. medina215 people on a Centaur seems to be about the limit. With only 1 inch of water rising into the cockpit through the drains the sea level didn’t rise over the cockpit grating, so no wet feet. Don’t think that the trim was to be recommended! (neither was the boxed English wine by all accounts). East Cowes Marina is separated from Cowes town, and with the chain ferry out of commission we were rather restricted to restaurants on the East side of the river. (A
temporary passenger ferry service was operating, but the details, charges, times, etc. were not obviously posted.) East Cowes offered a choice of only 3 restaurants, one Italian and one Indian close to the chain ferry (some 10 minutes walk) and the Lifeboat Inn at the marina. Unfortunately the Lifeboat, despite its good reviews, seemed not to want custom, asking for a deposit of £5 per head to be paid before they would make a booking. The Italian restaurant was booked by others, so we ate at the Taste of India who were very pleased to reserve a table for us. Food wasn’t bad, but some people’s meals were a bit bland. Unfortunately the arrival of 15 hungry diners, wanting separate bills per boat, seemed to cause the staff some confusion, which to be fair, they mostly overcame. Service was rather disjointed with the first served finishing their main course before the final dishes arrived. Overall, I would eat there again, but not with a large group.

Sunday morning arrived with beautiful weather conditions, warm sun and a fair breeze. White Magic was the first to leave for home, followed by Opus IV leaving at 9:30. The wind increased again to a brisk 3 to 4, but more easterly, giving a beat all the way home. The wind over tide through the Solent and Hayling Bay made the sea rather choppy, but good sailing. Arriving in Chichester Harbour an hour before HW, the long waves coming into the harbour provided some impressive breaking seas on the Hayling shore and on the north edge of the Winner Bank, a good reason not to cut the corner! Later arrivals reported that the journey was rather rough. Having arrived back at Dell Quay, the weather broke with a heavy rain shower to wash off the waterproofs.