Cruiser Reports


The 2019 cruiser rally season got off to a good start with shake down rallies to Portsmouth and Bembridge Harbours.


image1aWith a forecast of NE F4~5, two boats set out from the Eastern end of Chichester Harbour with high hopes of a cracking broad reach along the coast to Portsmouth, but unfortunately it did not materialise and most of the way was sailed in F2 or F3, nonetheless it was an enjoyable sail in bright if slightly chilly conditions. Martin on Frith left Dell Quay at the same time as Sue and Barrie on Fairwind came off their mooring at Westlands and made up ground on Fairwind by cutting across all the shallows, taking advantage of her shallow draft and lift keel, so that by the submarine barrier they were more or less sailing in company and sailed into the Premier Gosport Marina no more than a couple of minutes apart. Phil on Fridays Child had arrived fifteen minutes earlier, having sailed down from his new mooring in Fareham. Ron and Pam on their first Club rally in Hobo arrived a little later. At 17:30, we six hardy souls piled into Frith’s saloon for a few drinks and nibbles, before walking up to the New Bengal Indian restaurant, which Martin rates as the best Indian restaurant on the south coast. The food was indeed delicious and all had a very enjoyable evening. The forecast for next morning was for an easterly F2 so Fairwind and Hobo motored back to Chichester Harbour whilst Frith went out and round the corner and back onto her usual berth in Gosport Cruising Club and Fridays Child had a gentle sail back up to Fareham.

Martin Watson


With a forecast of rain and fresh NE winds, six cruisers set off from Chichester; Parity (Dick Hoare and Richard) was first into Bembridge followed by Martin Watson in Frith who had a good sail from his berth in Gosport. Fairwind of Dell Quay was escorted across the shipping channel by a pod of eight dolphins and what a delight it was to see them come to swim alongside and diving under the boat.  It was quite a spectacle, all captured by Barrie on video.  Snoopy (John Martin) and Mandalay (Martin Greenhalgh crewed by Chris Campbell) were soon joined by Harami (Tim Applewhite and John) closely followed by Nick and Laura Pearson aboard Sentoray with Archie, Freddie and Henry the dog and Moody Maid (Dick Cole and Peter Elford) completed the rally. The friendly and helpful marina staff at The Duver berthed all seven of us alongside.  Cockpit tents were put up and all the crews assembled on Fairwind for drinks and nibbles in the warm and dry before heading off across the Causeway and up the hill into St Helen’s where fourteen adults, two children and a dog were made welcome at The Vine Inn. The beer and food was very good and advantage was taken of the two for £12 deal. All enjoyed a very convivial and enjoyable evening with darts and snooker for the boys. Fortunately the rain had stopped for the walk back with torches.

After a trip for some to Baywatch on the Beach for one of their very good breakfasts and image2aafter some minor technical problems aboard were sorted out,  all but the Pearsons set off on Wednesday into the continuing fresh NE wind which made for bouncy conditions over the sands at Bembridge and it was a motor sail home for most with glorious sunshine at the end of the trip.  

image3aWith an extra day available to the crews of Fairwind and Sentoray, an excursion to Bembridge for items from the Spinnaker Chandlery plus some fun on the beach and crabbing off the pontoon in the sunshine was in order. The café on the Fisherman’s pontoon is recommended for a seafood lunch; Sue and Barrie enjoyed fresh crab sandwiches in the warmth of the log-burning stove followed by delicious cake. Whilst walking around the Harbour toward Bembridge, it was noted that the more dilapidated of the house boats had been removed and replaced by an eclectic assortment of moored vessels, some of which are available as B&Bs or holiday lets.

image4aThe new Duver café was open on Thursday morning and after enjoying the breakfasts on offer, Sentoray and Fairwind set off back to Chichester Harbour in glorious sunshine and a gentle ESE wind.  An excellent start to the sailing season.


Quote of the rally: “I can’t reach my drink, my lips are too short!”

As the weather warms up, why not sign up here for the May rallies:

Wednesday 8 May                   Yarmouth – Leader Ron Foden
Thursday 16–26 May approx.  Spring Cruise – Leader Dick Cole

Sue Pearson


VICTORIA Model Yachts RACING in the DARK

VICTORIA Model Yachts RACING in the DARK

Yep we can see the potential for a few problems BUT we are going to have a go racing in the dark with all the boats lit up on Friday 14th starting from around 3.30 If you want to see something different please come and watch (dark by 4.00)

And this is what they looked like:




Model Victoria Yachts

IMG 3970

The 13th November saw the visit of the Selsey Club.The conditions were ideal with a steady wind, almost no weed which meant that there was some very competitive sailing from the 17 boats on the water. Following the races we had a lovely spread of sandwiches and cake after which the Commodore kindly presented the prizes for 2018. Thanks to all for making it a very enjoyabe event.

Following the tea we held ourAGMand made plans for the next year.


Selsey results1


DQSC Cross Channel Rally 17th – 24th May 2018

Janet Holder describes her first overseas adventure with Dell Quay Cruisers

It was my first crossing of the channel by sail. Although Keith and I have spent many a happy hour wandering up and down the Solent, it was with a little trepidation that I set off to France, out of sight of land, passport on board.


We started cautiously with boats Moody Maid and Zephyr spending a first night in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, due to concerns about the strength of wind on the French coast, but at first light (4.30 am!) on Friday 18th May we were on our way - past Hurst Castle, past the Needles and then due South towards Cherbourg. Soon we were watching the sun rise over the Isle of Wight.

The weather was kind to us, the hours passed more quickly than I had expected with the diversion of the shipping lanes to cross, and eventually we spotted the faint outline of the French coast. We reached Cherbourg at 18.00 more than ready to tie up to a berth in the marina. We were joined about an hour later by Niobe and Opus IV who had made their journey direct from Dell Quay.


The following day was spent resting and looking around Cherbourg. On Sunday we were ready at 9.00 to set off again to make our way along the eastern side of the Cherbourg peninsula. The tides were strong along the French coast and we had the strongest winds of the trip here so that some of us found it prudent to take in a reef. Our destination was St Vaast which can only be accessed when the entry gate is open, within 2 or 3 hours of high water.


The next day we left St Vaast as soon as the gate was open and headed south towards Carentan. This typically French town is approached across a wide shallow bay peppered with lobster pots then up a long canal and through a lock. It was well worth the effort and the day ended with a splendid meal in the Marina restaurant.

Tuesday began our journey Northwards again. We returned to St Vaast, spending two nights there and enjoying another excellent meal in the Marina restaurant.


On Thursday 24th May we were ready to depart at first light again for the long journey home. The sea was again smooth but what wind there was was ‘on the nose’ and the visibility was quite poor so that we soon lost sight of the other boats. The hours passed and eventually we arrived back at Chichester Marina.

So, I had completed my first trip abroad in a 28ft sailing boat. Would I do it again? – definitely!


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.



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