Cruiser Reports

Laying Up Rally to Bembridge Tuesday – Wednesday 11-12 October 2022

We had 6 boats, 12 people and 1 dog on this rally so quite a good turn out for the last rally for this year.

  • Mandalay  - Sarah, Martin and Toby
  • Opus IV – Jane and Peter Matthews        
  • Fairwind – Sue and Barrie Pearson
  • Carenne – Chris Campbell, Bob and Gill Marshall
  • Jacob Faithful – Esmond Pope and crew
  • Frith – Martin Watson

Tuesday - High water was at 13.20 at Dell Quay and 13.23 at Bembridge and we were on spring tides. It was a sunny warm day (for October) but there was very little wind so I think all of us motored across.

Mandalay is on a mooring at Dell Quay, so we had to leave as soon as we were afloat at about 11.30 and arrived at the Duver Marina at about 14.30. This left plenty of time to enjoy Bembridge. Some of us went for a walk and a couple of us even had a dip in the sea.

We gathered at 17.30 for pre-dinner drinks on the pontoon, as there were too many of us to sit on one boat.



At 18.30 we walked up to The Vine at St. Helens where we had prebooked a table. They made us welcome, and the food was quite reasonable. It was the only option available for food as neither of the sailing clubs were open and the Pilot Boat only does pizzas, and anyway is difficult to get to at low water springs!

Wednesday - High water was at 13.56 at Dell Quay and 14.05 at Bembridge

We awoke to this:-

The early afternoon tide meant that we had more time to enjoy lovely Bembridge and the gorgeous weather. The Duver Café was closed, so most of us went to the Baywatch café on the beach for cooked breakfast in a box served with their usual panache!

We set off as soon as there was enough water over the bar at around 11.30. There was a bit more wind and it was from the south west today and we, on Mandalay, managed to sail most of the way back, luckily we had Toby to help us:-


Looking forward to seeing you all on the water and off and many more rallies next year.


Folly Rally and BBQ 11/12th September 2022

After some initial concern about the weather with extremes being forecast early on, all the weather apps settled down to forecast a benign F2~F3 from the South West with dry conditions for both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday the wind was more NW and F3 occasionally F4 but I managed to sail from Gosport to Cowes on one long starboard tack and I believe those coming out of Chichester had similar experiences. I arrived at the Folly at 14:00 and was then followed by Fairwind at about 15:30 and Mandalay shortly after. The rest of the boats then arrived in short order apart from Rio who did not arrive till gone 18:00 just as we were about to set out to the BBQ area! My original idea had been to try and squeeze three boats along the pontoon then the rest rafted outside of us but there was just not quite enough room, as the owner of the pontoon (and Folly?) has now got a 40-foot Beneteau permanently moored at the end of the walk ashore pontoon.

image1Nonetheless we managed to sort things out and I then set up the drinks and nibbles, Wine, beer cheese and pineapple and dips. The cheese and pineapple seemed to go down well, not so much the salsa, sour cream and dipping snacks so will note that for future reference. I had arranged this for 17:30 with the idea of walking along to the BBQ area at 1815, but as Rio arrived at 18:10 or so, by the time we had got him sorted alongside and then ashore it was nearer 18:30.

The BBQs were duly lit and it was interesting to see the different types of cooking devices and styles. So then we sat and ate our various repasts in the sunshine.

image2By the time we had finished the sun had set and so by the time we had got our chattels sorted out it was well and truly dark, but with a lovely full moon to light our way back, it was fine. The feedback I have received is that everyone enjoyed themselves especially the newcomers who have not been on many or indeed any rallies before.

Welcome and well done to the two smallest boats, Rio (21.5ft) and Hi Time,(23 ft) as well as Artful Dodger (25ft); it was very good to see the smaller boats and other single handers on one of our rallies, we hope to see more of you in future rallies, likewise Juniper of Leigh. Welcome to you all, David, Tony, Colin and Stephen and your respective family members.

image3We had eight boats from an original ten, they were in size order, Mandalay, Fairwind of DQ, Opus IV, Frith, Juniper of Leigh, Artful Dodger, Hi Time and Rio, with fourteen people and two dogs, a very respectable turnout.

It was a fine day for an early start back to Chichester harbour, the wind was a light ENE increasing to F3/4 so it was a beat back as far as the Forts when it gradually went round to the south. Tony aboard Hi Time hauled in seven mackerel on his way back, to be enjoyed later.

Martin Watson

Photographs by Martin Watson and Sue Pearson


Seven Face the Portsmouth Maelstrom

Seven boats braved the light winds and searing heat of southern England to rally to Gosport Marina on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th August

The boats were:image1

Jacob Faithful, skippered by Esmond Pope with Paul and GeorgeJuniper of Leigh, with Stephen Weil and Martin
Opus IV with Peter and Jane Matthews
Hi Time with Tony Booker
Firebird with Tim Applewhite
Rio with David Thompson
Moody Maid with Sue and Dick

There was no uniform starting time. image2Poor Sue was made to get up early so they could avoid the non-existent dinghies of Federation Week  (it didn’t start until the following Monday!). There was little wind 2-3 SE, so the Met Office said. Some boats did manage and hour or two of calming drifting with light airs, but for four of us our peace was shattered when we entered the maelstrom also called the “Small Boat Channel”. Of course, it was springs and we were only a couple of hours after high- water. Even so it was a stirring sight, perhaps created to some degree by the wash of large powerboats thrusting their powerful way into the harbour.
Jane took some splendid photos from her precarious figurehead position on Opus IV. I drew a picture.

Turmoil over; we were scattered throughout the marina but guided by the good old DQSC pennant twelve stalwarts met for Dick’s customarily parsimonious nibbles on Moody Maid.  With all on board the boat assumed a strange ‘bows up’ attitude and some of us recalled the near sinking of Sentoray some years ago on the rally to Dinan when 23 of us tried to crowd on board.
Moody Maid did not sink and we made our way to “The Great Wall” for their Dim Sum experience. Guided by the cheerful but firm Mistress of Ceremonies we had a very convivial evening. All that remained was for us to find our way back to our boats. A task that proved difficult for some.

image3Sunday dawned with the usual heat, but a civilised, nine o’clock start for most meant a much calmer passage out of the harbour. Tony made a very early start and caught the sunrise and a mackerel to eat later.
 Perhaps it was the absence of powerboats or the slackening of tide that seems to occur half way through the flood. Perhaps it is something to do with the Solent’s double tide phenomena. For more about the double tides read Peter Bruce’s “Solent Tides”. He provides a good explanation.
There was even less wind on the return trip and Esmond took advantage of the calm weather and high tide to take the “Beach Passage” past the submarine wall. Some people even manage a sail. At least we saw Tim sailing by as he went toward Westlands.

Overall it seemed a successful rally in spite of the lack of vigorous sailing.
Thanks to all who rallied and to Sue and Tony for the photos.
Dick Cole
Moody Maid
15 August 2022



DQSC Yarmouth Rally Fri 15 and Sat 16 July 2022

The plan was a rally to Yarmouth IoW on Fri 15 and Sat 16 July 2022, as Yarmouth won’t take rally bookings on a Saturday during July and August but we could book in on the Friday and stay for a second night. Initially there had been 11 boats signed up however, due to Covid or other problems only six boats made the rally, Moody Moon (Piers Chamberlain and Chris Rigg-Milner), Osprey, Moody Maid, Opus IV, Frith (of Glasgow), Lady P and Figia (friends of Lex in Frith of Glasgow).

Moody Moon left Dell Quay on the last of the afternoon tide on the Thursday and slipped quietly down harbour picking up a mooring of Hayling Island Sailing Club (HISC) for the night.

The other ralliers left from Dell Quay on earlier tides or from other marinas such as Cowes.

Moody Moon having been tidied away (lots of stores to stow away as we are going west after the rally) had a quiet night at HISC.

Friday 15th dawned bright and calm so a leisurely breakfast on Moody Moon before getting underway to catch the first of the tide going west, unfortunately the winds were still light to non existent, so it was the iron topsail doing the work. It stayed like this until we got to the Forts off Portsmouth where there was a breeze setting in so off engine and up sails for a gentle but lovely sail, thankfully the tide was in our favour otherwise we may have gone backwards and taken for ever to reach Cowes where the breeze tailed off again so iron topsail back on.

Called Yarmouth Harbour as we approached and were guided into a reserved berth to find Osprey (Chris and Janet Playford) and Lady P (Graham Morris and Pip the terrier) already alongside.


We were soon joined by Opus IV (Peter and Jane Mattews), Moody Maid (Dick Cole and John Holland) and Figa (Tom, Laura and Archie Newman). Frith of Glasgow (Lex Harrison and Leigh) had technical problems and was late leaving Dell Quay and after having tried to sail again the tide gave up and motored the rest of the way, wind against tide so fairly lumpy as a strong breeze had developed, arriving at around 21:30.

Disaster when checking out the BBQ site, I found they weren’t where I was expecting them to be so a quick question to the Harbour Office and I was directed to the BBQ site – over the bridge and walk to the corner then down the path to the beach then back towards the marina – bit of a camel hike when carrying all food and coals. DISASTER after finding the site there were no BBQ facilities only metal plinths for you to put your own BBQ on. Thankfully on Moody Moon I had a COBB BBQ and on Opus IV Peter had a disposable plus a bucket BQQ – so it was back to the boats to get them. Our luck was changing as right beside the BBQ site is a water taxi stop and it was dropping some people off so after a very quick round trip and we were up and BBQing. The walk and time waiting enabled everyone to get to know each other. Piers dropped the lid of the COBB BBQ and managed to spill the sausages and Kofta’s on the sand -sorry everyone for the gritty eating. A great evening of chatting and eating with some small glasses of beer or wine consumed watching a stunning sunset over the western Solent. Everything packed up and disposable BQQ, and all charcoal carefully extinguished and rubbish put in the bins provided and it was a quick water taxi ride back to the boats.



On Saturday 16th everyone did their own thing during the day with Frith of Glasgow and Figa leaving mid morning to go over to the sea-food festival in Lymington. A short shopping trip was needed for some essential supplies on Moody Moon and so a walk into town was required with a stop for some refreshment in the Bugle where we caught up with Graham and Pip. Moody Moon was tidied and prepared for sea, as the Yarmouth Lifeboat slipped and proceed out of harbour, hoping it was for nothing too serious, we later found out they were going on a search for a missing swimmer.

The Gin Pennant was hoisted at 18:00 and everyone came aboard for a very convivial pre-dinner drinks, repairing to the Bugle for a table booked for 19:30. Great conversation, laughter and fun evening with great food.


Sunday morning and an 08:00 send off for the boats going back to Dell Quay or ports east of Yarmouth, for Moody Moon it was a leisurely breakfast, fill the water tanks and take the last mains charge for the batteries and heating of the water then secure for sea even though it was still harry flatters. Moody Moon slipped her moorings at around 12:30 and headed west and what is happening on that cruise is another story so you will have to wait and see what we put in to the log competition and the Christmas Quay News…….

Piers Chamberlain
Moody Moon


DQSC Bembridge, Thorney Island SC with Dinghies becomes Day sail and BBQ Rally

Saturday 4 June 2022

The plan was a rally to Bembridge with the cruising dinghies - the reality – the Cruiser Committee had tried to book Bembridge in January but as they were fully booked for the Jubilee Weekend from before Christmas (as well as not allowing camping) a different venue was tried. Thorney Island Sailing Club however, had other commitments and so a day sail from DQSC and back again with a ‘bring your own food’ BBQ on return was planned.

Moody Moon (Piers Chamberlain and Chris Rigg-Milner) had been on the pontoon at the quay on the Friday doing some work and were joined by Ian Sinclair in Desiree.

Not really knowing who was going to turn up Ian and Chris’s better half Paula joined us on Moody Moon for a sail when we floated at around 14:00. Passing down the mooring trot we didn’t see anyone else out and about at Dell Quay. Continuing down the harbour we made preparations to hoist the main with the first reef taken in it was blowing Force 5-6. Motor sailed through Itchenor Reach as the wind wasn’t being kind. Clearing the reach turned towards East Head off engine and out jib with 4 rolls being taken in; nicely balanced and sailing quickly for a cruiser down wind. Rounding one of the buoys at East Head we hardened up and beat our way back to Itchenor, Chris was very glad that Ian was with us as the skipper was working him hard. Just getting up to the end of the reach and we see Mandalay with Martin and Sarah Greenhalgh going down the harbour as part of the day sail. Also passing on his way down the harbour was Lex Harrison in Firth of Glasgow.

Back at the DQSC the options for BBQing were reviewed and it was decided that we would use the galley, so set up tables and chairs and off we go. As we were setting up we were joined by Keith and Michaela Heppenstall, Peter and Jane Matthews, John Martin, Avril Sargent and Dick Cole (who had bicycled up from the marina).

Bar open, good food, great company and a good evening had by all and for those that sailed, a bit of excitement in blowy conditions.

The prize for the shortest distance travelled to a DQSC rally this year goes to ……… Ian Sinclair, for his 100m from his mooring to the pontoon.

Piers Chamberlain
Moody Moon

More Articles...