Cruiser Reports

Beaulieu Rally & BBQ Saturday 2-Sunday 3 July 2022

The day started with a forecast of SW F4~5 and despite Chichester to Beaulieu being easily doable, because of the relatively late high water (14:41 Portsmouth), it meant that those boats tidally constrained by their mooring positions, needed to find somewhere to overnight where they could get away at any time, otherwise, it would be quite late arriving up at the Marina. Tony Booker in Hi Time was in just such a position as he keeps his boat in Thornham Marina so by anchoring off Pilsey Island for the night, he was able to set off and arrive at Chichester Bar at the same time as Sue and Barrie in Fairwind. They both then had a stiff sail down towards the forts where I was loitering to accompany them on the rest of the trip. After the forts, the wind was such that they could both make the entrance to Beaulieu on one tack although it was quite lumpy (wind against the tide), especially past Cowes. image1I hung back to guide Tony into Beaulieu entrance as he has not been there before, and it was interesting to note that if you follow the Almanac directions of 324ºM to the lighthouse, it takes you to the East of the entrance.

Having arrived at the marina at about 1730, I went to check the BBQ area to find it was full of revelers as they now has a cooked fish/lobster stand set up there as well as a bar. We elected to continue with our plans for a BBQ but there being only four of us, I set up my BBQ on my rear deck, and Sue and Barrie pre-cooked their food on board. This took place after enjoying drinks and nibbles onboard Frith which actually went on rather longer than planned, so we did not start eating till about 8pm, having started the drinks and nibbles at 6 pm. After we had eaten our various meals we carried on with the social drinks and finally broke up at about 11 pm having had a very pleasant evening, despite the small numbers.

The next day, the forecast had moderated a little to F3 from the West so we all set off within about an hour of each other. Even though we left an hour or so after of low water (close to springs) I never saw less than 3.5M of water.  All three had a very pleasant sail back, myself back to Gosport, completed in under three hours and Hi Time and Fairwind picked up some wind under a big black cloud off West Pole and came in to the harbour in fine style carrying the tide all the way and arriving back well before high water.

Well done to Tony Booker on Hi Time for not only persevering in challenging conditions on Saturday on his first long trip out west this year but also for catching fish for supper on the way home.  We hope to see you on more rallies,Tony.

Martin Watson - Frith




Newtown Informal Rally & BBQ May 31st 2022


With good weather forecast earlier in the week Treble C and Fairwind made plans to head west on Monday 30 May and rendezvous in Newtown Creek for a get together and beach BBQ on Tuesday.
Fairwind enjoyed a good close reach all the way to Beaulieu River where they picked up a visitors buoy opposite the Beaulieu River SC for the night.  These are now charged out at £2.50 /m and not the £10 flat rate as before.  Treble C popped into East Cowes for the night.

Treble C made a very early start to carry the last of the ebb tide into Newtown, Fairwind left a bit later and had to tack inshore to stay out of the tide. Martin Watson in Frith was leaving Newtown in company as Fairwind entered in a heavy rain shower and picked up a mooring that was very convenient for the proposed BBQ site. Treble C’s crew had a trip in the dinghy up on the tide to Shalfleet for coffee and lunch in the New Inn. Fairwind’s crew checked out the shop (still open all hours) and made a trip to the Newtown boathouse slip to collect water from the tap in the hedge at the end of the wooden bridge followed by a spot of fishing.


The BBQ site was selected and about to be set up when the heavens opened and Fairwind’s crew scuttled back to the boat and a decision was made to cook aboard. Treble C’s crew were picked up and ferried to Fairwind later and enjoyed a drink and cake to celebrate Sue’s birthday in sunshine in the cockpit.  

Wednesday dawned bright and sunny and both boats left early, Treble C bound for Portsmouth whilst Fairwind motored to Cowes with a spring tide under her and sailed under genoa from the Forts back to her mooring.

Sue Pearson


Bembridge Rally May 2022

Bembridge Rally Saturday 14th May 2022

10 yachts set off for Bembridge (Tim on Firebird arrived a day before) making 11 yachts in all ranging from 22ft to 36ft, with the wind on the bow as usual! Mandalay left Chichester Marina 08.00 hrs an hour earlier than planned to be in Bembridge before the fleet, only to be beaten by a number of yachts. We motored against the reducing tide and passed over the bar just before high water. Two thirds across the Solent we manage to sail the rest of the way to St Helen Fort at the entrance to Bembridge in sunshine. We arrived in Bembridge at 12.16 hrs with a number of Dell Quay already moored up and the remaining arriving during the next hour. The yachts leaving Dell Quay later had a much better sail across the Solent and some sailed all of the way.
The following yachts enjoyed the rally:
Opus IV; Hi Time; Moody Maid; Hobo; Snoopy, Mandalay; Firebird; Jacob faithful; Laudi; Osprey and Piquant from Bosham SC.

image1Having all arrived we turned our minds to socialising with pre-dinner drinks from 17.30hrs to 18.30 hrs. Bembridge Harbour Authority reserved most of the marque on the quay for us but as it was sunny we sat outside looking over the harbour and at our boats.

image2At 18.30hrs a water Taxi was waiting to take those not walking to Brading Haven Sailing Club for our evening meal.

Our meal was pre-ordered with the service and food being very acceptable. Brading Haven made us most welcome. We all had a lovely walk back in a moon lit evening along the salt pan walls. A really good social with good company.

On Sunday most boats left between 08.00 and 09.00 hrs missing out on the bacon and egg baps on the quay to get back to Dell Quay for high water at 11.43hrs. All returned safely despite a wet sail home with the wind on the bow!! That’s sailing for you. We had a lovely weekend rally with Bembridge Harbour and Brading Haven Yacht Club making Dell Quay very welcome.

Thank you to all on the rally that helped make it such a good event.

Martin Greenhalgh
Mandalay        20/05/2022


Beaulieu River Rally 2022

Cruiser Rally to Beaulieu Tuesday 3rd  – Wednesday 4th May 2022

Five cruisers, Hobo, Mandalay, Fairwind, Osprey and Frith left from various locations within Chichester Harbour and the Solent to meet up at the Beaulieu River Marina at Buckler’s Hard.

image1The day was grey and windless with little marine traffic about so engines and auto-helms were put to good use. There was some excitement around Portsmouth as we spotted two naval frigates, HMS Somerset at anchor and HMS Lancaster under way plus a patrol boat.  Hobo passed close to SV Tenacious anchored off Lee-on-the-Solent.  This is an impressive 65m three-masted barque, launched in 2000 and owned by the Jubilee Sailing Trust.

Frith was the first to arrive, having drifted up on the tide from Newtown, Fairwind, Mandalay, Osprey and Hobo all arrived shortly after and by 14:30 we were all secured alongside the southern Visitors H pontoon.  

A BBQ had been booked and although there was a period of rain in the afternoon we were optimistic that it would brighten up and be dry later.


Which indeed it was! We all had a very convivial evening with good food freshly BBQ’d and Toby (the dog) did rather well out of it.

Wednesday dawned bright and sunny with the promise of a fair sailing breeze later in the day. 

image4Mandalay was first away, slipping quietly out of her berth astern, followed in turn by the rest of the rally boats.

A gentle following breeze and flood tide carried us up past Cowes toward Portsmouth where the wind died and it became much busier with Isle of Wight ferries and container ships so a burst of engine power for an hour or so to get beyond the Forts where the wind filled in to a F4 as promised resulting in a splendid sail with the wind off the aft quarter all the way back into the harbour and up to the moorings.
Sue Pearson, Fairwind of Dell Quay.

Photos by: Pam Foden, Sue and Barrie Pearson

Cowes Yacht Haven Rally 19/20th April 2022
Our first rally of 2022 was led by Esmond Pope and took us to Cowes Yacht Haven in West Cowes.

Firebird heading out of Chichester Harbour

Jacob Faithful, Fairwind, Firebird and Windchat left Chichester in a light NW wind.
We all managed to sail beyond Portsmouth when the wind dropped and some needed engine assistance. The sky also darkened but luckily we only had a few drops of rain.
By 4pm we had all arrived and were safely berthed in the south basin where we were entertained by young sailors climbing up the rigging of TS Royalist to tend to the sails.
After drinks on Jacob Faithful we made our way to the Island Sailing Club for a very enjoyable meal in excellent surroundings with fine views over the Solent.

TS Royalist

Leaving Cowes for the return trip brought brighter weather but of course, the wind had veered to the NE. We enjoyed a good sail to beyond the Forts, the wind was then on the nose and had freshened which made things more trying and the entrance to Chichester was a little boisterous. It was indeed a good ‘shake down’ sail on the way back! Esmond Pope – Jacob Faithful.
Our next rally is to Beaulieu on Tuesday 3 May, followed by Bembridge on Saturday 14 May. The Spring Cruise (one week) sets off on Tuesday 19 May and there is an informal rally to Newtown River on Tuesday May 31.
The full cruising programme is available on the website where you can sign up for a Rally. Do come and join us, you will be most welcome.
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