Cruiser Reports

Cruiser Rally to Marchwood Yacht Club
Southampton Water
Tuesday 23rd May to Wednesday 24th May 2023
HW Chichester Bar 14:50 Range: 3.2 metres

Paving the Way . . .

With a forecast of a steady North-easterly 4/5, three DQSC boats set out around noon on the
Tuesday for a previously untried destination for a club rally - Marchwood Yacht Club.
( Hobo and Jacob Faithful leaving from their respective berths at
Northney and Emsworth, headed down the Emsworth Channel to Chichester Bar in anticipation
of a brisk sail on a westerly heading, with wind aft of the beam for a welcome change.
Fairwind, having stayed on in the Solent after participating in the Gosport rally the previous
weekend, set off from Newtown Creek on a North-easterly heading, braced for the prospect of a
windward bash to Calshot before reaching Southampton water.

In the event the wind strength was less gusty than was forecast and soon faded, becoming
lighter and more variable, so that by mid-afternoon, with a couple of hours more to go on a five
hour passage in sunny conditions, all three yachts were motor sailing in Southampton Water.
Marchwood Yacht Club had very obligingly provided clear sailing instructions for the approach to
their pontoons on the south side of the estuary of the river Test opposite the Southampton
Container port. Their advice was to keep just outside of the port side of the main channel,
leaving all the red port hand buoys very close to starboard nearing the port – the phrase they
used for this approach was, “keeping on the pavement” which was very apt. There was plenty of
room on the outermost pontoon, which has 3 metres depth at MLWS, and all three yachts were
alongside before 18:00hrs. It was interesting to have navigated to the upper reaches of
Southampton Water and to witness the arrival and berthing of a large container ship,
manoeuvred by powerful tugboats, and experience the strange sound effects conducted through
the water and our hull – fortunately not in the middle of the night, as we were warned can
sometimes occur.

Hobo (Ron and Pam) hosted Fairwind (Sue and Barrie) and Jacob Faithful (Esmond, Paul and Ian)
for drinks and nibbles aboard before all crews proceeded up the ramp to the Clubhouse. The
club has a fleet of Pico dinghies and runs a popular Cadet section on a Tuesday evening during
the summer months, where youngsters from members' families and the local community are
given the opportunity to learn how to sail. There was a very convivial lively scene in the club
bar with friendly volunteer club members serving drinks. We had a table reserved for seven in
the bar area and enjoyed choices from a varied menu offered by the inhouse caterer.

It was a breakfast time departure on the Wednesday morning with Jacob Faithful first to get
under way later followed by Hobo and Fairwind, edging their way “on the pavement” past the
docks into Southampton Water. The wind was again light and variable from the northern sector
but picked up a little in strength in the eastern Solent enabling some steady progress under sail
for a time. The wind eventually faded and the final leg of the passage across Hayling Bay was
completed as a motor sail with all arriving back in the Harbour by mid- afternoon. Sue and
Barrie managing to leave Fairwind back on their mooring in time to join the annual celebratory
Victoria birthday tea party at DQSC.



Gosport Rally held on Saturday 20th - 21st May 2023

Firebird - Tim Applewhite,
Moody Maid - Dick Cole and John
Fairwind of Dell Quay - Sue and Barrie Pearson
Hi Time - Tony Booker and Angela
Opus IV - Jane and Peter Matthews,

High Water Dell Quay was at 13.05 with a keen northerly wind blowing, well, more north than the forecast northeast.  The wind proved to be perfect, allowing sails to be set for a sail down harbour and all the way to Portsmouth.

Opus IV and Firebird left their moorings at Dell Quay at about 11. Moody Maid suffered the long queue in Chichester Marina whilst Fairwind got away from her mooring early to arrive first in Gosport, and Tony came down from Thornham to join the rest of the fleet at our destination, Gosport Marina.

image1The wind provided a steady F4/5 all the way across Hayling Bay. With a perfect reach, Opus IV showed 5 to 6kt water speed all the way (if the Garmin log was to be trusted).  This made for an earlier than planned arrival at the marina, with a lot less tide through the entrance than expected.

Gosport Marina managed to berth the fleet fairly close together, but across two different pontoons.  We all gathered together on Opus for an evening drink and nibbles, then a short stroll to the Great Wall restaurant for a convivial and well served meal.

Overnight the marina was a tad disturbed by wind and occasional waves causing some disturbed sleep.  Possibly due to the wind direction, or passing traffic, something caused boats to roll seemingly without reason and at random, and masts set up an ethereal choral performance. Sunday’s wind was again North / North East, but blowing a good F5.

Four boats returned to Chichester on Sunday, and with Fairwind going on to Newtown and then joining the rally to Marchwood on the 23rd, Sue and Barrie were able to have a morning of leisure.  Meanwhile, Tim Applewhite sailing Firebird single handed set off for home early, followed by Tony and Angela in Hi Time, (to be found later sitting around near West Pole fishing for mackerel, apparently with some success!)  Next away  at about 9.30 was Opus IV, with one reef in the main, and one and a half in the foresail, fetching West Pole from Portsmouth at 5kt. Dick Cole in Moody Maid followed on, it was  a quick passage back to the harbour entrance.

Peter Matthews
Opus IV


Cruiser Rally to Bucklers Hard Marina, Beaulieu.

Tuesday 9 May to Wednesday 10 May 2023

The wind moderated obligingly to F4/5, but the direction W or WSW remained more of a challenge for the trip out to the Beaulieu River.  

1Most left between 9:00 and 10:00 with Plover, a 19’ Shrimper being the first away. The west going tide was used to make good progress against the wind. As usual, conditions became more boisterous off Cowes and engines were used to help lay the Dolphin that marks the entrance to the river.  All was calm once inside and the delightful river with its fine array of large yachts never fail to impress.

inmage 2Berths had been booked in the southernmost visitors H pontoon and soon HOBO (Ron and Pam), Osprey (Chris and Janet), Plover (Mike and Simon), Fairwind (Sue and Barrie), Jacob Faithful (Esmond, Paul and Ian) were tied alongside with Moody Maid (Dick and Andy) arriving a little later.

image 3The evening stayed dry and the BBQ was lit and after drinks and nibbles a very convivial evening was enjoyed around the picnic tables provided with coffee kindly served aboard HOBO. Mike and Simon ate at the Master Builders at Bucklers Hard but sadly both the food and service were disappointing.

image 4The return trip was a fast downwind sail with all covering the 18nm down the Solent to Chichester in good time to reach moorings ahead of the rain that was forecast.


Sue Pearson


Cowes (Shepards Wharf) Rally 2023

Cowes (Shepards Wharf) Rally Sat 22 April – Sunday 23 April

Three boats took part, “Plover” a Cornish Shrimper with Mike Baldwin and David, “Jewel” 22ft Trailer Sailor with Pete Haigh and Sarah Eggleton and “Mandalay” Moody 31 with Sarah and Martin Greenhalgh.

Only Plover and Jewel set off from Chichester with Plover making good time with a north easterly wind, arriving around 15.00 followed by Jewel at around 17.00 For both crews it was their first sail this in year in their new boats into the Solent and they were positively bubbling with their achievement.
Mandalay had been on the Bembridge Rally and arrived in Cowes 2 days before.


We were all moored up in the rally area of the marina so a good welcome was on hand. Plover had made arrangements to meet friends in Cowes so did not join the meal in the evening. The original plan was to eat in the Island Sailing Club but it was fully booked with a regatta so we booked a table at The Coast where the food and service was good and with excellent company; it was a late finish.

The sail back on Sunday started at 09.00 with a westerly wind but not enough hence a motor sail some of the way to Chichester. Mandalay led the way with Plover close behind which enable regular communications. Jewel left Cowes around 10.00 and with light airs and an electric motor they diverted in to Haslar Marina and returned home on the train.

Every one enjoyed the “shake” down trip into the Solent and all learnt a lot about tides and shipping from the experience.

Martin Greenhalgh


Bembridge Rally 2023

Bembridge Rally

Tuesday 18 – Thursday 20 April 2023

With warm and settled conditions promised by the forecasters, six cruisers had originally signed up but the deteriorating forecast, injury and untried new engine meant that only three intrepid cruisers set off early on Tuesday in a fresh NE and cloudy conditions. It was a down wind sail under reduced foresails and rapid progress was made into Bembridge harbour. Mandalay (Martin and Sarah) and Fairwind (Sue and Barrie) secured themselves to the longer alongside rally pontoon at the Duver whilst Piquant (Chris) was directed into a shore-side finger berth.
Drinks and nibbles were enjoyed on board Fairwind before we made our way across the causeway and up into St Helens for a meal in The Vine. Food was promptly served and enjoyed by all.

image1There was a strong wind warning on Wednesday and so another night booked in. With the promise of a sunny day, crews set off to explore the countryside either on foot or by bus. The café was open for bacon butties and Steve’s Bar too for refreshment later. Out of the wind it was delightfully warm. Chris kindly provided entertainment and hospitality aboard Piquant.

We all decided to move off on Thursday, the wind had dropped to F4-6 and although it was still NE the sun was shining; it was going to rain on Friday, no joy sailing back in that. Piquant and Fairwind headed back for Chichester whilst Mandalay headed west downwind to Shepard’s Marina in W. Cowes to bag a berth for their rally there over the weekend.

Piquant made good progress under motor until Cobnor when the new engine developed a failure and Chris required a tow to a pontoon by the Harbour Master. Fairwind went for the full shake down and had a beat back under much reduced sail and did not escape the odd greenie over the bow.

Conditions inside the harbour were less bouncy and the sails put away for another day. The promised rain on Friday washed the salt off the decks and windows.





Sue Pearson
Fairwind of Dell Quay

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