Looking back at the 2nd Shared Cost Cruising Weekend

Posted by Graham Clarke on 26 October 2019

With the success of our inaugural cruising weekend in mid-August, a second weekend was arranged for the 18-20 Oct 2019, fully aware the weather may not be so kind and being very close to the Autumn Rally and that interest may not be so great.

Within a week of advertising, 2 yachts were booked were full. With skippers Nina and Alistair signed up we almost filled the 2 yachts with crew of 8 aboard Nina’s Modernistic Lady and a crew of 6 aboard Alistair’s Avant Garde (the boys' boat).

Due to work pressures and other commitments arrival times varied from Friday evening to Saturday morning. With the majority arriving Friday late afternoon.

Friday midday travelling south was relatively congestion free, we made very good time however nearing the Hamble the late afternoon downpour was not welcomed.

Early evening the weather brightened to allow a pleasant walk into Hamble village for a welcome drink with the crew of AG in the Whyte Harte, we left them to their supper while we returned to the ML, we were joined by our last crew member Stuart, with a glass or two we all sat and enjoyed our meal on board, courtesy of Helen, Risotto and Chicken bake she had prepared earlier. (Thank you Helen).

It poured down overnight, but blue sky greeted us on Saturday morning. A small contingent headed back to Hamble village to find a suitable hostelry showing the England/Australia rugby (what a great match!) Whilst skippers and mates completed the yacht hand-over and got the yacht ready for sea.

The rugby fans returned to see AG (Alistair and crew) making a swift getaway so as to beat us to Nab Tower. We aboard ML set off in not-very-hot pursuit, enjoying the moderate winds and favourable tide. En route with time restrictions and a turning tide we decided to have a leisurely look at Bembridge instead of Nab. With the tide still rising, suitable depths were crowded so we anchored in the nearby bay for lunch. 

Then, with the tide turning in our favour, we had a great sail to Portsmouth Haslar Marina, where our dinner had been booked aboard Mary Mouse 2, the quirky converted lightship, where both crews enjoyed the evening on adjacent tables and regaled each other with sailing exploits of the day, apparently with two veterans of the Fastnet aboard AG the sheets were trimmed constantly to perfection! Who’d have thought that AG would have covered 90 miles in 5 hours that day to get to Nab Tower and back? Impressive, guys!!

On Sunday morning Stuart treated us to a full cooked breakfast with a pit stop style gas bottle change! A planned boat handling and mooring practice followed for the newbies within Portsmouth Harbour (no fenders, pontoons or yachts were harmed!), later we crossed to Gunwarf Quays including a fascinating tour of Portsmouth Old Dockyard before setting sail for Cowes.

Sailing conditions were perfect, sun, wind and tide in our favour. We reached Cowes via the east channel and passed AG berthed in Shepards Marina enjoying lunch plus we believe a quick retail excursion.

We headed some way up the Medina to the Folly Inn, where we demonstrated our newly-refined parking skills and had lunch on board (yep, more food) before heading back across the Solent, up the Hamble river, and sadly, the end of our action-packed weekend. 

Huge thanks to our skippers Nina and Alistair for keeping us all safe and facilitating such a brilliant weekend.

Only when we were en-route home up the A34 did the heavens open again. Of course perfectly planned in all respects! 

We  hope to have more Shared Cost Cruises next year with possibly more yachts and a mid-week cruise is also in the planning.



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