… for the Max from your sailing!

Andy Horwood

The first MOA rally of the season took place on the weekend of 14th/15th May 2022. Earlier in the week the forecast had promised a mini heatwave but true to form, as the weekend approached the weather forecasts were less optimistic for the Sunday. Nine boats gathered in a sunny Bembridge on the Saturday; some having arrived the day before to make the most of the weekend. The tides dictated an early arrival and so all boats were tied up in the harbour before midday. Our boats were spread out along the marina and it was a little disappointing that, having booked as a rally, the harbour didn’t berth us all together.

Brilliant sunshine in Bembridge

A treasure hunt was organised with clues spread out around the Duver. Crews set out in search of the clues and an enjoyable couple of hours were spent walking around in the sunshine. As quizmasters, we on Asante were able to relax in the sunshine and sneak in a quick pint at Steve’s Bar (Bear’s Vest clue 18!!)

A pontoon party kicked off at 6 o’clock alongside Asante, the answers to the treasure hunt were read out and scores taken. There was some friendly rivalry and questioning with some crews feeling rather hard done by, but the judge’s decision was final and in any case, we had clear winners with Chris and Margaret Bulleid (Cava) getting correct answers to almost all of the clues, thus vindicating the judge’s decision.

Following the pontoon party, a safari supper was held with crews spread around different boats for each course. A great evening was had with delicious food and drink and great company.

Sunday morning dawned grey and breezy. Julian and Carolyn on Looking for Kloos were the first to leave, sneaking out across the bar as soon as the tide allowed. By the time other boats made to leave the rain had well and truly set in leading to Aquarius Ventures, Cava and Suive sensibly electing to sit it out in Bembridge for another day. Meanwhile Ariam, Blue Lightning, Moondust, Wild Blue and Asante braved the elements and ‘enjoyed’ a wet and breezy sail back to home ports.

Wet sail back

Boats attending:

Aquarius Ventures



Blue Lightning


Looking for Kloos



Wild Blue

Having enjoyed a brief period of summer weather, the clouds returned just in time for the MOA rally to Yarmouth. Light winds meant a gentle sail to Yarmouth under overcast skies but at least it stayed dry……. until the pre-dinner drinks party on the green, when the rain returned and a feeling of deja-vu set in with memories of the previous get together at Island Harbour. Nevertheless, we soldiered on and gathered together for snacks and drinks, much to the amusement of passers-by.

Suitably fed (and watered) we packed up and moved on the main event, dinner at the Royal Solent Yacht Club where an excellent evening was had by all. The club, in it’s prime position overlooking the Solent, greeted us with a warm personalised welcome and a delicious meal, served by friendly and helpful staff.

Crews woke on Sunday morning to cloudy skies and low visibility. Poole based boats left first to catch the tide out of the Solent, whilst others enjoyed a lazy morning chatting and drinking coffee before motoring home in the very light airs.

Boats attending:

Blue Lightning
D’eau Nuts
Eye of Horus
Huggy Bear
Leda of Hamble
Maxi Magic
Walk of Life (by car)

The first MOA rally for over a year took place at Island Harbour on 25th & 26th May, having been rescheduled to avoid Covid restrictions. Nervous eyes watched the weather forecasts, hoping against ever decreasing odds that we were going to be blessed with some fine weather. A strong breeze meant a brisk sail for many in the Solent, whilst Eye of Horus battled up from Poole, encountering some difficult conditions in the Needles channel.

Crews gathered together for the evening’s barbecue on the green just as the skies opened. Luckily Peter and Sue Stonestreet came prepared with a gazebo. With lots of differing opinions on how it should go together, the wise amongst us stood back and watched proceedings and eventually it was up and doing a sterling job keeping the food dry. The barbecues were lit and in true British barbecue style, food was grilled, wine and beers were drunk while we all sat around in the rain in full wet weather gear.

Typically the next morning dawned fine, the sun came out and we were all able to enjoy a more pleasant sail back to home ports.

Despite the weather, a fun time was had by all and it was good to meet up with friends, old and new. The marina staff did a great job allocating berths and making sure we had all we needed. Particular thanks to our hosts, Peter & Joan Lloyd who organised everything as well as providing salads and nibbles, pre-dinner drinks and the hire and coals for the barbecue.

Boats attending:

Walk of Life
Blue Rider
Eye of Horus
Looking For Kloos
Leda of Hamble
Wild Blue
Lady Penelope

MOA Cherbourg Rally Weekend 23/24th June 2018

Forecast: Sun, very little wind, hot

Pretty good forecast – it would have been nice to have a bit more wind but at least we all had good crossings:

There were 7 boats with 19 sailors attending the rally in Cherbourg with a variety of passages from the Solent area.

Out of the Blue travelled from East Cowes to Cherbourg on Friday 22nd

Asante and Blue Lightening left Hamble about 6.30pm on Friday 22nd for a night crossing – with a  good sail down the Western Solent and around the Needles, then the wind died giving a very calm motor overnight arriving in Cherbourg about 8.30 am. A very clear night with both Mars & Jupiter lighting up the skies along with a bright moon made visibility good.

Figure 1- Passing Hurst Castle on Friday Night

The remaining boats sailed across on Saturday, Moondust and Leda of Hamble having gathered at Yarmouth on Friday evening set out from there, Lapis Lady set off from Portsmouth and Walk of Life crossed from Poole having picked up crew there on the Friday, all arriving late afternoon/early evening.

The plan for berthing together on J pontoon was disrupted and the early arrivals were moved off due to a Coastguard demo and some expected dignitaries. There had clearly been some communication issues within the marina’s booking system but in the end they found us 7 finger berths close together on P pontoon. A bit further to the showers but no rafting so it all worked well and the marina staff were very apologetic!


Following a quick trip to the supermarket for supplies there was a “pontoon” party aboard Asante:

Figure 2 – “Pontoon” Party

Following plenty of French wine and nibbles people went off independently to find some food! And then a good night’s sleep.


On Sunday lunch was arranged in “L’Equipage” restaurant at the marina. As ever with a large group there plenty of confusion in ordering however we had a most enjoyable meal with good company, plenty of sailing tales plus a few monitoring the England’s amazing score against Panama in the world cup which was going on at the same time….

Figure 3 – Lunch in L’Equipage


Sunday evening saw Moondust departing for a night crossing back, with Blue Lightning and Leda of Hamble crossing back Monday day time with another very calm motor back:

Figure 4 Glassy Seas

The remaining boats set off to the Channel Islands ready to set off on summer cruises.

A great weekend!

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