… for the Max from your sailing!

Maxi Bembridge

Boats attending:- Aloni, Asante, Blue Lightning, Cava, Lookin Foor Kloos, Wild Blue

The first rally of the season after the AGM was a mid week rally to Bembridge on the 16th and 17th April. Neap tides with low of 1.8m at 12:20 and a high of 3.8m at 18:40 were, in retrospect, not ideal but with a dry day with fresh westerly breeze meant a fairly easy passage for boats from the west and we all managed to get in without too many mishaps at around 1600.

Aloni on passage to Bembridge

Being early in the season we held the drinks party in Asante’s cockpit tent rather than on the pontoon and managed to squeeze 10 of us in. Rob and Julie on Moondust had to cancel unfortunately at the last minute having had their launch and re-rigging delayed, which meant a bit of re-jigging of the safari supper arrangements but everyone mucked in and a great evening was had by all.

Wednesday morning was still a little fresh but mainly dry and we split into two groups, one walking to the Mermaid Gin distillery near Seaview and the other across the harbour and around the coast to The Crab and Lobster for lunch. Those of us who walked to the distillery managed to resist to gin tasting session in order to stay alert for the walk back.

We were joined in the late afternoon by Chris and Margaret on Cava who managed to creep across the bar in time to join us for dinner at Brading Haven Yacht Club. The harbour taxi kindly stayed on a bit late to take us up there although again the low spring tides caused a few issues with some interesting manoeuvring in the water taxi. All was well and we had a delightful evening hosted by Brading Haven YC. The commodore was there to welcome us and we had an excellent meal served by very friendly and helpful staff.

We had arranged for a land taxi to transport us back after the meal but unfortunately we were let down. They didn’t turn up and we’re not answering the phone. Very annoying! Fortunately the bar manager at the yacht club was able to provide us with the number for Bembridge Taxis who kindly agreed to pick up 6 of us at the last minute. The walk back for the rest of the group was slightly complicated by the fact that the footpath along the harbour causeway was closed for repairs but we managed to negotiate our way over and around the barriers and all got back safely, just as the taxi arrived with the others.

Given the tidal restrictions, there was much discussion during the evening of when/if we would be able to get out. It was agreed that with HW at 08:20 a departure at around 07:30 would be feasible and give us a bit of rising tide should anything go wrong! Having organised the rally we felt obliged to head out first on Asante, followed by the remainder of the fleet at a respectable distance, all eagerly watching our depth gauges. In the end the passage out was uneventful and we all had a good sail back to our home ports.

Andy Horwood