August mid-week Solent rally
12th-14th August 2009

Report by Barbara & Peter Forster, P27/146 Stroller.

The August Mid week rally followed on from the Newtown rally and turned into a mini cruise in company. Led by Harlequin, Stroller, Elsa & Grace left Newtown on Sunday morning bound for Christchurch in a pleasant breeze. Being a rare sunny day, Christchurch harbour was crowded with holidaymakers in or around the water & we had to weave our way through several dinghy fleets taking part in Mudeford week.

Christchurch SC, as always, made us very welcome & we were able to moor up alongside their pontoon. Next morning the weather had returned to the norm (SW F5/6) so we decided to return to the Solent. We all enjoyed a lively & exhilarating sail to Lymington, where we said goodbye to Grace.

The following day Elsa returned home to Wooton while Harlequin & Stroller made use of the following breeze and shook the creases out of their coloured sails& enjoyed leisurely sail down the Western Solent to Ashlett Creek. That evening on the last of the ebb tide we were joined by Cleo, her crew having just that morning arrived back from a week in Crete. Ashlett is a delightful drying creek in Southampton Water ideal for Parker & Seals. In spite of the proximity to Fawley Power station and the oil terminal, it is a haven of tranquillity bordering on to the New Forest, with several fine walks nearby.

On Tuesday we left on the afternoon tide for Wooton Creek with the wind on the beam (SW4) and with full sails we had a fast passage across the Solent. Shortly after our arrival Shemar arrived from Chichester Harbour and that evening we were also joined by the crew of Elsa for convivial evening at the Royal Victoria YC.

Before we all headed off in different directions and while waiting for the tide we enjoyed a pleasant stroll to the delightful Quarr Abbey for coffee and ice creams. The mid week rally presents a completely different perspective to the frenzy and crowds associated with weekends and we found no difficulty in anchoring or turning up unannounced at our various night time rendezvous.