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Hill Head Harbour and Cowes Rally Sat 23rd and Sun 24th April 2016

This rally had a lunch time stop at Hill Head Harbour and Sailing Club followed by a short sail to Cowes where we berthed at Shepard's Wharf Marina and dined at the Duke of York. 9 yachts with 17 people came.

Hill Head (also known as Titch field Haven) is near Lee-on-Solent and is a drying harbour at the mouth of the River Meon with access +/- 2 hours high water with a narrow entry channel approached over a sandbank! Easy for "Seals" but for reduced anxiety and to allow the club dinghies and cruisers to escape for their Saturday races we hovered outside entering HW -1 and leaving HW +2. Three of our larger yachts anchored off with crews getting a lift in on the 6 of us that entered the Harbour.

6 on pontoon
6 on pontoon
High water
High water
Low water
Low water

As for our previous rally visit in August 2002, the Sailing Club made us most welcome with a member on bar duty and another on galley duty. It was a pleasure to see a really active club with racers of all ages. The Harbour Master had given us good instructions on the entry channel.

After an easy sail to Cowes we found Shepard's very busy and berthing caused some excitements with five of us "bow to". However all fitted in and after chats (and snoozes) we gathered for drinks on the pontoon before walking up to the Duke of York where we had the usual convivial evening and good food.

On Sunday the wind was Northerly F4 with some gusts at F6 which gave us a good sail to home ports (Beaulieu, Hamble, Portsmouth and Chichester harbours. I had 2 reefs and a blade jib to give the crew a level ride.

Clifford Miller Abacus 26.04.16

"Seals" present:

Into HH harbour: P235/38 Zephyr, SS 26s /15 MYA /50 Rascal, P27/154 Frith and P275s /53 Sophia/58 Abacus.

Anchored off HH: P325/37 Pegasus, OCs Jenneau 32 Macoma + Starlight 35 Altair.

By car to Cowes P325/26 Nosey