Click here to view 93 photos from the cruise.
Strong winds and driving rain marked the start of the Five Islands Cruise- a familiar ring for a RNVRYC Cruise?
Notwithstanding the dire forecast, Bouzy and Enigma took advantage of a brief weather window to scamper to Poole whilst Blue Shadow and Lonk Avel pre-positioned at Yarmouth and Hythe respectively whilst all other boats stayed firmly in their home ports. Blue Shadow then had a very lively passage to join the other two boats in Poole on the Sunday.
Surprisingly all 32 members and guests made our first dinner at the RNLI College private dining room overlooking Poole Harbour but no stunning sunsets this time. Despite the weather, many had also been able to witness some of the Bournemouth Air show at some stage over the weekend.
Monday dawned with slightly better sailing conditions and 10 boats converged on Hythe Marina where Martin Alexander worked his usual magic with a pontoon party which led into the now familiar pattern of a rotating dinner. The following morning the sun eventually put in an appearance in time for a leisurely sail down Southampton Water and across the Solent to Island Harbour. There we enjoyed two days of relaxation with a fine dinner at the Breeze Bistro followed the next evening by a pontoon party marked by particularly fine nibbles-thankyou Ladies and a closely fought Boules competition.
Thursday morning brought an early departure for most boats and a gentle sail via Osbourne Bay to the upper reaches of Portsmouth Harbour and Port Solent whilst Alchemilla departed back home to Hythe. The Boardwalk restaurant was our next dining venue that evening before boats peeled off to act independently.
On the Friday afternoon, Bouzy and Alouette weaved their way through the dinghy championships off Chichester before securing up on the visitors pontoon at Itchenor. That evening, they, and Kiano in the Thorney Channel anchorage were treated to a beautifully still evening and a stunning sunset.
Energetic walks on the Saturday were taken by some and then in the early evening Freya and Blue Rider joined the other two boats on the visitor’s pontoon. The Kiano and Enigma crews joined up with us all at the Itchenor Sailing Club for our final supper together on another lovely evening.
Chichester Bar was a lively place for our Sunday morning departure which marked the final bracing serial of the Five Islands cruise. O yes, what were the Five Islands? Take your pick from Brownsea, Isle of Wight, Portsea, Hayling, Pilsey and Britain of course! Altogether 44 members and guests participated in all or part crewing Alchemilla, Alouette, Blue Rider, Blue Shadow, Bouzy, Enigma, Flying Swan, Freya, Kiano, Lonk Avel, Moody Blue and our club boat Volunteer. Thanks are due to our Port Officers Martin Alexander, Bob Helsby, Peter Bryan and Andy Marshall who coped with every twist and turn of the cruise.