Once again the weather was in our favour for the May bank holiday rally to Weymouth. Several crews arrived in Yarmouth ready for an early start on Saturday morning to head out past the Needles, picking up two crews from Lymington at 7.15am.
Once assembled and radio checked, we made our way in good time and in slightly choppy conditions across Christchurch Bay and out via an offshore waypoint past St Albans. As we had made such great time (and met up with Mark and Debby – Synergy off Old Harry rocks) we decided to head inshore and have a closer look at Lulworth and Durdle Door, always a stunning sight and we got a few great pics too!
Then we made a nice leisurely cruise, timing it perfectly for the 10 am bridge lift at Weymouth. The team at Weymouth Marina had kindly let us have berths from 10 am, which was great as it meant a full day there instead of only half! Once in and berthed up everyone had a few hours to themselves, and some of the party met up at Nothe Tavern Inn for a drink at 4 pm. Back on board, and showered, all 17 persons (friends and members) proved it is possible to get 17 people on one 38ft boat (Namaste) without it sinking! A pre-dinner drink on Namaste and we headed off to the Gurkha Restaurant for a buffet style Indian/ Asian/ Chinese food.
Sunday saw the crews take off to do their own thing, some on a bike rides, some for a walk along the bay, and some just relaxed and took in the sunshine. By late afternoon the entertainment of live bands in Hope Square, and the street market had drawn a few crews in for drinks and chats. All very sociable!
The plan for the evening was to eat/ cook on board and then to meet at 9 pm and walk down to the beach complete with picnic rugs, plastic glasses, prosecco and beers and sit and watch the fireworks that Weymouth Council had very kindly put on for us (not really, but it couldn’t have been planned better!!!) and so chilly though it was, a very enjoyable evening was had by all.
Monday was quite breezy and a little concerning as we had originally planned to head back via the inshore route past St Albans, however the number of boats and the large amount of lobster pots encountered on the way in meant the plan was updated for the offshore route, and once briefings of all the crews were done, we all headed out of the marina on the 12 o’clock bridge and started the very choppy journey home. All the boats were really capable and dealt with the chop really well, always a worry when there are that many in close proximity and the swell was side on until we reached the first waypoint and then it was mostly to stern, and more manageable. The journey around Hurst Castle was in fact probably the most choppy part, and once back in the Solent each crew made their way off to their respective ports (some home berths and some for few days hols!)
Thanks to all the crews for a great trip, and well done to everyone for making it a safe one too. Here’s to next year…..