Bembridge Rally Report
Having signed off as Rally Officer, so I thought, RCS then collared me to write up a note about the rally. So, here goes!
Welcome to Bembridge! Well, we now know who Gordon is. For those not there, you’ll just have to ask.
Barbara and I motored over to Bembridge on Friday. We were berthed where the pontoon had already been precisely marked up for the arrival of our rally the following day. Should this have been a foreboding?
The following morning was overcast and not very inviting. Nevertheless, as the tide rose the trickle of boats began. Then a deluge, which quickly turned to organised chaos. Those pontoon markings had to be obeyed! And woe betide you, if you were over or, worse still, attempted to join the wrong rafting! In fairness to the dockside team, a narrow channel and a blustery wind blowing boats onto the pontoon was trying for all. All credit to those boats who effortlessly ferry glided into slots not much bigger than their LOA.
By early afternoon, all 20 boats were secured and the sun was shining on the righteous and the less blameless. Kettles sung, corks pulled, caps removed, ring tabs pulled, followed by banter and jokes as crews mingled.
The traditional pontoon party was in a shoreside marquee overlooking the harbour. This was followed by dinner later that evening at the Brading Haven Yacht Club. The water taxi was laid on to take us there and back later.
Chatter that evening was wide and varied, but many were looking at their favourite weather app and debating whether to stay or go on Sunday. By Sunday morning, Monday’s forecast looked no better, so most chose to leave, in spite of the strong south easterly meaning a lumpy on-shore swell beckoned our exit through the twisting channel.
Testing, but an uneventful departure, as our rally streamed out and set headsails for home, with a little help from their engines – some more than most, who shall remain nameless! Back in the Club, an increasing large group of revellers re-counted their weekend highlights. All were still smiling!
David Jobson, Rally Officer