For various reasons I missed the Easter and MayDay Bank Holiday rallies and was therefore delighted to see that the Commodore had 'arranged' an informal rally to Yarmouth last weekend.
I cajoled some of my regular sailing companions (in the form of John Strode and Patrick MacCulloch) to join me on Isis. John brought along his old friend Phil (a Master Mariner no less) and our compliment was completed by one of our newly qualified Day Skipper's - Rosemary Devos.
We assembled on Isis at Lymington on Friday and trotted off to the Ship Inn where we had a very enjoyable dinner. Given that the distance from Lymington to Yarmouth is not that challenging we elected for an early start (09.00) and took advantage of the Tides to take Isis down to Beaulieu to journey up the Beaulieu River. Phil keeps his own boat there so not only did we have the advantage of a Pilot on board but one who was a Master Mariner. I had been to Ginn's by road (and to Exbury which is now run by Charlotte de Rothschild who I know) but never on the River itself. The spirit of LSC was around us since a number of members keep their boats there - Barrie's immaculate 'Day at the Races' and Keith's 'Silver Tide' were there but we decided that Hunter's 'Lazy Life' had obviously already left for Yarmouth. Then 'Lazy Life' appeared (having hidden while being refuelled) en route. A cheery greeting was exchanged notwithstanding the possibility (!) that we may have got the venue wrong.
The river is very beautiful and must have been an amazing hive of activity during the days it was constructing our fleet and chopping down vast stretches of the New Forest to provide the timber.
We turned about just beyond the Boatyard and started for Yarmouth ourselves. It was Isis's first outing and, anxious to remember how to do things, I was very pleased to find we had good winds which enabled us to sail and tack all the way to Yarmouth. Having called up the Harbour to ask if we could take up our berth Hunter came on the radio to say Yamouth was full and as he had not booked he would try Lymington and join us for dinner etc via the Ferry. I suggested he take my berth! The new walk ashore pontoons at Yarmouth are a joy and the Harbourmaster and team are very efficient - even better there was an uexpected bonus in the form of the Commodore standing at our allotted berth to take our lines. We had a very pleasant afternoon in Yarmouth itself followed by drinks on Ariel and then dinner at the Wheatsheaf. Yarmouth Harbour was packed with JOG boats and others but LSC made its presence felt by flying very distinctive battle flags. There were also two other LSC boats taking part in races. Sunday saw us all return to our home ports again in better weather than forecast - and guess who we passed coming out of Lymington as we went in - Lazy Life!!!
Our rally may have been informal but it was very well attended (18 of us for dinner) and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Let's have more.