20 July 2019

On Saturday 20 July 14 members of ESC gathered in their six boats alongside the pontoon of the Royal Southampton Yacht Club clubhouse at Gins on the Beaulieu River. Each had sailed from different locations at various times. Three boats decided to do the trip to Beaulieu on Friday when the weather was grey, overcast, rain and force 4-5 WSW. For whatever reason, possibly with the hope of more pleasant weather, the others decided to do the passage on Saturday. That proved not a good choice. After a promising start in the morning and despite an encouraging forecast, the wind increased to force 7 – 28-34 knots – SW. This, against the east-going spring tide, produced a typical but nasty and very wet 'Solent chop'. The final leg was best done motoring direct into it.

All arrived by about 5 o’clock, in time to settle in time for the usual pontoon party at 6.30. Not this time, though – the continuing strong wind would have blown away any nibbles and probably half a glass of drink! The most pleasant alternative was to adjourn to seats and tables in front of the clubhouse – possibly the first pontoon party to be held on grass.

Supper then followed at 7.30, with our pre-ordered choices most efficiently and pleasantly served by the club staff managed by Lauren McCann. A most convivial evening was had by all.

As ever with sailing, Sunday produced totally different conditions. A force 3-4 WSW over the east going flood and a cloudy blue sky gave those returning toward Emsworth good sailing all the way.

Those who took part were

Alini, Brian and Ali
Ice Maiden, Gordon,Ann, Tom and Ollie
Emstar, Gerry and Pat
Head over Heels, Greg and Annie
Shardik, Geoff and Sue
Moonbeam, Jean and Peter

It was Roma (our Cruiser Captain)'s idea to ask Peter Tier on Moonbeam to be lead boat.

Peter Tier


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