Jun 4, 2019
We have had two visits to the Medina River in the past month. One on the May Bank holiday weekend and another for our first mid week rally of the season.
It has been a long time since we have had rallies to Island Harbour and much has changed there. Sadly the Ryde Queen has almost rotted away but the facilities provided by the marina now are excellent. There was free flow into the harbour about midday so most arrived over lunch time and several members took the opportunity to walk up to Newport. The footpath is much improved now. As the northerly wind was quite strong and cold, Pete and Anne Smith kindly let us all go on board their spacious Grand Banks for the drinks party. There must have been nearly 20 of us in their deck saloon enjoying glasses of wine and some amazing canapés, including a pineapple hedgehog, cheese mice with slices of radish for ears, sailing boats made with pretzels and crisps. Some of the party went to the restaurant for supper while others eat on board. The next day it was time to explore the Island some to Mottistone and others to Wootton. As luck would have it the wind went round to the southwest for our sail home on Bank Holiday Monday.
The first mid week rally of the season was to East Cowes Marina so that those who could stay for 3 days could visit Osborne House. The sail over was in bright sunshine with a southwesterly wind and most of us arrived in time for lunch. After a pontoon party in the evening the assembled group enjoyed a meal in The Lifeboat restaurant. The next day several of the us went up to Osborne House using our bus passes. There are a few advantages of being a certain age! The house is looking spick and span as this year there are celebrations for the 200th year of the birth of Queen Victoria. There is a lot to see with paintings and memorabilia everywhere. After a copy of tea and of course a piece of Victoria sponge cake we walked down to the Swiss Cottage which Prince Albert had built for their children and is fascinating. He was very keen to teach his children about gardening. We talked to one of the volunteers in the cottage and she turned out to be the mother of Seb Clover who sailed the Atlantic at the age of 15 in a Contessa 32 and set a new record of being the youngest crossing the pond. We celebrated Pat’s significant birthday in the evening with some bubbles with the remaining crews. The next day we had a great sail back to the Hamble.