Gins Farm Rally, 11th July 2015

Six boats arrived at Gins Farm on the Beaulieu River for the 2015 visit, but unfortunately for various reasons four boats originally booked were unable to make it. Brian Dunton, who had done all the hard work of organising the rally for us, could not come because Dawne was poorly. The weather was not entirely kind, as the forecast pleasant weather failed to materialise. Instead, there was a brisk F4 to F5 westerly while the sun appeared fleetingly from behind the clouds. The rain in evidence to the north fortunately kept away.

Athena was already berthed when we arrived just behind Eve on the falling tide, having found only 0.5m below the keel at the entrance. The old triangle top marks forming the leading lines have disappeared, and possibly we were not in the best water? John, the RSYC bosun was on hand to direct us to the berths, and helped take our lines. Later we were joined by Nordlys and Nemo on the pontoon, while Navigator chose to lie to a buoy.

Jem on Nemo volunteered to dismantle their cabin table for the pontoon party, providing a platform for drinks and nibbles. The party gave all 17 of us the opportunity to meet up with other crews. We then walked ashore to the Royal Southampton YC clubhouse for our meal.

June, with Bob, the chef, provided us with slick service of some good dishes, enjoyed by everyone. This time we were the only rally present, although there were some other diners.

The RSYC provides a good deal, with water and electricity available on their pontoon, and excellent 'facilities' on the ground floor of the club house. It is a great setting, with the creek to the old Gins Farm slipway winding its way amongst the mud flats, with oyster catchers and other seabirds disputing territory.

The next morning, it was raining, and blowing freshly from the south west. The pony in the field was backed up into the hedge and sheltering from the wind. Athena and Eve peeled off early, and Fuga was the last to leave, motoring over with Nordlys to East Cowes to enjoy D&R's hospitality.

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