ISLAND HARBOUR RALLY – 20th – 21st June 2015

With a forecast promising westerly winds and showers, some thundery, for Saturday, some of the fleet set off on Friday for East Cowes to take advantage of Dean and Reddyhoff's largesse, with a free night at the marina.

In total we had 11 boats turn up 9 at Island Harbour 1 at The Folly and 1 at East Cowes due to various times people wanted to leave on Sunday as the free flow was not until 1.45pm.

The majority who sailed over on Saturday were fortunate enough to enjoy a reasonably fresh wind, and for most of the time the rain held off, with brightening skies between the showers. The wind increased so that on Fuga we put in a reef off Wootton Creek.

With showers coming and going, the pontoon party gravitated to Fuga's cockpit with some shelter from our sun cover. Andy had managed to contact the Folly water taxi, who agreed to pick us all up from the Island Harbour waiting pontoon using two boats. The timing was impeccable, as the taxi was only just able to get away from the mud berth with its full load on the falling tide.

After discussion, the Folly put us in the main restaurant. The food came out very quickly, once ordered with their slick operation, and it was good too, and reasonably priced. Once the table was cleared, the live singer wound up his keyboard amplifiers, and talking became more difficult. We danced to his mixture of mainly 80's music – we only recognised the 60's.

It was nice to see a few new faces and hopefully the dancing on the tables will not stop them coming to future Haslar events.

By 2300, the tide had come up again, and we were able to get back to our boats in Island Harbour.

There is a large new apartment block under construction at Island Harbour, and a nice new facilities block has very recently opened. On Sunday morning the lock master was reducing levels inside the harbour, so that he was able to open the lock gates earlier for an extended free flow time, enabling the visitors to make an earlier escape.

We walked up to Newport, along a well made path that ran beside the river, past the IOW festival site. Newport seems to be thriving, with some interesting shops and art exhibitions. We slaked our thirst at the Bargeman's Rest before returning to the boat, and a run back to Gosport under jib with a F5/6 behind us.

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