Solent Branch

Easter in Bembridge – 14th – 17th April 2017

Coordinators: Sue and Ian Fellowes-Freeman

Many days of fervent prayers were answered with four days of fine weather, sunshine, fair temperatures and very variable winds.

Friday, around midday, saw the arrival of the first wave of boats; all crews giving friendly assistance to each other to ensure safe rafts to our allocated pontoon space. With no set arrangements for the evening, all boats made and enjoyed their own entertainment.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny, perfect weather for walking.  Shortly after ten o’clock 22 eager walkers assembled for the circular walk to Seagrove Bay, outward via the Coastal Path (with a non-scheduled tour of the very smart Nodes Point Caravan Site) and return along the seashore through woodland with a couple of steep flights of steps for additional exercise!

With the afternoon high tide we welcomed the remaining boats joining the rally and to enable a Sunday departure, deft boat handling and willing helping hands neatly reorganised a five boat raft.

As no rally would be complete without a ”pontoon party,” 6pm saw everyone gathered together,  many sporting top of the range designer “Easter Bonnets.”

From upside down seaside buckets (ready to collect Easter Eggs in) to wide-brimmed floral creations; from pale pink and day-glo yellow “bunny ears” to a precariously balanced “twig nest” and a delightful model topped with a nest complete with fuzzy chicks nestled within. 

At the appointed time all set off for a most enjoyable “Safari Supper,” moving to different boats for each part of a three course meal.


In the warm Sunday sunshine the minibus with its cheerful driver awaited the group to transport them for the visit to  Brading Roman Villa, one of the finest Roman sites in the UK.  Here can be seen beautifully preserved original 2000 year old mosaic floors, including the famous “Cockerel-headed Man.”

For the final evening of the rally, dinner had been booked for 22 guests at theblank Bembridge Sailing Club, across the water from Duver Marina.  Most of the crews elected to take the water taxi but, a small energetic group decided the walk would be most beneficial! The clubhouse dates back to 1860 and from its first floor bar and elegant veranda, sipping pre dinner drinks, we were able to watch a very delightful, tranquil sunset over Bembridge Harbour. The meal was served in the ground floor, old pillared library, with the sailing club staff making sure our dinner made a perfect ending to an enjoyable Easter Weekend Rally.