20th April 2021 – Universal to Bembridge

Today is another sailing day, this time with Jacques, a friend from my Ealing days, who I met again in 2009 by sheer coincidence. I re met him, hen I was returning to my then home berth at Town Quay marina , Southampton ,and had a noticed a motor boat next to me. This time someone was one board. At a closer glance, they looked familiar. After mooring we had a chat and discovered that we knew each other from the 1980’s. Some coincidence.

Anyway, back to sailing. Our plan is to sail to Bembridge, my favourite place within the Solent area. We slipped lines at 0855 and motored downstream, through familiar sights along the Hamble and into Southampton Water and the eastwards towards Bembridge.

Within the hour we raised sails and turned off the iron maiden. The silence of our surroundings was, as usual wonderful. We sailed towards Horse Sand Fort and as we approached put a tack in. The tack got us through the channel and we soon passed No Mans Fort. A couple of more tacks and we were in sight of St Helen’s Fort and the approaches to Bembridge.

No Mans Fort
Bembridge beckons

We dropped sails and engined our way towards the small buoys marking the Bembridge approaches. We were on low water neaps , and this was the first time I had entered this channel on low water, only made possible by my beautiful lifting keel beauty, Seraphim. The depth went down to 1.5 metres, but with the keel lifted and only drawing 0.7 metres, it was not a problem.

By 1330, we were moored up and having a beer on deck. Later that afternoon I showed Jacques a little of Bembridge, taking a walk to the other side of the harbour. We walked to the beach, where we were going to dry out. We didn’t attempt this, as we were on neaps and didn’t want to risk being neaped.

Seraphim at her berth at Bembridge

Our walk back took us past Bembridge Sailing Club and Brading Haven Yacht Club, both of which we visited for a pint or two. Then back to Seraphim, where I prepared a homemade Tuna and rocket spaghetti.

Next time I will beach Seraph8m here
Bembridge Sailing Club
View from Bembridge Sailing Club
Jacque, with wine and Tuna spaghetti

Lovely day, great company and in one of my favourite places.

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