Island Harbour

Another fine, sunny, but brisk morning in Beaulieu. After ablutions, in the refitted and prestigious shower block we returned to Seraphim for a light breakfast and preparation for our next adventure.

Today we decided to take our chances and head up the Beaulieu river and to the village of Beaulieu itself. The river dries to almost 3.0 metres. This means that only boats with a shallow draft can venture this far and this only on a high tide, which toady was 3.4 m at 1420.

We progressed gingerly upstream, passing yachts on their mooring buoys and amazing scenery and houses along the banks of the river. I had previously only ventured this far out on a small tender, with Alex some year back. This time it was a different kettle of fish, with a yacht of 12 metres in length. It was an eerie feeling and I backed out a few bends short short of our destination. The feeling of the river narrowing and the depth going down, was simply too much. And so we turned tail and set our course downstream and towards another shallow destination, Island Harbour, on the Isle of Wight.

Making our way upstream

The crossing was uneventful and we were soon at the entrance to the marina which is locked in. We radioed the marina and we’re told that we could enter and transit on a free flow. This means that both lock gates are open, as the tidal height of the river matches that of the marina pool inside the harbour. The entrance to the marina has a drying height of 1.7 meters, so not accessible to all yachts and all states of tide. Once moored up and refreshed we paid our dues to the marina office and set about exploring.

Familiar Solent traffic
Chart, showing shallow entrance to the marina
Ed and I, looking up and talking to the lock keeper as we enter Island Harbour
Through the lock and into the marina basin
Mooring up

Exploring meant visiting the Breeze, the only restaurant in the harbour. We were lucky enough to get a table and although sitting outside and under a heated lamp, it was a pleasant experience. Being able to eat out at all in these COVID times is a luxury that we haven’t had for almost 4 months. And so, the end of another interesting day, full of new experiences and delights.

Island Harbour
Cold, but grateful. Me having a burger and pint at the Breeze restaurant

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *