The boats began to gather from mid afternoon on Friday after a very gloomy, drizzly wet morning and we were relieved to see that no one was put off by the weather and the full compliment of motorboats were in Lymington Yacht Haven as arranged. The welcome drinks were held in the Ancasta office that evening allowing for introductions and a short brief from our professional skipper Mr Jon Mendez. A healthy volume of Pimms was consumed and we left the office smelling decidedly sweeter than when we arrived! With a late sitting in the Mayflower Pub in town the Club were suitably well fed and watered by the end of our first evening on the Motorboat Club Rally 2015.
The fleet consisted of a Prestige 550 fly, a couple of Prestige 500’s, a Sunseeker Camargue 51, a SC35 and a 38 and 35 foot Prestige. All immaculately kept and an truly impressive sight when in formation. Saturday morning saw a brighter sky, coffees in the Haven with a brief from Jon on the days plans. Rich went swimming to apparently “clean a prop” and everyone was underway by 11am. Exiting by the South Channel, the fleet passed the iconic sights of Hurst Castle, Alun bay and the Needles before crossing Poole bay and onto Weymouth. Conditions were a photographers dream with glassy flat seas and bright spring sunlight right the way down the coast to Weymouth. After an hour or so of catching lines and getting everyone safely rafted on the quay, it was time for some chilled evening beers on the dock. Weymouth is a curious place combining traditional seaside architecture and charm with modern gut churning, scream generating fairground attractions! The bay itself is stunning and the area has clearly seen the benefit of being home to the 2012 Olympics. That night was curry night and didn’t disappoint.
Sunday morning was a chance to restock and after a briefing on the pontoon we were away again, this time tightly hugging the dramatic Jurassic Dorset coast line. With care, the depth allows you to stay within meters of the high cliffs and being a bank holiday weekend it meant there were climbers, walkers, bikers etc all doing the same as us and enjoying their hobbies. A quick fly by Durdle Door and around Lulworth Cove and it was time to press on to Poole. Poole Harbour is an ideal destination for sail and powerboats alike. There is so much going on and every type of water craft to avoid it makes for interesting boating. We stayed at Poole Quay Boat Haven which was ideal as it is right on the quay, walking distance from town, the many shops, restaurants and bars. On arrival we knew we were in the right place as you could not miss the smell of resin from the Sunseeker factory just up wind from us!
Our friends from Red Paddle pitched up that afternoon with some inflatable paddle boards for us to try. Although grey it seems rude not to give them a go in and around the marina as these 9 to12ft long boards roll up into a small bag weighing about 15kg and stow easily in a boat locker. A few challenges created entertainment for the passing public and only a small telling-off from the marina staff meant that before we knew it, it was time to get cleaned up for supper. We had booked Da Vinci’s on the Quay for our last night meal knowing it was a short walk, they served great food and had a good sized room that could house all 25 of us together. Needless to say everyone ate and drank well with the “permission to buzz the tower” award for the closest pass going to Nigel and Sam H on Midnight Dreams!
Monday we decided to make the most of the zoned areas of Poole Harbour with some “tender wake-boarding” and “jetski-surfing” - neither of which were done in the correct areas but the “Chips Style” harbour police were very polite! We bid farewell to the Pickins who were heading back to the SW and the rest of the fleet made their way back to the Solent.
It is surprising how much can be fitted into such a short period of time especially when the journey is half of the fun and it was great to see so many people really enjoying their boats. The aim of the Ancasta Club events is to help owners get out and really enjoy their boats with the peace of mind there are people on hand to catch lines, fix the occasional things that go wrong on boats or simply bounce questions off. The next MBC event will be an Autumn end of season BBQ and we aim to head to the channel Islands in May 2016.
To join the Ancasta MBC is free, simply send us your details here.
See you on the water.
The Ancasta team.