Took the Friday off work and had a fantastic sail round to Bembridge, Isle of Wight (IOW) for the Bank Holiday weekend.
Bembridge is one of those places that has a bad reputation for being difficult to get in, so isn’t as heavily frequented like the other ports in the Solent on the Bank holidays, however this is our third visit and its reasonably straight forward, admittedly you have to watch the tide over the sand bar that sits across the entrance, but Bembridge Harbour Website now has a live and very accurate widget that shows you the actual height of tide over the bar in real time, which makes getting it right a doddle.
Once in you’re sitting in a beautiful little natural harbour that has too towns either side of it St Helens on the one side and Bembridge on the over, Culver Marina (one long pontoon) is on the St Helens side, but Bembridge is a simple £2 water taxi provided by the Harbour.
We ate in St Helens Friday night at Dans Kitchen, after a recommendation from the harbour master, we are always amazed at the quality of these “out of the way” restaurants, over in Bembridge is Locks Lane another absolute stunner, we could go as far to say ,probably the two best restaurants on the IOW
On Saturday we hired a car for £20, amazing price for a little Ford, we drove all the way around the island, including the lighthouse at St Catherines Point, which we have sailed past a few times but never seen from the land.
We returned back to Bembridge and had Sunday lunch at Brading Haven Yacht Club not your usual stuffy Yacht club, but one of the friendliest YC around, the lunch was a wonderful buffet with more than enough to eat, cheap beer too!
We sailed back to Swanwick via Osbourne bay which we had intended to anchor in, but had a windlass malfunction, (I’ve have an idea i may have not reconnected the neutral when i did the bowthruster work), doh!