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Hi Dave and Jim

Thanks for your kind replies. Bembridge is now definitely one of my top tips for the solent – I’m surprised it doesn’t get mentioned more. I’ve heard that in previous years the pontoon wasn’t connected to the shore, so you had to get the water taxi – which put some people off going there. Also I suppose the shallow entrance puts off some yachts.

We didn’t have a problem with the gunwhal catching under the pontoon but we had some pretty large fenders which kept us a fair distance off. The pontoon walking surface was a fair height above us but the spans are made from steel joists and perhaps you got caught under the joist edge – see photo below. I moored us with our fenders against the pontoon floats (the grey concrete blocks under the joists) They go all they way into the water so that stopped us slipping underneath.

We didn’t go to the yacht club – although it was recommened by the marina staff – we went to the crab and lobster inn – it’s a bit of a walk along the coast past the lifeboat station – there’s a website I think.

The wind was really light on monday morning – we left at 06:30am to catch the tide going west and we had an hour or so of light winds and then they just faded away, so we motored most of the rest of the way (suzuki 2hp, 2 stroke, 20 years old, inhereted from father) – We arrived around 10:45am – almost low tide but just enough water to get the boat out of the water. The solent on a monday morning at that time of the day is fantastic – we had the whole place to ourselves (apart from a couple of ferries).

We are already thinking of next years trip – I’m thinking about Newtown Creek – recommended by Bob Harland.

Maybe we should have a sail-in and meet in the creek?