With lockdown restrictions easing slightly, our approaching Summer rally began to look like it might actually be viable.  We knew we’d have to make some modifications to our normal format, but the decision was taken that it was nothing we couldn’t manage.

With our venue being Island Harbour, the tides were even more important than usual.  It was a beautiful warm and sunny day, and with the wind behaving itself it was perfect for a morning sail across the Solent.  Six boats had small enough draught to be able to fit through the lock, with just one forced to stay outside the marina (but it will take more than that to deter dedicated NYC members).

The traditional tea and cakes on the pontoon didn’t really fit with social distancing (as pontoons aren’t known for having an abundance of space), but the marina had a convenient BBQ area where we could all meet up, continue to enjoy the sunshine, and be able to keep our distance.  It may have felt a bit different, but it was fantastic to be able to see everyone again, and the slightly adjusted format didn’t prevent everyone enjoying copious amounts of cake and the appropriate beverages (Pimms worked well, for many!).

We opted to eat in The Breeze restaurant at the marina in the evening, to simplify the logistics.  We had a very enjoyable evening, with good food, plenty of liquid refreshment and great company.  Our previous rally, being restricted to a ‘virtual’ format, had been successful given the limitations at the time, but it was a lovely step further towards normality to see each other in the flesh rather than on a screen.

The weather had changed by morning, and was considerably less summery in feel.  Grey skies and drizzling rain were the order of the day.  The tides meant we all had a morning departure, with light winds from the familiar ‘on the nose’ direction meaning the ‘metal sail’ was the favoured option for the return home.