I'll finish loading the boat tomorrow (Thursday) then go back to the boat by train (Oh Joy! 😔) and the club launch on Friday.
There is likely to be a busy couple of hours on Saturday getting to the Folly Inn upriver from Cowes for the RAFYC event on Saturday night. I had anticipated going over in a leisurely way during the afternoon to give boats time to disperse from Cowes week that ends on Friday and to arrive just before high water.
Then a local notice to mariners was published announcing that 200 boats would be taking part in a "motor past" as part of the jubilee celebrations leaving Osbourne Bay at 13:30 and heading for a reviewing ship (presumably with some Royals aboard) just off Cowes. So the Medina and Cowes is likely to be busy in late morning and starting at 13:30 there will be a stream of boats going across the entrances to Cowes, I would be "stand on vessel" for the actual parade but would not be popular barging through!
Also there will be twenty 70 ft boats racing in the area from 10:00 and a hundred dayboats starting a passage race from west Cowes at 13:40, with the forecast winds they may well be heading East or Northeast on the first leg, hopefully they will be given a downwind, into the tide start to deconflict them with the parade, but I would not bank on it. Numerous other events are also taking place.
So my plan has changed, I will slip as soon as the flood has started on the Hamble which should be about 11:15 and hopefully with some help from the engine, I will get past the reviewing vessel between 13:00 and 13:30 before the boats leave Osbourne Bay and by which time most of those those taking part will be east of their start point. By using the east channel I should also be able to avoid the dayboats starting off west Cowes who by then should be close to their start line.
I just hope that the pontoon at the Folly will have space when I get there (we have spaces book but I don't know when from), fortunately as it will be a neap tide there should be enough water to manoeuvre on to it and hopefully not too much current which can be an issue single handed if I have to approach down tide.
The trip proper will then start early on Sunday taking the ebb down the Solent heading for Portland harbour which might be a bit of a stretch with lightish winds forecast, but the Lulworth range will be closed so it should be doable under sail although I might have to wait for the second ebb tide that starts off St Alban's Head at about 18:00. Then it will be the inshore route round the Bill on Monday leaving the at 05:00 and a day or two to get past "The Start".