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 North East 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.
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".