Report on a passage to Southsea Marina (2019)

The BBQ Weekend is one of the highlights of the BTOSC Sailing Programme. In Sep, for the first time, we chartered both Sea Essay and Freyja from Channel Sailing Division and East Coast Division of the CSSA as well Viola from Hamble Point Yacht Charters.

Freyja was chartered for 3 days from 1200 Thursday 13 Sep until 1800 on the Sunday. We took her over at Hornet Services Sailing Club. The outline itinerary for the event was:

Thurs PM: Hornet to Southsea Marina (Langstone Harbour)

Fri: Passage to Newtown River, Cowes or Beaulieu

Sat: Passage to Lymington for Annual BTOSC BBQ

Sun: Return passage to Hornet

This report covers Thurs 12 Sep – our passage to Southsea Marina.

Before embarking on the 8NM passage to Southsea Marina in Langstone Harbour we took the opportunity to do some boat handling practice north of Burrow Island in Portsmouth Harbour itself.

Unlike most of the other marinas in the Solent, Southsea Marina has cill and a nearby waiting pontoon. We had booked a berth ahead of time so our arrival was expected. The approach channel (as shown below) is barely above chart datum. LW was 1.3m at 1700hrs. Sunset at 1924 hrs. We entered the unlit approach channel at 1830hrs with a height of tide of ~ 1.9m. Our draft was between 1.6m and 1.75m and we saw a minimum depth of 0.6m. By 1900hrs we were secure alongside the walk ashore waiting pontoon and the author could breath a sigh of relief. Wind was WSW 21-25 Kts. By calling ahead we knew that the cill gate, would only open when the depth over the cill had risen to 1.6m which was expected to be at about 20:41hrs so we took the opportunity to cook some pizza on-board and book into the marina.

The unlit approach channel to Southsea marina

After we had eaten, at ~2100hrs, with wind >20kts we set up a bow spring to get off the pontoon and reversed back towards the approach channel to give time for crew to re-set lines and fenders for passing through the narrow gate and mooring on Stbd on Aisle C in the marina. It was during this maneuver that the stern light was unfortunately caught by a line and was lost overboard. The next part, entering the marina itself, was made more difficult by the presence of a huge catamaran on the Stbd /windward side and a low concrete wall on the port side just outside the gate. Fenders were all set high for this.

Once in the gate, depths were fine and mooring was straightforward. Despite the late hour, several live-aboard residents quickly appeared to lend a hand.

We were surprise to find an Indian restaurant upstairs within the marina. There is also bar that serves other food including a highly recommended breakfast.

The shower and toilet facilities were excellent and on a par with the best we have seen elsewhere. There is a small chandlers within the marina and a shop ~10 minute walk down the road.

For future reference we also noted that there is a BBQ area at the SW corner of the marina.

Overnight berthing cost £36 for 38″ (11.4m)