A Cruise in Company with a couple of other boats always seems to be a great idea, until you start to do the difficult part of organising the when, where, which marinas, for how long, then you just need a route, some waypoints and a bit of tide, easy really all that’s left is to sort out the weather!
There is another way, Mendez Marine have been running cruises in company for the last 5 years and the destinations have been as far afield as the Channel Islands, and the West Country, with Dartmouth being the furthest West we have managed to date. Cruise numbers have been as high as 17 boats with generally 12 being the best compromise.
So why do we do it, well the idea started from some of our customers who were new or returning to motor boating wanting to explore a bit further. The issue was they had no one to go with and were still a little unsure about venturing further afield alone. Without doubt the Solent and Poole areas offer some stunning boating, but the chance to spread your wings a bit with someone around to organise it and assist if it does not go quite to plan is great. But equally, it’s a very social occasion and we now see cruisers coming back year on year to take part for the boating, the cruise dinner, quiz and general fun. Its also been very rewarding to see some of the stunning scenery that the South Coast has to offer, the friendships that have developed some who now go off and do their own thing and we even now have a ladies section who do a mixture of socialising and ladies boating.
For me some of the best experiences afloat have been cruising slowly, close in along the Jurassic coast in glorious sunshine or sat gently bobbing just beside Berry Head by the cliff in brilliant sunshine, just watching the sea gently wash in and out of the openings. Ashore – that will be the dancing competition (only those who were in it knew it was a competition by rather wobbly boys in Poole).
So how does it work, well just after the New Year, we set out the proposed dates and send out the initial information, we do the organising of which destinations, make provisional bookings and depending upon the amount of interest we turn that into a full cruise. Your part? Well basically express your interest or book, then come along and enjoy, we do charge for the cruise as they take an awful lots of organising and we take two boats to support the event, a lead motor boat of around 40 foot which provides the control centre and accommodation for the four staff who are there to ensure it follows the plan and our 7.0m rib as safety and support boat.
One of the things that amazes me each time we do this is the amount of ‘stuff’ that we need to cover all the eventualities. To that end we have produced a list of the sort of items one needs to carry aboard as soon you venture that little bit further from land. For a detailed list of these items click here.