Donning their best pirate outfits, they later joined over 200 other Gosport and Port Solent Berth Holders for an evening of eating, drinking and dancing back at the marina which raised almost �1,200 for charity.

Boats on the cruise set off around late morning and although a couple of boats turned back due to a lack of wind, by noon the vast majority had successfully made it over to the island for the rally. With sunny skies and scorching temperatures, a few people decided to brave the cold waters to take a cooling dip in the bay.

By 5.30pm, everyone on the cruise had been welcomed back to the marina, giving them time to have their lifejackets checked by the RNLI, purchase raffle tickets and soak up the late afternoon sun before the evening�s entertainment started.

From 7pm a hog roast was laid on by the Boat House Caf�, with tickets sold in advance to raise money for Premier�s chosen charity The Rainbow Centre. Such was the demand that tickets sold out well in advance of the event.

The band made sure that those who queued patiently for their food were kept entertained throughout the evening.

Berth Holders really got into the spirit of the pirate theme and choosing a best-dressed boat and crew proved a difficult task. Eventually the top prize of a Solent Approaches chart folio was awarded to boat Pascha, in part due to its cannon with real smoke effect, but there were so many other excellent choices.

The combined takings from sales of the hog roast tickets and raffle tickets succeeded in raising a total of �1,170 for The Rainbow Centre.

Fergus Anderson, the RYA Yachtmaster who led the cruise said "It was fantastic to have so many boats involved in the cruise. The Active Marina Programme is about giving boat owners the confidence and skills to get out on the water, so it was especially pleasing to have people new to boating world cruising with others under the guidance of the RYA.�

Portsmouth Harbour General Manager Graham Bristowe said "It was wonderful to see Berth Holders having such a good time and getting so involved in the fancy dress element. I would like to thank the marina staff for their hard work in delivering such a successful event.I was delighted to see so many Port Solent Berth Holders taking advantage of their freedom of Portsmouth Harbour to come down for the event".

More information about RYA Active Marinas.