It was great to have such a well-attended and convivilat end to the term's training. The Training Dinner saw friends and families of the successfull students receive their certificates and prizes from Richard Falk of the RYA.
Jonathn Le Feuvre has become our newest HPO for Lake Geneva, he is a member of the oldest sailing club in Switzerland -Societe Nautique Rollaise (1880). The club races every Wednesday during summer and should anyone be holidaying in Switzerland and passing Lake Geneva, please make contact and share a glass of their local wines.
I have just appointed Gaslen Brislane, mob 595 0033 email: GalenBrislane@GMail.Com as our HPO BERMUDA.
Should you be winging your way over to this beautiful island for a holiday, sailing the Atlantic or Caribbean, please call Gaslen as he is looking forward to welcoming members to the island.
I have today appointed two new HPOs:
SINGAPORE & S.E. REGION - Daniel Whittington, LSC member
Daniel has had 7 years of refitting one yacht and is about to embark on another. He can provide loads of advice on berthing in the region and achorages around the Riau Archipelagho and Tioman group.
So if you are visiting or holidaying in Singapore, do get in touch.
CALEDONIAN CANAL - Michael Salters, LSC member
PLEASE NOTE - Entrance to RIVER DEBEN, SUFFOLK changing - Jan 2017
Pick up OFFING BUOY and then BAR BUOY (shingle banks are often on the move). There has been a fairly dramatic move of the N. shoal which has moved towards the Felixstowe shore. Channel takes craft fairly close up towards steep-to shore line which needs careful pilotage coming IN/OUT but with good depth. Can alter with frequent storms.
This year ALL information regarding the Honorary Port Officers - Journal page, in-house database and mailing list, online interactive map and the maps up in the Club house - everything is up to date.for Club members online.
With Judy's magnificent assistance we have finally managed to complete all relevant information and start this year with a clean slate, until I hear from someone.
Stuart Aikman, our HPO Fethiye, Turkey will be opening his own hotel in the coming year - 2017.
Any LSC members wishing to visit Fethiye for a holiday or passing through to see all the wonderful sights nearby, please contact him on
www.cennetlifeotel.com or via his mobile No: +90 535 599 8538 mentioning that you are Little Ship Club members.
LORD MAYORS SHOW. SATURDAY 12TH NOVEMBER 2016
A new LSC member has contacted me who lives permenantly in Mallorca, Spain and as someone who used to run the Fairline Boats dealership, also in Mallorca as well as owning many motorboats for 25 years, any LSC members visiting the Balaeric Islands in need of information or assistance regarding motorboats, please contact him: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith has not been in good health and has decided to resign as HPO Cape Town. Keith was appointed in 2003 and is therefore one of our longest serving HPOs, so sorry to lose him but if you wish to contact him his email is different to the journal - email@example.com.
Above: Leaving Korcula
It wasn’t possible to be part of the Croatia Rally unfortunately because of the need to be in Cambridge where my wife, Carol has been selected to exhibit at The Cambridge Printmakers while it is on. The next best thing was to have a charter holiday the week before. Although the Bora tried to spoil it, it ended in fine style as The Commodore was arriving under spinnaker in the Spirit of Osprey in Trogir. He was being joined by others in the flotilla as we were packing up in the neighbouring Marina.
I forgot to say that the "Maresca" traditional sword fight dance we were due to see on Monday evening was mysteriously cancelled - as Michael Unsworth said, this is Dalmatia! But the pontoon party produced more than enough bonhomie to see us through our mild disappointment!
Well, what a wonderful two days we have had. The passage from Hvar to Korcula was made without the assistance of wind - except for half an hour as we approached the Korcuka Channel. We got the spinnaker up again, only to find the wind dropping. We actually made 3 knots with the same amount of wind, but it soon dropped away. We had to get to Kircula in time to arrange the pontoon party so it was engine back in and down to Korcula at 5.8 knots.
Yesterday was a busy day for all the Little Shippers taking part in the Historic Croatia Rally. A few had arrived on Friday - including Paul Banks and Moira (who very ably assisted me with the Rally preparations) who came onboard for drinks and a quick update.
I last reported our stay in the Marina at Marina - the small town at the western, opposite, end of the sound of Trogir from that wonderful medieval UNESCO Heritage city. So on Thursday, with the weather much improved - save for the absence of any wind at all! - we motored the ten-odd nautical miles in two hours and tied up, after fuelling, in one of the Dalmatia Charter berths in ACI Trogir Marina and met up again with Ivica Buble the owner, now an old acquaintance. The outboard was collected for repair as promised.
Today - hard to remember it's only Wednesday - we awoke to the Bura's continuing fiendish howls. But the forecast suggested it would finally blow itself out by midday. And indeed it did - so at 1300 we set off for Marina (see the explanation with the photographs!). The wind was westerly now, yet again bang on the nose, but as we rounded the point hoping to run down to Marina under sail, the wind died - from 30 knots to zero in two hours!
We arrived in Vinisce yesterday afternoon wet and tired. Today has been a welcome and delightful interlude. All the more so because the "Bura" did finally arrive. Normally it brings clear sunny skies, as it did today. If it brings rain then you absolutely must run for cover. But even in its mildest form it is no joke, largely because it is so squally with gusts over 30 knots from a literally clear blue sky.
It was such a delight to get back onboard the old "Dream of Osprey" on Saturday evening. She lives in Sukosan near Zadar, so I bought a bus ticket to get me from Trogir back to Sukosan at 11 o'clock. Half an hour later - no bus! I asked the lady at the ticket desk. " you wait. I don't know if it's late". When it came, half an hour later, it was a lovely bus and got me there by 3 o'clock! David my co-owner handed our boat over in pristine shape and Angus and Mark, my crew, arrived promptly at 1030pm, off the Ryanair flight.
Well, I'm finally on the bus to Sukosan at Trogir bus station after an hour's wait in the hot sun: bits of the Croat bureaucracy never change!
So it's now a three hour trip on country roads, after a successful two days making sure the Historic Croatia Rally preparations are all in place. Over coffee with Ivica Bubke of Dalmatia Charters, we checked the charter arrangements. He is going to fix up berths for Steve Midgley on 9/10 September. And Anamaria at the Calebotta confirmed our menus (thank you to all, for providing your choices!).
The Anniversary Channel Island Cruise with our Corinthian friends turned out to be a magnificent occasion for meeting the Clubs Honorary Port Officers.
A grand total of 8 HPOs joined the cruise and the festivities:
Magali Hamoun - Cherbourg; David Clements - Dart River; John Davison - West Mersea & Blackwater;
David Mitchison - St Peter Port, Guernsey; Brian Alderson - Jersey; Larry Blount - Annapolis, USA;
On the first Friday we tucked into a delicious buffet at the l'Equipage restaurant above the Capitainerie in Cherbourg, with several platters of oysters, little fishy morsels, chunks of pate, local cheeses, and waddled off into the night wishing we'd brought doggy bags.
The St Helier Yacht club did us proud for our final dinner. When the first plate of five profiteroles arrived, we thought it was for sharing - but no!
Ronhilda is now over 29 years old with its original engine (Ford XLD 1.6 the type fitted in UK Post Office Ford Escort Vans of long ago) now logging just under 6,000 hours. This year 15 years after I had renewed the original injector nozzles I decided to renew the injector nozzles again. This sounds a long time between renewals but if one considers a van average speed of 30 mph during its lifetime this equates to just 90,000 miles between my renewals, so really I am guilty of over maintaining the engine.
Don Andrew and Mary Kay Noren have been journeying since May 29 to join the adventure of the Little Ship Club Cruise. We began by leaving our home in South Carolina to drive the 600 miles to Maryland, where our boat Beckoning is docked. We prepped her for the sailing season, and inaugurated the season by joining the Chesapeake Corinthian Cruise. It was lovely to sail again in good company. Barely caught our breath and caught up on laundry before the flight to England.
The Corinthian cruise organisers celebrated the upcoming 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen with a committee meeting. What better way to banish dull care and get everybody into a celebratory mood. On the agenda: arranging for a vintner to make deliveries to the boats in Cherbourg, deciding the menu for one of the dinners (smoked salmon and prawns, roast duck and profiteroles, since you ask), and the Guernsey bus service. We then spent another hour telling a crowd of people (including a lot of people for whom it will be their first Corinthian cruise) about the delights in store (ful
regret to inform you that Trinidadian yachtsman Harold LaBorde died on the night of 11th June in what appears to have been an accident at night on his moored yacht at the Grenada Yacht Club.
His body was recovered on 12th June. It appears that while resident alone on his yacht ‘Humming Bird III’ he slipped on a boarding plank, hit his head, and fell into the sea. I have no confirmation of these details.
On June 4th the Little Ship Club took a trip on Mirosa, an historic Thames stack barge. For a full write up, please click HERE
For an in-depth account of this year's rally to Calais, please click HERE
Training’ Rally 14-15 May 2016
West Mersea Rally 29th April-2nd May 2016
West Mersea, The Company Shed, West Mersea Yacht Club, John Davison and the finest sunset in Britain. It has them all.
Four boats juggled the tides, shifting sands and weather to converge on this timeless island, the most easterly in Britain which is inhabited, on the edge of the Blackwater.
Tracie Lanaghan, the Berthing Master at Chatham Maritime Marina, has taken over the position of Honorary Port Officer for the Club as from April 2016. Tracie will be the first person you meet on entering the lock, so please make yourselves known.
Chatham Maritime Marina is an MDL Marina and set in the marvellous location of the Historic Dockyard where there are many events and exhibitions held during the year. Contact the Marina: 01634 899200..
Sorry for my lack of response over the last few of years. Have just recently received the Little Ships winter addition.
Have just been super busy for several months selling a business and our large yacht. However, all done and dusted now and have a lot more time to do things for myself.
Knowing I was in Ukraine till Thursday I had left the yacht in Gosport to allow for last minute delays and not to have a too stressful Friday. Good thing I did, the Polish airline LOT was dreadful and we did not get back to Chichester until 2am on Friday.
Anyway Friday evening saw the regular Ronhilda gang enjoy the standard evening meal of Fish and Chips, I must confess I caught up on sleep 8pm to 8 am so missed the usual banter in the saloon after the meal.
Saturday morning brought a forecast of F5/6 East going NW and gusts in the 30s.
Arthur Podesta had been our HPO for over 14 years and much delayed, we heard the sad news that he had died in October. The club has sent our condolences to his family.
Rear Commodore and long standing member of the Royal Malta Yacht Club he was associated with the inauguration of the Rolex Middle Sea Regatta and he was the only sailor to regularly compete in the past years.
He had met many LSC sailors and members over the years when they arrived in Malta and will be sadly missed.
I had a hunch the course setter would be on the water with us this month. As he seems to like a close start to his home waters I guessed this would be in the serpent infested waters of the far west and so it turned out to be.
The Clipper fleet were looked after well in Sydney. The stopover was hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, a fabulous club in Rushcutter Bay, which also hosts the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, starting on 26 December, race 5 in the Clipper RTW race schedule.
As the midpoint of the race this stopover was longer than previous stopovers because the boats were lifted for external cleaning and maintenance, as well as the usual internal deep clean and damage repairs, but this did allow for some extra time for crews to relax and recover from the race from Albany.
The Race to Sydney
Race 4 has been described as the toughest race yet on this race. I have nothing to compare it with personally but it was certainly a tough initiation into Clipper racing.
Chris Cox, a friend and a member of the Royal Temple Yacht Club at Ramsgate is very keen to crew in the 2016 ARC. Although having registered with the ARC so far he has had little success in finding a berth. As a member of a club where many LSC members have enjoyed the convivial surroundings and a friendly welcome over very many years, I thought I would put his requirements on our website just in case anyone knew of someone, or were themselves, taking part in the forthcoming ARC and could help Chris find a berth.
Sylvia Chesters has set sail; Leg 4 of the Clipper Round the World Race has begun! Full details of the route are available on the Clipper website here where you can follow the progress of GREAT Britain & Northern Ireland and positions of all the boats in the Race Standings.
The 2,088 nautical miles from Albany to Sydney will take the racers through some of the most inhospitable and treacherous waters on the planet:
So on my way to Australia to join the Clipper race, I have just spent two days on the river Tembling in Taman Negara (National Park) in Malaysia. Preparation for the Clipper race? Well, it's an extremely wet experience, getting soaked either in the monsoon or on the river or just because in the high humidity it is difficult not to sweat continuously!
Some up-to-date information from HPO David Lakeman, who has crossed the Alboran and Balearic Seas to move from Agadir to Antibes. He is no longer living in Agadir, Morocco but now lives in the south of France near Nice/ Antibes. His boat " Lady Sally Anne" is currently ashore for a winter refit in Baie des Anges Marina, close to Antibes. Any member visiting the area can contact him on any of the following numbers should they require assistance for anything.
French landline : 0033 ( 0 ) 422 161 413
French mobile : 0033 ( 0 ) 6921 8076
UK Mobile : 07528 479 770
For October's Fast Cruise Ronhilda had a reduced crew and his skipper was still suffering from, and had not recovered from, his appendix operation in July. So it was decided the journey from his Gulag located in the far east in Chichesterstan would be taken easily and the actual cruise would be with a small sail plan.
A message from Sylvia, an LSC member participating in the Clipper Round the World Race 2016:
As some of you will know I am taking part in the Clipper race on GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland boat. UNICEF is the official charity for the race and each boat is aiming to raise £20,000.
I have set up a JustGiving page and this is the link:
Please make a donation, however small.
On the recent LSC Shannon Rally in Ireland, it was an occasion that several HPOs had the opportunity to meet together - Larry Blount - Annapoli; Bill Thomas - Philadelphia; Caroline Sedgwick - Portsmouth and Tim and Gabbie Ryan - Waterford.
If you want to write a blog about the 2016 joint Channel Islands Cruise, sign up now.
The details are in the On The Water page.
If you are wondering why we are recruiting so early, it is because this rally is bigger and longer than most. There are more boats, more people, more parties, more Fast Cruises, more fun, more organized visits and dinners.
Thursday 20th August 2015 - Goes
The day was spend with visits to museums, a steam train ride through pear orchards and the Goes Yacht Club. Beer at the club was served from the cellar by lifting the hatch in the floor then putting money into the honesty box. It was a perfect evening to sit in the cockpit with a selection of fish dishes followed by Fish and Chips ending with Strawberry Pie and ice cream purchased from a quayside shop..
19th August 2015 Antwerp to Goes
Leaving Antwerp from the Willemdok we all agreed that a re-visit to this wonderful city was a must. We joined the parade of yachts motoring in an orderly BRITISH fashion into the Lock ready for our passage to Goes.
Tuesday 18th August 2015 - Antwerp, the City of Art
History, Architecture, Diamonds, Design, Art and Fashion. From the Willemdok to the city centre was about a five minute walk. The MAS Museum is one of Antwerp’s new buildings which overlooks the Willemdok marina and provided panoramic views over the city and the extensive docks.
Monday 17th August 2015 - Breskens to Antwerp
Sunday 16th August 2015 - Ostend to Breskens
After breakfast and a walk around Ostend in the morning we left at 12:20 for Breskens. With the wind now in the north east we motor sailed until past Zebrugge and then had a fine beat all the way to Breskens.
Breskens is situated at the entrance of the River Schelde and is ideally placed fot an overnight stop before catching the morning flood tide to Antwerp. The marina has over a thousand berths and a good yacht club.
Saturday 15th August 2015 - Ramsgate to Ostend.
We turned into the Bosphorus from the north around noon, a half built bridge towering above us. As we approached from the east, monitoring channel 16 and channel 11 (which controls the north sector)we had heard requests from commercial shipping for “permission to commence drifting”. So we knew there were ships waiting to enter the straits. However, as we passed the two small fishing villages on either side and slipped between the steep cliffs covered in green vegetation, there was no sign.
Saturday 15th August 2015 - ‘Didn’t we have a lovely time the day we went to Littlehampton’
Oxygen’s crew arrived late Friday evening so after a boat cooked curry we all retired to bed.
In recent times it has been a real treat to get together with Maldon Little Ship Club after the separation which occurred back in the inter-war years.
Calling all members!
Now that the sailing season is in full swing and members are sailing off over the horizons, remember to take the LSC JOURNAL with you on your boat as it contains all the information you need to contact our HPOs in the relevant ports that you will be visiting.
Give them a call and meet up for a chat or drink and make them feel a part of our Little Ship Club fraternity.
I look forward to hearing how many contacts we get this season.
Fair weather and good sailing.
Trips to St Vaast are usually a treat and the May Bank Holiday excursion was no exception.
We’d signed up Shearwater months ago when Graham Broadway first mentioned the possibility of a club rally but as the date grew closer, doubts about our ability to take part grew. The problem was our engine. At Easter, we discovered our trusty Volvo Diesel to be a little less trusty than usual. Lots of smoke, a lack of revs and an inability to push Shearwater convincingly against even a very slight tide meant that it really couldn’t be trusted at all.
Having signed up for Grahams St Vaast Rally this BH weekend I had done more than I normally do for a cross channel trip, even putting in a course on my iPad. The only issues in the week leading up to the rally were my large 28 year old 145% Genoa was not back from the Sailmaker having suffered in the winter fast cruises and I could not shake off a severe earache.
Whilst the yacht was in Gosport Andy Chatterton went up the mast fo rme to recover the Ticktack wireless masthead sender unit. Raymarine knew all about the Ticktack flat battery problem and had got a replacment unit out almost as soon as I had got through the door. Apparently the design has been changed so you can now replace just the masthead battery only every 8 years or so, but the old design units (mine) have to be changed completely fo rthe new (at a cost of over £300!!!) Friday evening Andy again went up the mast with your scribe winching and reported it was dam cold 21metres up.
Due to personal reasons, David and Alice moved away from Rhode Island, and David has now asked to step down from being HPO for that region.
David has been our HPO for over 15 years and many of you will know him personally, sailing with the Corthinians and over here with the LSC Cruises. It is a sad loss but I am sure we will still be seeing him sailing here or in the States over the coming years.
Wary of the weekend weather forecast all the crew ( bar one confined to bed with manflu) joined Ronhilda on the Friday afternoon. We then made a short trip to Gosport Marina in the late afternoon sun. I must have found the gravel hump on Chichester Bar as we only had 0.7m depth under the lowered keel on the shallowest part even at half tide. Breaking waves were noted on the sand banks either side of the harbour entrance, and the East Winner shallows off Langstone entrance had a good display of white water.
Stuart Aikman, HPO Fetiyhe, Turkey, will be visiting the Club on Tuesday 24 February and if there is any member who wishes to ask about sailing facilities in that area or the legal aspects of buying/selling property in Turkey, please make yourself know to him...
The forecast in the week for the Jan FC was uncertain, but seemed to be settling down to a brisk N/NW on the day with a bit of a lull on the Saturday morning. So with it being Neaps I was looking forward to an easy passage out from Chichester followed by a crisp hard sail and Charles's course for the day looked very good for all FCers coming from North, East and West.
Jonathan Massey of UK Yacht Surveyors offers Little Ship Club members 15% discount off pre-purchase and insurance renewal surveys. Jonathan is an experienced yacht surveyor, an accredited member of YDSA, Member of RINA, Full member BMSE, MCA Coding and Tonnage surveyor.
The annual Honorary Port Officers Dinner is fast approaching and will be held on TUESDAY 13 JANUARY 2015 starting at 7pm for dinner at 7.30pm.
As this evening is extremely popular, please remember to book early so that you will not be disappointed.
Sir Robin will be talking about his adventures on the high seas in the Route du Rhum race, which he successfully completed coming 3rd in his class - makes me feel a little old!!
Look forward to seeing you all on the evening.
Saint Graham had kindly advised the start was to be in the wild west of the Solent this month, so that would have meant trying to leaving our home Gulag of Chichesterstan at LW springs. Apart from not being able to get out of the maina this is not a good idea if any kind of winds are blowing so the crew voted to part join in Chichester, and move Ronhilda to Gosport for others to join on Friday night. This also meant we could avoid the 3/4 hour potential beat against the flood tide on the Saturday up to the start.
I was asked to write a blog of my recent trip with the Corinthians in the US. Unfortunately several marine mishaps made it impossible for me to do that, so this is more of an overview – an over view and then some:I have been sailing with Corinthians for nearly 20 years and it has been enormous fun. I have been involved from the start. I remember when Clint Springer turned up at Bell Wharf Lane and suggested that our two clubs sailed together. Our Commodore at the time, John Stonham hesitated. Some people in the club were reluctant. Who are these people, they asked? Did they know ho
It was a pleasant surprise to log onto the Web site and find the first start was just off Portsmouth so even though the weekend was Springs we could have a later start from Chichesterstan Gulag. Even so I had to leave on the Friday evening as I would not be able to get out of the Marina at LW springs so we went down to pick a bouy up in Itchenor reach. Looking for the Boathook I found it was missing, somebody must have borrowed it and dropped it/not returned it on Ronhilda's berth.
I took part in the 2014 Thames Trafalgar race as a member of Michael Forbes Smith's crew on board a chartered Hanse 342 from Britannia Sailing School at Shotley marina.
Keith Martin, our HPO Le Havre and NW Brittany has passed the following information about the start of the Route de Rhum on 2 November 2014 in which Sir Robin is participating.
Three weeks sailing in May from close to Mandelieu S France to Calvi, Corsica. This took 22 hours, we sailed all the way, overnight, with farirly good SW winds. Sailed around the north part of the island, anchoring and enjoying some idylic bays, Mortela for one and Tamerone for another. We had to go into Macinaggio for 3 nights owing to a storm, and then from there to Erbalunga just north of Bastia, where we anchored.
A couple of hours into our journey down the long and majestic river Colne, Micha asked me how we were doing against the schedule. Now, for any south coast sailors who don’t know the river Colne, I should explain that that was irony. It’s just that an inconvenient southerly F5, a flood tide, and a very steep east coast chop were combining to make progress more than a little slow. The chop would stop Silver Pearl dead in her tracks continually until her ten mighty horses could coax her forwards once again.
Silver Tide (Keith Irons and Ron Gardner) and Greenwitch (Richard Keen and Sue Cossell) will be meandering along the French coast after the Calais Rally, stopping at Boulogne, Dieppe, Fecamp, Honfleur and Ouistreham, before travelling along the Orne Canal into the
Every so often March has days like this. Days that make you think that summer has arrived, that your thermals, mid-layers and fleeces can be cast aside and that it is time to bask in the sun, open a chilled bottle of something suitably refreshing and to be careful not to fall asleep in the full glare of the sun to avoid serious sunburn. For this fast cruise, we had two such days in succession.
It is with great regret that I have to mention that we have lost our HPO for West Mersea. David Curry, HPO for 7 years has resigned from the Club and also as our HPO for West Mersea.
Should there by any member of the Club who would like to take on this hat for West Mersea, please contact me direct.
The weather for this FC had been giving cause for concern since the predicted Low Pressure had appeared on the weather charts on the Monday beforehand. Saturday appeared OK but Sunday was looking bad with strong to gale force Southerlies predicted with gusts to 50kts.
Ronhilda's patron, Saint Graham, had set a start off Portsmouth this month so with a Neap ebb tide and forecast ( in the morning at least!) of light winds those of us berthed in Chichester Gulag, Siberia had some extra beauty sleep and set a lock exit time of 0730am. On the morning we slipped and waking up several hundred crows perching on mastheads in the marina we informed the lockkeeper we woud be back later in the day and set off down the harbour.
With light winds forecast the Ronhilda Immates of Gulag Chichesterstan gathered on the Friday evening to have a 0430 Saturday morning bunk call. After getting everybody awake, up and through the Marina Lock, the Spring ebb was in full spate and we were taken down to Chichester Harbour entrance to get across with about 0.8m over the two humps on the bar.
For those members sailing west coast of Turkey, Chris Haire, HPO Izmir has passed on the following information:
TURKISH BOATSHOW IN ISTANBUL
Just for info - LSC Members might be interested in visiting the Istanbul Boat Show as it has become a major event in February, about five times as big as Excel and a great place to buy boat bits or just browse, it has a great buzz to it! Easyjet flights and others cheap from London with good reasonably priced hotels. The exhibition halls are next to the international airport and getting around is easy with brand new metro system. Great shopping too and would make a nice break in the winter months.
Chris has sent the following reminder to LSC MEMBERS and hopes to see more boats in the coming year:-
Sorry for the delay in completing the HPO questionnaire but we have been very busy moving Menorca to a more convenient position so that members can find it and that it is not too far for them to cruise !!
Ronhilda was rerigged for the third time in my ownership (time flies by ever faster) in the week before the FC and as always it takes far more time to reset things up than it did to take the mast out. So it was not until Friday afternoon we were ready to bend on the mainsail and do a test hoist. Unfortunately the sunshine of the morning had disappeared and the sail was put on in torrents of rain. We then had 30/40 knots in Chichester Marina for 20mins which was an omen for the following day.
Yvonne has been involved with the Club for well over 30 years especially when the first Mediterranean Rally was launched from South Mallorca and many Club members have visited her home, Vista Marina in Palma. She has resigned as HPO South Mallorca.
She is now living in Gillingham, Dorset, if there are any friends who would like to get in touch with her, please telephone: 01747-823126 she would love to hear from you.
As January 2014 is fast approaching, we have a favourite Club event taking place during the Boat Show and as many people journey to London during this time, the annual Honorary Port Officer’s Dinner is to be held on Tuesday 7 JANUARY 2014 and it is hoped that many HPOs will be able to attend that evening. Please remember this is a very popular evening so put the date in your diary.
Please note the following couple of amendments to HPO DETAILS:
Most FCs this winter are more Neaps than Springs and this made a huge difference last Saturday. Coming from one of the Gulags in Chichester Habour, a neap FC weekend means no creeping over the bar at 6am at LW with little water under the keel to then fight a spring flood all the way, normally beating in a SW wind to foreign waters far way in the west. This weekend saw us up at 6am so an hours lie in compared with last year and the sail to the start was far easier and less tiring and stressful. So thanks to Graham for this and he has been made the Patron Saint of Ronhilda as a reward??
A great day of sailing.
Once again, the "Frostbite" cruise was anything but. Friday might have been wet and windy but Saturday was close to perfect. Winds between F2 and F4 from directions gradually working their way around from east to north-west; enough sunshine to break out the emergency supplies of sunblock and some great "fast cruising" (this is similar to racing, but with much less shouting and no protest committee).
Thanks to the indefatigable Graham Broadway and everyone else who made it all possible.
The Baltic is the Mediterranean! A huge bowl of the bluest of cloudless bright blue skies sharply etched with vivid green trees and pretty houses washed white, pale yellow, red and ochre, each topped with a neat red-tiled roof, clustering around ports in the small towns and villages of Danish South Zealand.
Having duly arrived in the British Kiel Yacht Club and been deserted by my crew (why do they always have 'commitments'?), my next task was to get myself and the boat to Copenhagen to meet Catherine. But first I had to address a persistent transmission rumble which had been giving me some concern since the stern tube replacement (got to have something to worry about on long passages). I spent a morning re-aligning 100kg of engine to within +/- 5 thou relative to the propshaft.
we've come back from our 4th trip, now the boat is based in Scotland. The scenery is stunning, and sailing challenging at times. The wildlife has been more than we hoped for. Only the weather has been mixed - with cold and wet, warm sunshine, stong winds and fog - all inone week.
The last few years have been a steep learning curve for all of us involved with the website, whether users or developers. The initial redevelopment was thanks to the tenacity of Chris Smith backed by rear commodore membership and marketing Kate Newman. Chris brought a huge amount of IT knowledge to the project and had the foresight to champion Drupal and CiviCRM - two open source systems (ie free). This has meant the Club has a website delivering a high level of functionality at a fraction of the cost of a bespoke system.
Earlier in the week the forecast seemed good for an expedition to France so I took off the Dutch Charts and put back on the French ones. Sadly the weather forecast turned unpredictable with winds in the North on Monday so I wimped out and decided to go east on the UK side.
So Saturday at dawn saw Ronhilda leave Chichester at dawn (the lock keeper saying we were the only boat to leave on his watch) and creep over the bar with less than 1.8m at LW. Wind was from the NW so we lowered the keel, hoisted full main and solent jib and set off.
With the last lap of this years’ cruise now in sight we arrived at the Crinan Canal entrance at about 13.15 on the 7th August and in company with a couple of other yachts hung around outside the sea lock for a while waiting to be called in. Nothing much happened until it transpired that a junior staff member was running the lock and was not sure how to get us all in and in what order. Eventually all came right and we locked in, paid our dues and made ready for the transit.
The Fastnet race started on the 11th August and the LSC is represented by a number of members. Charles Whittam has again entered Juno inclass 4 with Mark Blunden and Simon Hughes in the crew. See http://littleshipclub.co.uk/content/round-rock-again-part-1. Sally Pearce, an ex member is also crewing onJuno. Don Shackly is crewing on Puma Logic in Class 2.
We set off southwards from Helmsdale on the west side of the Moray Firth on the 21st July in a brisk north easterly Force 5 and bright sunshine. Storm Petrel is a well mannered cruising yacht and she loves it (as does her skipper) when the wind is behind the beam. We had a cracking sail on a bouncy sea touching ten knots at times passing Tarbet Ness at lunchtime until we came in to the shelter of the Inverness Firth where the land converged on either side of us, folding us into its sheltered embrace.
My son Oliver came to visit from Ystad, Sweden last Christmas with his 1 year old daughter, and, owing to the large number of presents to take back with him, left his boots behind. It would be far too expensive to post them, so why not sail there with them (money spent on sailing doesn't count) and spend summer in the Baltic and maybe leave the boat over there for a couple of seasons; anything to get away from the succession of Atlantic lows experienced last year.
During the 80s and early 90s we regularly sailed to Holland for our annual cruise but had never explored the ‘Staande Mastroute’, so the plan was to enter Holland at Vlissingen and sail the canals, rivers and lakes to Den Helder. Our intended start from Beaulieu on 22 June 2013 was delayed by gales so we left Gosport on Monday 24 June for Dover arriving at 2230 to find HMS Puncher and Dasher already tied alongside in the outer harbour. An early start saw us leave first for Ostend but we were quickly overtaken before the shipping lanes.
Just recently completed a very nice two week holiday, sailing week one from Esterel area S France to Isles de Hyere and week two from Esterel area to Cap Ferrat. Some breeze and also pretty hot..but still fun.
With our family chores done and suitable checks on the condition of two pregnant daughters in law we headed north again on the 6th July, this time by car with stops on the way at the Roache household for a gossip and then overnight at a friendly B&B in the Lake District. The plan was to leave the car at our new home marina at Inverkip so that we could bring home all the dirty washing and general mess for the winter. That accomplished we took a train ride to Glasgow and thence to Perth, Inverness and on to Wick. All of this eight hour fantastic scenic train ride for £17, yes £17.
Friday 21 June
A light breeze skimming over the waves, a tiny swell as the oars creak in their rowlocks, with a rhythmic splash as they enter the blue sea - different to the river, bigger, but a perfect morning as the two crews of Team Mums Away embark on their Channel Row, Friday 26 July 2013. The White Cliffs slowly reducing in size as the big Spring tide pushes us towards Folkestone, the boat taking an angle at odds to our minds as we follow the pilot boats navigating a course to the Colbart North cardinal buoy on the border of French territorial waters, which we're still not allowed to cross into.
This time tomorrow we hope to have finished the Channel Rowing Challenge that Team Mums Away have been working towards since January. The team is well prepared, the forecast could not be better, and we are hoping for a smooth row out to mid-Channel and back to finish at Dover. We've had two practice rows of 22 miles each, the final one has been condensed into this 2 minute video
We were delighted to welcome three of our HPOs to the Club just recently.
Pictured are Michael Wynter (HPO Sydney) and Gabe Langerak (HPO Amsterdam) renewing their friendship with LSC members and English beer at the bar last week.
Sarah Fountain, HPO for the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, joined us for the Showstoppers night when she was staying at the Club for a couple of days.
A clip of HPO Fethiye, Turkey, Stuart Aikman's Beneteau 44 Sukran, sailing to windward of our yacht Saturnus on a recent sailing holiday to Turkey.
Last week I went down to Gosport boatyard to do the final pack up of 6X, the Trapper 300 which has been part of our family life for nearly 30 years. My Dad, "the Admiral", decided at the end of last year that it was time to let someone else take on the responsibility for the boat. He is 79 this August and was starting to find the maintenance and upkeep too much of a chore.
I mentioned in my previous blog that when we made the passage to Calais there seemed to be a lot less depth in the SW Sunk than last year. East Coast navigators may be interested to know that (saint) Roger Gaspar of the Crossing the Thames Estuary website has been out to survey the location and has produced an updated chartlet, which can be found here, with additional discussion and some photos on the YBW forum.
Getting a crew for this cruise turned out to be a nightmare, several members were otherwise booked and others had to drop out. However I managed to rustle up two crew making three on board, just enough in my planning.
The Little Ship Club provided the perfect setting for the Mums Away Best of Bond fundraising night on Friday 28 June raising money for The AHOY Centre, Deptford which raised £20,000 after costs. With the team riding the crest of their fundraising wave, this week saw them bought down to earth with the news that the French authorities have imposed a blanket ban on all 'unconventional crossings' which puts the row to France in doubt.
Once again, the Potamoi were on our side, and the rain held off as we made our way to Caix. We stopped en route to test the “ancrage sauvage” so dear to the French (not a people generally known for their parking prowess!), and lunch was spent at anchor – or rather, lassoed to a tree.
When we signed up for the Rally, we little suspected that the most difficult part would be our navigation through the murky waters of French bureaucracy and labor actions. From the beginning Caroline provided some of the most extensive guidance and material that I have seen and once disruptions in train and Air travel occurred she worked tirelessly to provide assistance wherever she could. We were all extremely appreciative and thankful to her.
Wednesday, Skipper got his crew on deck early, as there were only 2 days left to get as far as the end of the navigable part of the Upper Lot.
Caroline Quentin had set up a few obstacles to those of us who wanted to join the Lot cruise she had organised, and we had to battle through strikes from both French air traffic controllers and train drivers to get to Douelle, the start of the cruise. Years of living in the UK have badly eroded my capacity at navigating the French public service, and I managed to get there a day late - therefore missed the sailing up to Cahors, as well as the visit to the market on the Sunday morning.
I have arrived back home after 5 weeks sailing up the East Coast of the UK and have met up with three HPOs and on returning to Scotland I shall try to meet two more on the West Coast towards August before laying the boat up for the winter in Kip Marina.
CHANGES TO HPOs:
Yvonne Phillips, HPO Mallorca (South) has returned to the UK and has resigned as HPO.
Peterhead is a welcome shelter on the exposed coast of north east Scotland and lurking around the corner is a legendry danger spot – Rattray Head. It can be a devil with strong wind against tide, or even just with the tide we are told. So having settled nicely in to a very quiet Peterhead Marina with its modern facilities and helpful staff we wondered if we might spend some time there soaking up the local ambience.
Chris Nicholson is known to his friends as a man with an excellent eye for detail and planning. True to that reputation the phone rang whilst we were at tea at a Berwick hostelry, it was Chris with the offer of a lift back to the boat with yet another harvest of shopping (this time at the Coop – that is just for the record). Our crew have been such a pleasure along the way and so far the planning has been impeccably realised. Now its time for the next leg of our adventure having shown Chris the nightlife of Eyemouth.
Sailing up the east coast of the UK seems to be bleak involving long journeys before finding a marina to break the journey, but all Tim’s planning has now fallen into place and we have stayed in some fascinating docks, marinas and fishing ports.
With Geoff Quentin still on board we had to cover quite a few miles before he would be dropped off to continue his lawn mowing, garden digging and preparations for the Lot Cruise. It was disappointing to be missing a motor up the Tyne to see the city and its famous bridges but good sense dictated that we should turn left out of Royal Quays Marina and make for the river entrance and farewell to the Tyne.
When I heard that the Little Ship Club Temperance League, of which I am a committed member, was going to foreign parts to engage in missionary work I, of course, jumped at the chance to lend a hand.
Club members may be interested in the short biography of Higley Halliday and his involvement with the Little Ship Club on Seran’s website: http://www.seran1926.com/higley-halliday-mina.html
Our departure from Grimsby and the River Humber was another with doubt about the weather, this time warm moist air rolling in from the south west which could only mean the threat of fog. The forecast was one of calm winds with the chance of fog patches and a more sinister warning of fog banks. Clearly in addition to the horrors inflicted upon us by our nation’s banks they were now ready to release fog upon us, perhaps with virtual fog bank cash machines lurking out there somewhere. Is your correspondent starting to hallucinate? Yes that was actually a pot buoy over there.
With Ipswich behind us and another stop overnight at Suffolk Yacht Harbour to pick up Mike’s camera left behind in the Lightship, we headed off down the Orwell clad in our best all weather gear to make passage to Lowestoft.
The weather being churlish as it is, and it being the 11th May, we reached the Stour entrance only to hear a gale warning specially prepared for us by the Coastguard. Oh what a good thing we had the radio on, one was tempted to think.
If all we had to do was raise £24,000, or row the English Channel, life would be so much easier.
Thursday the 2nd May was to be the big day of departure, but not before weeks and months of planning, preparation and checklists. Well of course anyone who has done a trip of any significance knows about the lists, checklists and interminable double checklists.
So on the evening of the 1st May we were faced with the execution of our first passage plan, a very tricky operation to get Storm Petrel torn free from her happy home in Southsea Marina. She really didn’t want to leave and the wind had got up making life very difficult indeed.
Last weekend saw 6 LSC boatloads descend on The Solent for Robin Whaites fantastic Shakedown Cruise - and it proved to be a great way to blow off the cobwebs, and test our practical skills!
Last weekend Ronhilda had a messing about on the Water weekend. The wind was easterly so for once we were able to sail down Chichester Harbour on the ebb in good time with the waters to ourselves. Once out over the bar this relaxed sailing continued down wind in 3/4 knots apparent wind, in the sun with just the geny up until the Hamble was reached midafteroon and we decided to have an early day. The day had given ample time for several rounds of bacon and sausages in the Ronhilda tradition anyway.
Tickets are now on sale for 'Best of Bond' a fundraising dinner, auction and casino night fundraising for the Mums Away Cross Channel Row team.
CHERBOURG is on the main sailing route for sailors and I do hope that LSC members will make contact , whether just visiting or sailing in, with our new HPO, MAGALI HAMON at Port Chantereyne. Magali has been working in the Marina Office for the past 18 months promoting the marina and handling communications. She has also had her own yacht charter business operating in the UK, Mediterranean and the Caribbean.
It is with sadness that I have to report that Andrew Gordon our HPO CHERBOURG died in January this year. Andrew had been our HPO for 10 years and I pass on this news for any Club Member that may have met him and his wife, Anne, at their B&B La Goueslonnerie in Quettehou or in the port of Cherbourg.
I have just appointed CAN POLAT, Manager of Didim Marina, Aydin, Turkey.
Can has been past manager for Bodrum and Cesme Marinas and took over his present post as Didim Marina Manager in April 2011. The marina is owned by D-Marina Marinas Group who are Turkey's leading holding company. Didim Marina has 580 berths and a 600 dry dock capacity with 400 tons travellift. Any LSC members sailing the Turkish coastline - a warm welcome awaits you in this new marina.
Can attended our HPO Dinner with Hasas Kacmas and it was a pleasure to meet him.
I am taking Ronhilda back to Riddle in the Sands waters this summer to cruise some of the Frisian Islands again, weather permitting.
If anybody is interested in joining Ronhilda you will be most welcome, the cruise will be between Saturday 22nd June and Sunday 7th July from and to Eastbourne.
The preceeding and following weekends will be used to trip Ronhilda from Chichester to Eastbourne and return which are nice cruises along the coast and for which crew will also be welcomed.
What on earth would persuade 14 women, all mothers, all over the age of 42 (most of us over the age of 50), with no rowing experience, to row the Channel?
It may have been the January effect: too much Christmas pudding and the need for a challenge.
But mostly it was the inspiration of the AHOY Centre, a Deptford-based charity which changes the lives of disadvantaged young people and people with disabilities through sailing and rowing activities.
I drove to Southsea marina along the M27 on Friday night in dense fog, crawling my way off the motorway slip road down into Portsmouth. What is it that Tom Cunliffe says about sailing in fog? "Don't do it". Was this going to be another weekend of wishing that winter sailing had never been invented I wondered?
Not much to say regards the Cruise, after a foggy start in Chichester Harbour we arrived at the start in Sunshine and next to nothing fluky winds. This pattern continued more or less all of the day and Ronhilda's speed over the ground was thus nearer 1 knot than any higher speed for most of the day. The best racing we had was on board Ronhilda itself - in seeing who would get to the spiced chicken, sasuages or scotch eggs served up by Andy Chatterton first.
UPDATE OF HPO NEWS:
We have 5 new HPOs:
Jane HARRISON, Mega Yacht Servcices, ST MAARTEN, Caribbean.
Ronan BEIRNE, DUN LAOGHAIRE, Co. Dublin. LSC has reciprocal membership with The National Yacht Club, and Ronan looks forward to welcoming LSC members.
Angus ANNAN, LOCH LOMOND, Scotland. Angus looks foward to welcoming LSC members wishing to sail this very different location.
Jerome RENIER, LE ABER WRACH|, Brittany. Jerome is Harbour Master and looks forward to welcoming LSC members visiting Brittany.
I'm sure many LSC members are already aware of the proposals to build a wind farm off the south coast, to the west of the Isle of Wight. If you are not aware, you can find lots of information at the Navitas Bay Wind Farm website.
The wind farm proposals will doubtless face strong opposition, but one aspect to the plans that I have not seen any discussion of is the effect on wind speeds downwind of the site.
The penultimate weekend of the Fast Cruise season was another particularly enjoyable one. While early 2012 was windy, early 2013 seems to be continuing the theme of late 2012: anything more than 10 knots of wind is beginning to seem like a dream.
First problem was Chichester Marina lock was due to be overhauled untill late on Friday on the 15th and could not be promised to be available for the16th. So Andy Chatterton kindly spent a Saturday with me moving Ronhilda around to Port Solent earlier in the month. Actually it was a very pleasant trip in the sun with few other yachts or motorboats to be seen.
Dear Friends and fellow club members,
Well, it has been 6 weeks since we arrived for our new life here in Sydney and much has happened. The weather has been variable to say the least, with a hot wet Christmas day and it then settled into what the met office says is the hottest January for 90 years. Didn’t seem too bad to us but there were a couple of days over 40 which didn’t last long as, when that happens, a southerly wind comes in to cool everything down.
Gordon Oscroft MSc CEng MIET Member
Committie member of GWSC (Grafham Water Sailing Club) for 11 years
Those members who didnt get to the Club on Tuesday 15th January, missed the very successful annual HPO Dinner with13 HPOs attending for the evening. Two new HPOs received their burgees and certificate of Appointment, namely Ronan Beirne, Dun Laoghaire, a member of The National Yacht Club of Ireland with whom the Little Ship Club has just exchanged pennants and entered into an agreement of reciprocity, and Angus Annan, Loch Lomond, this is sailing with a difference in Scotland.
I am pleased to report that we have 4 new Honorary Port Officers in very different locations around the world.
BRITTANY: Jerome Renier, harbour master at L'Aber Wrac'h Marina, Brittany. LSC members regularly sail around Brittany and Jerome looks forward to welcoming you.
ST MAARTEN: Jane Harrison, Mega Yacht Services at St Maarten, Caribbean. Jane is well placed to offer her services, be it for assistance or chartering.
If you are thinking of departing these cold shores and heading for the sunny Florida coast, please get in touch with Darryl and Lynne Currie (HPO) who live in Jacksonville, USA. They have their boat BARCO SIN VELA II at the Florida Yacht Club, just south of downtown Jacksonville on the St John's River which has about 175 miles of navigable safe waters full of wildlife and natural wonders, so if any members are heading that way they would love to see you in Florida - Main cell no: 001-904-735-4639.
I had an Alarm call at 5am. Got up and found its literally freezing, but dogs still interested in any early morning exercise on offer. Getting to the yacht found the crew were all up and about and grateful for the fan heater. Andy C and Di arrived as promised so the engine was started and we gently backed zigzaging out of the berth.
We have a vacancy at BELFAST AND STRANGFORD LOUGH. Dr John Dunlop feels that after being an HPO for 27 years he wishes to retire from the post. The Club wishes to thank him for all his support over the years and if any member knows his personally, do get in touch with him. A couple of names have already been put forward for the vacancy.
What was it the weather forecast said? Rain all day on Saturday, 8 knots of wind from the north west. Both bits were wrong, luckily in the case of the rain and unluckily in the case of the wind (although the strength was about right). It's a strange phenomenon of sailing that when you decide to head to Lymington from the Gosport area, the wind is nearly always from the South West and on the nose. Particularly if there is a strong tide running.
Due to LW springs 0.7M this weekend being at the time I needed to be going over Chicester Bar, I had arranged to leave on Friday. Friday came with no wind and not a little fog so it was going to be mostly motoring towards Portsmouth.
Want to support Children in Need and a bunch of Plymouth University students who are rowing the length of the Thames?
Members of the University of Plymouth Rowing Club will be rowing on two ergos (rowing machines) the 364km distance from source to mouth. Starting at 4pm on Thursday 15 November and reaching the finish 24 hours later.
As most rowing races are around 2 kilometres long, this is a big one!
Please support them, it's all in a great cause: http://www.justgiving.com/UPRCtakesonthethames
Success at last!
I have just heard from our HPO in San Diego that LSC member Mark Blunden is in America on business and has got in touch with Simon Clark, our HPO, to see if there was a way for him to get out sailing. Simon will be taking Mark for the day in his own boat.
This is what I like to hear, so please, continue the good work of contacting our HPOs worldwide whenever you are on holiday.
We have a new Honorary Port Officer in St Peter Port, Guernsey, Mr David Mitchison is an LSC member and currently Commodore of the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club and he looks forward to welcoming Little Ship Club members sailing in his home waters. He boat is a Hallberg Rassy 39 "Calypso", moored in QE2 in St Peter Port.
As Guernsey is a favourite stopping off island for journeys along the French Coast and on to Brittany, do make contact with David when calling at St Peter Port, mobile: 07781 154478 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is that time of year again when you need to send in your photos and art.
* Open to all LSC & Corinthian photographers.
* Closing Date - 7 PM, Tuesday 6th November 2012
* Up to 3 Entries in each of categories 1 to 4, please read the rules!
The entry form and more details are here:
Weather forecasts had indicated winds would be light, this was welcomed by Ronhilda was it would allow us to get over Chichester Bar at near LW ebb on a big tide. The start and course had been moved this year West to somewhere near the Casquets as our Commodore put it, so it was a 5am alarm call to get the crew ready and able. Only 1 - 2 knots proved the forecast correct but visability of less than 50m was not on the wish list.
All sailors seem agreed that this summer has been terrible for sailing. Do we say that every year? Is it always the worst summer for sailing? Often September and October can provide some lovely weekends with fresh breezes, the low light of autumn putting the seascape into sharp relief.
Places did not really matter anyway, the main detail of the day was that a fantastic nearly £20,000 was raised by 40 yachts having a great sail in the sun.
Ronhilda came 7th in her class out of 10, which considering we were concentrating on bacon sarnies rather than spinnakering was not too bad. ( well thats my excuse anyway)
The actual places were decided by multiplying cash pledges by class position so we dropped down as some people had over £3,000 pledged on their yacht - an amazing amount and I really take my hat off to them.
After what must be described as a disappointing summer when the weather was rubbish – and on top of that I had to fit another propeller to Ronhilda - August and September came as a relief and she has seen some sailing at last.
Last Saturday saw calm seas, clear skies and east winds which was good news as Ronhilda was entered into the St Wilfrid's challenge which sees a wide range of yacht sizes and shapes sailing from Chichester Bar to Nab and back to raise money for the hospice.
The Eastern Mediterranean Yacht Rally
Dear Crew and Friends,
There's an excellent series of articles on the RYA website, written by Simon Jinks, RYA instructor on the phenomenon that occurs when out cruising and another boat is heading in the same direction. Jinks starts with the comment, "Many cruiser sailors do not race - until a competitor comes along...."
The eight part series covers how to get involved in local club racing, handicapping or rating, the Racing Rules of Sailing, yachts and equipment, startline rules, signals and tactics.
With the winter fast cruises, you know what you are getting yourself into. Wind (lots), rain (some), with perhaps a little sleet or snow and the occasional patch of ice on deck. A timed passage in mid-June is completely different, of course. Or it should be.
Lymington Timed Passage – from the perspective of the organiser!
We were lucky - the forecast was almost right, though our apparent wind speed throughout the LSC's "timed passage" on Saturday 23 June, from No-Man's -Land Fort to Jack-in-the-Basket off Lymington never fell below 25 and reached over 35 on a couple of occasions.
But the worst of the weather held off until Saturday night, drenching me and Avril Ormsby as we walked back from the Mayflower Inn after the rally dinner - a real find; excellent venison burgers and really helpful staff.
Lively passage to Lymington!
5 intrepid Little Ship Club boats braved the elements on Saturday 23 June to test out the new handicap system in the Timed Passage to Lymington.
The forecast on Friday night was not inspiring, with winds of F5-7 predicted, with gusts of F8 predicted. In the event the wind was a stiff 20-25kn South Westerly, only gusting 30kn on occasions – and there were quite a few of those!
...not the sailing, the liver.
While others stayed in Blighty to celebrate HM’s Jubilee, we elected to invade one of the Crown’s former overseas possessions. What the rally lacked in numbers was made up for by the intensity of celebration. It all reinforced The Little Ship Club’s motto – boozing in good company.
Norman's 85th Calais Rally - if you can remember it, you weren't there!
By definition these events happen very rarely and we were privileged to be able to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on Sunday, 3rd June.
GUERSNEY - We are in need of a new HPO for St Peter Port, Guernsey - any members know of a likely person who might be willing to take this job on?
Caroline and Martin Sedgewick have moved their boat to Southsea Marina, Portsmouth. Any members know of another person who would be willing to take on HPO Portsmouth Harbour?
And there is a need for a new HPO for Southampton too as Mick Wigfield has stepped down.
Please contact Anne Le Verrier-Bizzey, HPO LIAISON OFFICER on: email@example.com
May I remind all LSC Members sailing around the coastline and visiting various wonderful places this summer to make it your goal - TO GET IN TOUCH WITH AS MANY HPOs AS POSSIBLE! They are there for you - do make their day and give them the feeling of belonging to the Little Ship Club - too often they get missed or ignored. Do make contact with the HPOs - they would all love to meet and hear from you!!
For various reasons I missed the Easter and MayDay Bank Holiday rallies and was therefore delighted to see that the Commodore had 'arranged' an informal rally to Yarmouth last weekend.
I cajoled some of my regular sailing companions (in the form of John Strode and Patrick MacCulloch) to join me on Isis. John brought along his old friend Phil (a Master Mariner no less) and our compliment was completed by one of our newly qualified Day Skipper's - Rosemary Devos.
The early season booze cruise was organised because three of my shipmates had booked for their Yachtmaster exam in May but two of them had not done all their 60 mile passages as skipper. It was therefore decided to charter a boat so that we could do three 60 mile passages. The yacht was chartered back in the depths of winter, January I think, and in those distant days an April cross channel passage seemed a good idea. The crew consisted of three club members: Mark Blunden, Simon Hughes and myself, a shipmate who had sailed the Fastnet with us last year and three relative novices.
Storm Petrel - a 38ft Moody - was never designed to career around a course at fast speed, but in the February Fast Cruise at the end of the race, we were surfing down waves at over 9 knots - quite exhilerating!
Weymouth marina is screwing its visitors during the Olympics. How does £220 per night sound?
As well as signing the petition, I wrote to my MEP. Here is their reply.....
The forecast for southerly light winds had turned into a forecast of S veering SW/W 15kts with gusts to around 30kts, far more to Ronhilda's liking. So it was with expectation we slammed over Chichester bar on an ebb tide into a due South 15 - 18 kts wind, even if it was raining with around 1/2miles vis.
Yet again the forecast was predicting brisk winds so I kept to two reefs and a furled Solent jib to start the cruise.
The fourth Fast Cruise was held on the 21st January. I had been invited on board Shearwater by Andy and Avril Ormsby for this cruise. We were also joined by Michael Forbes Smith and Ian, a friend of Andy's. We set off from Gosport around 0930 with a westerly wind at around 22 knots. On the passage out to the forts the wind was definitely building and so we opted for a full genoa with 2 reefs in the main.
The January Fast Cruise proved for us to be one of the most interesting in the several years that this challenging winter series has been conducted. The weather forecast had been looking dire nearly all week and there must have been those who were planning to forget the whole thing and turn up at the Castle by road with some muttered excuse about the weather.
7am on a January morning in Chichester Marina with the wind howling in the rigging shakes the cobwebs out.
‘Twas a dark and stormy night in Langstone Harbour on Friday, the Friday night before the Christmas Fast Cruise. Storm Petrel’s crew had decided that due to their advancing years, (well actually the advancing years of their crew), they would arrive at the marina on Friday afternoon, put the boat out on the waiting pontoon and get out the whisky bottle.
With strong winds from the South West and rain forecast for Saturday, a passage from Southsea Marina to the Folly looked like madness indeed. Azanti's crew - co-owners Peter and Geoff; Kat and her friend Hope (bringing the average age down to something nearer the 30s) and I ate breakfast listening to the rain lashing the boat and wondered why on earth anyone would choose to go sailing in December in those conditions.
Ronhilda's repairs having been completed, the December Fast Cruise awaited her. With high winds forecast for the Saturday I thought it prudent to take her around to Port Solent in the weather window to test the gearbox and rig tension on Friday. Sunshine and next to no wind on the nose meant no sailing but a good shake down for the gearbox, shaft seal and rudder glands. In the evening we also welcomed Jill and Charlie as Silver tide had an alternator problem and had to scratch, so this made us up to a crew of 8.
As we near the end of 2011 I thought that I would recap on my sailing adventures over the past year. My first sail of 2011 was the January Fast Cruise to Hamble where Bill and Anne Lewis kindly offered me a berth on Musyk. I cannot remember too much about the weekend except that it was cold.
It started inauspiciously when we arrived to pick up the boat from the mooring at 1745 on Friday evening and were firmly stuck in the mud. At our home mooring the boat is usually firmly afloat, so that was bad planning, we'd arrived on dead low water with the south easterly wind making the boat lie into the shallows.
After a short run to the shops, in my case a bit of coffee and quick check of emails at one of the local coffee shops, we set off towards Desolation Sound, and first over-night stop at Squirrel Cove. Part motoring, and part sailing got us across in reasonable time, but then two miles before getting there, our engine sounded the overheating alarm.
I flew in a bit later than the rest of the crew, in glorious weather, hardly a cloud in sight. Michael Forbes Smith, the skipper, Jenny Jones and Angus Annan had arrived on air and by ground, then I, Rune Bakken, got in about 4pm.
Dump the gear on the yacht, and off to the shops, as the BC Liqueur shop closed at 6 … Jenny and Angus did most of the other provisioning with a bit of "help" by me, i.e. making sure we had good coffee with us. Michael was attending the "fear of god" skippers briefing done by the charter company.
My race started in inauspicious circumstances. Whilst climbing aboard Juno I managed to drop my sleeping bag in the sea. It was quickly recovered and hung across the boom in the hope that it would dry. My second error was not to don my oilskins before the start.
There is now just over a week until the Fastnet Race.
Juno has done all the qualifying miles, most of the crew have attended the ISAF Sea Survival Course, at least three of the crew have first aid certificates and two are doctors...
Saturday 30 July was Juno's last chance for fine tuning before the big race, the Fastnet, in 2 weeks time. The RORC channel race started at the RYS line in Cowes at 0900. The forecast for the weekend was for variable and light winds, a complete change from the majority of sailing this year, and early Saturday morning saw winds of about 3 to 4 knots from the east
The next event in the racing calendar for Juno's qualification for the Fastnet was the RORC Cowes to St Malo race which started on Friday 8 July. A number of us were down on the boat on Thursday to prepare for the race. During Thursday night the rain lashed down on the decks and the wind howled through the rigging causing the boat to heel over even though she was tucked snuggly in Port Hamble marina.
Last Saturday, the 25 June I competed on board Juno in the Round the Island Race and immediately (well, after a short break for a couple of glasses of fizzy wine and strawberries) travelled from Port Hamble to Hamble Point to join Michael Forbes Smith on Aeolus, a chartered HR 36. There would be four of us on board, the other two being Adrian Waller and Julie Rosenberg.
LSC member Sandy Guest has been competing in the AZAB. He finished on Thursday with a second place in Class 2/Solo. Here is his final blog entry
5.30 am,up most of the night,going hammer and tongs,almost sick with tiredness.Fell asleep at helm,found myself pointing the wrong way.Get a grip mate...
The day started very early with rain and strong winds. We only had to get from Cowes Yacht Haven to the start line but even in that short space it was very clear that the wind was very lively and of course, there were lots and lots of boats to contend with. It was great to be back out on the water with Mike but I knew it would be challenging with me skippering Arvika and him taking a more passive role! I had confidence in my crew though as they were Kathy Mason’s Fast Cruise team.
Lightweight 26 foot boats go best in a force 3 with a flat sea. Call me a fair weather sailor, but those conditions suit me perfectly too. So I'd been watching the forecasts carefully in the week running up to the 80th Round the Island race and keeping my fingers crossed for a drop in the wind strengths which were dominating the weather systems across southern England.
The weather forecast was looking "interesting" at best for Saturday. A brief foray on Friday afternoon to check everything worked and get the start line transit only reaffirmed the belief that Saturday would be windy and rough. Luckily we did not know how rough!
Last day of preparations before the Round the Island Race has included a lot of work.... left London at 0630, down to Gosport, took boat to boatyard for lift out and scrub. Went past neighbouring mooring holders doing it for themselves on the piles at Hardway. Made mental note that paying the £120 for a crane and high pressure hose was more than worth the money.
Our preparations for the 80th Round the Island Race over the past week have been a mix of the important, the essential and the seemingly frivolous.
Let's start with the seemingly frivolous. The lovely people at Wadworth brewery agreed to sponsor our team kit - which was brilliant news. When I say 'team kit' this equates to four polo shirts with the Wadworth 6X logo on the back and the name of the boat and the RTIR logo on the front.
I recently had reason to request tickets for a forthcoming social event in the club and, as encouraged, went on-line to enter my request for tickets.
Having navigated through the system - quite a feat for me - I then attempted to print-off the two tickets asked for. At this stage, the printout became 'gobbledy gook' and of no use. Imagine my suprise and, to say the least, dismay, when I then discovered that there was a charge made if I requested that the ticket print be carried out by the club office and the charge donated to the RNLI.
The Navigator (Chris) stepped on board 6X after the dinghy ride over to the mooring and cast a racing sailor's eye over the boat and her contents. "You won't need an inflatable dinghy on board when you're surrounded by 200 other boats to pull you out of the water", was his first comment
Our plan to sail south of the Isle of Wight from Portsmouth to Yarmouth over the late May bank holiday was frustrated again by weather- as have most of the LSC's late May events over the last five years. But this time the weather was really awful. I left my berth on the Beaulieu River at noon on Saturday on Silver Tide with Richard Taylor and Patrick MacCulloch as crew. We enjoyed a fast albeit blustery sail with a SW force 6 on the quarter and covered the 12 miles to Portsmouth in under two hours.
Well, not quite the first time round the island. But despite being introduced to the race as first mate for the LSC Rude Girls crew and repeating the experience the following year, entering a Trapper 300 (just 21 foot waterline length, 26 foot overall) and as skipper, is a slightly different game altogether.
Over the late May bank holiday weekend Juno took part in the JOG offshore race to Deauville. We normally sail with a crew of seven but this weekend we were down to six crew. Then one crew member found that the traffic at Hindhead on the Friday before bank holiday was so heavy that he would not be able to reach Hamble in time for the start!
We got Chookapa up to Wick before Easter and returned after Easter to go North through Orkney to Shetland.
After a wait for weather we are now - 14th May in the Geiranger Fjord in Norway, and very beautiful it is too, though we had heavy rain coming up the Fjord. More here about a chance to come with me on the next stages of my adventure.
First week over, I am staying in a motel in Boothbay Harbour, Maine, as I can't stay on Amber Sea (Moody 38 CC) until she is launched.
Checked and serviced all the seacocks, cleaned out the engine heat exchanger which was full of rubber bits from the two impellers that melted and broke up when the pump went and the engine overheated. The new AIS is fitted under the spray hood, another safety feature for dodging big ships!
Paying craftsmen to do these bits while I pass tools, get in the way, and learn.
To those of you who wondered where we’d got to, the answer is Knapp’s Narrows, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. We’ve travelled all of 50 yards from where Tomia has spent the winter. The past month has sped by, on all sorts of boaty doings, improvements, repairs; we have now been in the water for four days, and may well get sailing again any day now...
Juno took part in the RORC Cervantes Challenge held over the early May bank holiday weekend. I am usually on board Juno on the Friday afternoon but this Friday was my wife's birthday and so I drove down after an evening meal in a local resturant which meant I arrived in Hamble at 2300 and was assigned the blow-up mattress on the cabin sole, all the berths being occupied by snoring crew.
After several weekends of practice sails Easter was the start of Juno's competitive season. Instead of the usual Easter cross channel race with JOG to Cherbourg we opted for some "round the cans" racing in the Solent. This is in preparation of the Fastnet race later this year.
So we have finally arrived at Grenada - although we still have to sail up to St Lucia to finish the rally as Eowyn was laid up in Grenada we actually started from here so have completed our own personal circumnavigation.
I met Phyllis Mackay in Gibraltar when "Boot" the Blue Waters Rally administrator approached me for a berth to Lanzarote. She then introduced us, and we got on immediately. Phyllis checked out of her hotel and moved aboard "Amber Sea" that afternoon.
If you'd like to follow him (sailing not hanging), why not join the crew? You'd be much more comfortable as we've chartered a Leopard 42 Catamaran (4 double en suite cabins)
It is hard to believe that I have had two summers sailing on Lake Balaton already. I suppose time passing so quickly is a sign of getting older. Maybe because I am older, I haven't missed sailing in UK waters. I am often asked by Hungarians if I miss the sea and I can honestly say that I haven't missed the times that I was cold, wet and frightened. Call me an old softy, but I much prefer air temperatures in the 30s and water temperature in the mid-20s.
Watch this sketch with Ronnie Corbett and Harry Enfield, ""My blackberry isn't working" .. which will make you feel so much better (and laugh too!)
It's that time of year - HPO dinner followed by visit to the London Boat Show. The show was quite quiet today (Wednesday 12 January) which wasn't what our hard working colleagues on the LSC stand wanted (C85 North Hall, in the new section of Excel). But of course they were cheerful and welcoming as always.
So winter is over for me – back in South Africa where it has been very hot. We have been getting the boat ready for the next leg, quite why there is always so much to do when the boat was fine when we left it is of course one of those great mysteries of life. Have been shopping today and plan to finish by getting the fresh meats and vegetables tomorrow ready for the off on Saturday.
It doesn’t seem possible that we only have another 3 ½ months and 6,000 miles to go although the next leg is quite long. We expect to finish about 15 April in St Lucia.
I have not posted for a while as we have not had good email facilities. We have now reached South Africa so have finished crossing the India Ocean. It was not the kindest of seas - on the leg from Cocos Keeling to Mauritius we had to run before gale / near gale winds for 6 days and had two sets of waves, one set we could take on the quarter as you should, but the other ones hit us almost abeam and was most uncomfortable. On the last leg from Reunion to Richards Bay SA we had a gale off Madagascar and then again on our last night.
Yes I really went up there! When the Royal Southampton Yacht Club invited Little Ship Club members to join them on the Tall Ship Stavros S Niarchos for a short trip across the channel I was the first (and only) to sign up.
January & February.
My season started with the Fast Cruise Series (in fact it never stopped) by chartering yachts for the January event to Bucklers Hard and the February event to Yarmouth. The Yarmouth cruise was especially entertaining as it took part on the same weekend that storms lashed the French coast causing considerable damage in places such as La Rochelle. Fortunately the Solent caught the very edge of the depression but it still gave us some interesting situations.
"Under reduced but well balanced rig, jib and gaff mizzen, we surged through 1.5m - 2m waves off Sheppey at 6 kts with the wind howling in the rigging and ratlines and sheets rod hard and throbbing and seaweed being flung across the deck. Exciting but tiring. 'Sheemaun' no longer a pretty crowd-pulling poser but a very different vessel, sturdy and seagoing doing just what she was built for. "
Éowyn is in Bali marina, Benoa in position 8:44.425S 115:12.803E
The recent JOG race to St Peter Port was a game of two halves or at least a weekend of two halves. Once again I was in the crew of Juno, an X34.
Guests are taken out to see Ramsgate Week racing at close quarters. Read this document as a pdf file (600Kb). Download here. (Opens in new window)
Flotilla sailing in the Greek islands doesn't mean that you have to follow the crowds.
The story of the cruise has been well covered in Alan Fulton’s articles on the club website: here are Julian and Diana's impressions from our own point of view as the crew of our Southerly 32 Roshanak.
I took Odin over to Cowes for the weekend to support the Laser SB3 regatta that Pelican Racing organised. We had several members competing (look for them in these photos). Competitors turned up to our pontoon drinks wet and salty and so grateful for the beers we laid on as part of our sponsorship of the regatta.
Juno has just taken part in the JOG Salona Illingworth Challenge race from Cowes to La Trinité-sur-Mer in Southern Brittany, a distance of about 340 miles.
Ronhilda had an great Rally to the Scilly's. We got there via Brixham, Sutton Harbour ( Plymouth), Fowey via Polperro for lunch time stop and swimming behind the yacht under spinny at 2 knots, Falmouth via Helford river and Gweek, changin crew and finally after an excellent meal at the NMM straight to Tresco on the Sunday.
Éowyn is presently in Port Resolution, Tanna, Vanuatu in position 19:31.491S 169:29.727E - We arrived here at noon on 6th July after a pretty lively passage. Sailing was varied and apart from a 12 hour calm was mainly 20 knots or more. The last 24 hours was upwind, our first extensive beat since St. Lucia
Juno was entered in the RORC/JOG race to St Malo over the weekend of the 2nd to 4th July but the race turned out to be very disappointing.
Just a reminder that the mid-week rally programme continues. The next get-together is on July 21/22 and the venue is Lymington. We'll try to get on the Town Quay and Ariel will be listening on Ch72. Please feel free to join us, nothing will be booked and we'll probably be eating in the pub on Wednesday evening.
The programme continues as follows:
Aug 18/19 - Itchenor
Sept 15/16 - Southsea
Just back from a wonderful cruise to the Scilly Islands via Falmouth, The Helford etc. We enjoyed marvellous settled weather but could only spend a few days in the islands - must return when we have more time.
My curiosity has always been piqued by a door in a wall next to the Thames marked Twickenham Yacht Club. Luckily for me, Charlie Quayle and Jill Moffatt actually went through it - and one of their members recently joined the LSC. So this Saturday afternoon I went down to see some of their regatta for myself.
As the Jog season starts we are republishing Graham Broadway's notes about life aboard a racing yacht. This weekend whilst JOG runs the first race of their season - the Nab Tower Race. Juno is running practice sessions. We hope to carry an article from Graham next week about what to do when the rudder drops off.