Created: 21 Nov 2010 19:33
Updated: 21 Nov 2010 19:56
JOG annual dinner

The final event in Juno's 2010 season did not even involve her going sailing - as 6 of her regular crew gathered in Southampton on Saturday 20 November for the Junior Offshore Group (JOG) annnual prize-giving and dinner dance.

The event, held in November each year, was attended by around 300 keen Joggers and their guests who assembled in the Mayflower suite of Sothampton's Grand Harbour hotel. Juno's table seated Rhian Deakin, Kate Newman, Julie Coleclough, Mark Blunden, Simon Hughes and Charles Whittam from Juno's crew as well as a couple of other friends.

Prior to the festivities formally commencing, two of the group were spotted limbering up in the hotel bar while watching the rugby, one of whom later appeared in the hotel lift modeling a new shirtless approach to evening wear. Startling as this was it paled into insignificance compared to the apparition that awaited the remainder of the group later, when what can only be described as a couple of gaily attired foredeck crew made their official entrance. The addition of a Prostate Cancer awareness "movember" moustache was the icing on the cake.

The reputation of the depth of navigational ability on board Juno (and that of the memory of some of its crew) also took a major hit when half the party were eventually found waiting in the wrong bar just as dinner was about to start. Too much rugby earlier probably.

Having rounded up the flock, Juno's crew took their seats for the appetising dinner, including perfectly cooked loin of lamb as the main course. Before everyone forgot, three toasts were proposed in quick succession - to  absent crew (especially those now in Australia); to 2010's passed season; and to 2011's still to come. The evening took a further turn for the better when the results of the RNLI raffle were announced with "anonymous of table 12" (ie Juno's skipper) winning a bottle of Champagne to add to the liquid delights being sampled. Skip also had a quick trip up to the front to collect a bit of silverware for those races where we had troubled the scorers.

In typical JOG fashion, however, the formalities passed quickly so the partying could commence and the final 4 hours of organised entertainment involved quite a lot of physical activity on the dance floor until "lights on" at 01.00. Of course that was still too early for most of the group to go to bed and the "other" bar then became the scene of some heated discussions over comparative yacht design and in particular the exact meaning and interpretation of RRS41(c) (look it up). Finally deciding at around 03.00 that these were issues not easily resolved the remainder of the group retired to bed, agreeing to resume the discussion with their interlocutor in Cherbourg next Easter (first JOG offshore of the season).

Despite the implicit shortage of sleep, those who have sailed on Juno will recognise that rarely does an opportunity to eat pork products pass unmarked, and so it was that at 10.00 the group reconvened for a heartening cooked breakfast. Sadly, in a marked deviation from group standards, one member succumbed to the need for more sleep (or so he said) and failed to show. It will be some time before this is forgotten.

Still by mid day, and after the consumption of gallons of black coffee, it became legal for the drivers in the group to take their place behind the wheel again and so the event sadly came to a close. Another excellent JOG outing, if in some senses drier than most. Here's to 2011.