Category Archives: Crew Reports & Feedback

Report on the BTOSC Spring Rally and AGM Weekend (2014)

This weekend could so easily have been a washout. Everyone had expected it to be windy having seen the forecasts earlier in the week.  Our objectives were not ambitious.  The club had chartered 3 yachts for the weekend. One these yachts was the yacht we have chartered for the forthcoming RTI- that crew were hoping for some practice in preparation for the big race.

The passage to Cowes was uneventful. We were encouraged -no instructed, by our charter company to motor across given the expected conditions; however, as a precaution, we elected to rig the Storm sail so that it was ready for use if we had needed it.  All 3 yachts had a safe and uneventful passage with the only real challenge being to get along side in about 25kts of wind. Suffice to say, this provided good learning opportunities for all with no harm done.  The following photo was taken a little later when the wind had eased somewhat.

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The AGM was held in the the Classic Boat Museum in East Cowes. This provided an opportunity to inspect the Chain Ferry close at hand.  The museum is located in the old sea plane hanger that you cannot fail to see when looking across the river from West Cowes.  The museum had some interesting displays and looked like it deserves a return visit one day.

At the AGM the Chairman welcomed our new Commodore and expressed thanks to John Wells for his support to the club during his tenure.  The Chairrman then presented a review of the club’s activities, the Treasurer presented the club accounts and a number of cups were awarded.  See minutes for details.

The Commodore's Cup
The Commodore’s Cup
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Roy Cullers receiving the Commodore’s Cup
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Our Chairrman receiving the Colin Foggatt Memorial Trophy

 

Following the awards ceremony we all adjourned to the top floor of the Red Duster for an excellent meal, some rather good Merlot if memory serves, in fine company.

After a leisurely start, the return passage saw the three yachts go their separate ways.  We had a brief diversion to Osborne Bay and took the opportunity to sail with the Storm Sail.

All in all, although we didn’t do as much sailing as we all would have liked. However the company and some choice victuals made up for this and I certainly feel that we made the most of it.

Thanks all for a good weekend. Roll on the RTI.

James Savage

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Report on the Christmas ‘Jolly’ – December 2013

The Christmas ‘Jolly’ event took place in weather conditions that you would never believe possible in December—particularly given the gale condition earlier in the week.  The writer wore gloves for less than five minutes over the whole weekend!

Following a social get together in The Ketch Rigger on the Friday evening, three yachts set sail in sunshine with a good wind on Saturday. We followed a competitive course that kept us busy with lots of tacks and gybes, whilst at the same time trying to solve a 25 question quiz based on pounds, shillings and pence, together with some Cockney rhyming slang. We finished at Cowes mid-afternoon. Congratulations to Mike Griffiths, Hazall Bagnall, Roy Demery, Andrew Hemphrey, Roy Cullers, Allan Goodfellow and Chris Webber on Loxley B who crossed the finish first. We motored up the Medina and moored at The Folly Inn in time to see the sunset, finish off the quiz and meet up with Alan and Lynne Franklin who had sailed up earlier, ready to join us for the evening celebrations.

The Tenacious Buchaneers, (Brendan Hanvey, Derek Underwood, Roy Evans, Steve Hamilton and David Bartlett), didn’t get the quiz until they moored at The Folly, but their wisdom shone through and they completed it in record time.

There were twenty one of us eating the meal at The Folly in the evening. The quality and quantity of the food was excellent, as indeed was the company and it was great to meet up with so many old friends. When it got to the stage where the other tables were being used as dance floors, we made our excuses and slipped back to our yachts for a nightcap.

We woke up to another perfect day for sailing and sailed round to Osborne Bay, where we anchored for lunch before returning in stronger winds to the Hamble.

Mick C

Report on Tallships Challenger Long Weekend Cruise 13-16 June 1013

The crew assembled at Gunwharf Quays Marina at 11 AM on Thursday 13 June for an eagerly anticipated long-weekend voyage on Tallships’ Challenger 4.  After selecting a bunk, everyone was introduced to the boat.  Below deck we were introduced to the sail locker, the heads (with gimbles), the skipper and mate’s cabins, the galley, saloon, nav station and mess deck.    On deck we were introduced to a variety of colored halyards and other lines as well as the winches and the safety equipment.   After a weather brief we learnt that going Cross-channel our destination would need to be Weymouth and Poole  After lunch we retrieved the Yankee III Foresail and the staysail from the sail locker, and hanked them on ready for use before slipping our moorings and heading out into the Solent bound for Cowes which was to be our destination for the first night.

The first challenge was to get the mainsail up.  Then came the Yankee and Staysail.  We quickly discovered that everything was at least 5 times heavier than the equivalent on the size of yacht that we are used to. It was hard work but you would have enjoyed it I am sure.  We didn’t cross the channel in the end as the weather was not ideal for that but Cowes, Weymouth and Poole were a good substitute as it turned out most people just wanted the ‘big boat’ experience.  We encountered a full range of weather and used every sail except storm sail and the kites. The website has a link to a video compilation that gives a good flavour of the sailing we encountered.  We ate well too

report on a Cruise to the Scilly Isles (2012)

Steve Webber reports on this cruise to the Scillies 3-10 August (2012)

Lunch-time on a sunny Friday seemed like a good omen when four of us – skipper Nigel Watsham, Mike Griffiths, Roy Cullers and myself Steve Webber – assembled at Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth.  A leisurely lunch in the bar while waiting for the boat, Ocean Whisper – a Sunfast 37 – to be prepared was marred only by a torrential downpour. But by hand-over, the sun was out again.

Then it was off in a SWly F4 for a quick familiarisation sail to Newton Ferrers. Interesting approach using two sets of leading marks to negotiate the dog-leg. Tied up on a pontoon for the night, electing to eat on board rather than get the dinghy out.

Next morning, with the continuing SWly, we sailed out to the Eddystone lighthouse, then turned to head towards Falmouth. Sailing close-hauled on the port tack gave us the heading we needed, and we were able to settle back and relax for the next 30nm, watching the downpours happening all around us but never on us. Engine on and sails down as we headed up to Mylor, only for the engine alarm to go off as we were within sight of the yacht haven. An anxious half-hour sailing around on the jenny while we failed to find out why there was no cooling water coming through. Having decided that now it had cooled we could run it for long enough to get into the marina, it promptly decided to work normally.

A day of mixed sailing and motor-sailing with distant views of St. Michael’s Mount as we crossed Mounts Bay brought us to Penzance dock. Rafted up next to a much larger yacht which turned out to be operated single-handed by a 76 year-old. Just time to shin up the quay ladder, dash to the shops and replenish the beer supplies.

The forecast was for continuing S-SWly F4-5, so the decision was made to go for it. Out to Wolf Rock, then another long port tack, pausing only to put the 1st reef in, brought us in sight of the Scilly Isles. Wisely, the skipper decided to put the engine on early – no water again. An hour spent dismantling the inlet filter and impeller to no avail, then at the third time of asking it worked. Into Hugh Town harbour and pick up a mooring buoy, inflate the dinghy, and into town. Managed to find a restaurant with a free table before the deadline of 9pm, and enjoyed a welcome steak to celebrate our arrival.

A dodgy engine and manual anchor was agreed to make the option of exploring more of the islands unwise, so next day we headed back. While piloting the channel to clear the islands, we passed a tall ship on its way in – made us grateful that our rigging wasn’t quite so high. On a broad reach with a following moderate sea and occasional F6, we made good progress – the prize for speed going to the skipper who briefly achieved 9.94 knots with the 1st reef in. Into Falmouth and raft up for the night.

Off to Fowey on a calm sea with no wind in time for a cream tea and a glass or two of wine, then dine on board. Next day back to Plymouth, again mirror sea, no wind and sunny. A prize was offered for the first person to spot a yacht motor-sailing with a cone up, but of the many we passed, not one (including ourselves!) were conscientious enough to comply. We obviously passed the quick inspection by a naval patrol vessel as they didn’t board us, so back into QAB and relax.

An interesting week: several brief sightings of fins – possibly porpoises, enough light-houses to lose count, some drama and even some good sailing. But don’t assume that because an engine looks brand new and has just been serviced that it’s going to work!

All in all, very pleased to have made it to the Scilly Isles.

Quotes of the week:

Nigel – boats are better when you’re sat on a patio with a glass of wine.

Roy – you always do what the skipper says.

Report on the BTOSC Spring Rally & AGM

Mick Curran reports as follows on the BTOSC Spring Rally and AGM weekend:

Despite some of us being keen to sail to the Isle of Wight on the Friday evening, the decision was made to stay and eat at the Ketch Rigger. This turned out to be an excellent choice because a large table was prepared for us which made it easy for new members to get to know everyone. There was lots of laughter and we headed of to our bunks looking forward to a great day sailing.

The conditions in the morning  were better than expected and the three BTOSC chartered yachts headed out into a number of yachts that were racing and cruising out on the Solent. We sailed in company – initially towards Portsmouth and Gilkicker Point.  When the wind eased a challenge was set to be first to the Needles. There was still enough wind and with a calm sea, we all had a great sail before mooring in Lymington for the AGM. This took place in the magnificent Royal Lymington Sailing Club which has a grand view over the Solent from a balcony, although with the cold weather, the seawater pool looked far from inviting. The evening was chilly for the time of year so it was a good thing that Sue, our Social Secretary, had booked us indoor tables at the Mayflower for our traditional evening meal, where we can select our choices from the extensive menu. The evening was another successful social event.

The following morning we sailed around the Solent with a good wind which allowed us to practice our skills before having lunch up the Bealieu river and returning to the Hamble later in the afternoon.

If any of the other crews wish to add to this report or have any suitable photos of the event, please advise  James Savage.

Report on the 2011 BTOSC Cruise to Weymouth

Mick Curran reports on the recent long weekend cruise to Weymouth:
On the Friday fairly strong westerlys were forecast so we ate in the Ketch Rigger and then dashed off to Tesco’s for the vittles. Early the next morning we set off for a long sail to Weymouth but we were not early enough to get the most favourable tides through The Needles. With a strong wind against us and some cooling rain, the sun-block stayed in our bags. Eventually we saw Portland Head but by that time we had run out of the best weather, so we resorted to the ‘donkey’ to get us into Weymouth Bay.

The view coming into Weymouth was a glorious – the row of old coloured houses and the trip up the estuary to the marina made the long trip well worthwhile. We dined out and slept peacefully after our long journey.

The next morning the sun was trying its best to break through as we made an early start through the lifting bridge on our first let home. The first few hours was a glorious sail, but then the wind turned against us and we had to fight a 4 knot tide. Some brave helming was done but little progress was made. As the tide eased we found ourselves at The Needles, very much alone with just a handful of sails on the Solent. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find ourselves a berth and had to settle on returning all the way to Hamble. On went the ‘donkey’ again and we arrived in a dark mid-evening at Hamble.
We weren’t deterred and some very creative cooking resulted in the best meal of the weekend on board. It was probably a good thing that we had had a second long day otherwise I’m sure we would have partied into the early hours. On the Bank Holiday Monday morning, we awoke to the most ideal sailing weather you could hope for.  So we sailed out to the a crowded Solent and made the most of it and had a fantastic end to an adventurous Bank Holiday Weekend.
We got off to a fine start on the Friday expecting fairly strong Westerly’s, by staying in Southampton and eating in the Ketch Rigger before dashing off to Tesco’s for the vittles. Early the next morning we set off for a long sail to Weymouth. Not early enough though to get the most favourable tides through The Needles. With a strong wind against us and some cooling rain, the sun block stayed in our bags. Eventually we saw Portland Head but by that time we had run out of the best weather, so we turned to the dagger dagger to get us into Weymouth Bay.
The view coming into Weymouth was a glorious row of old coloured houses and the trip up the estuary to the marina made the long trip well worthwhile. We dined out and slept peacefully after our long journey.
The next morning the sun was trying its best to break through as we made an early start through the lifting bridge on our first let home. The first few hours was a glorious sail, but alas the wind seemed to turn against us along with a 4 knot tide. Some brave helming was done but little progress was made. As the tide eased we found ourselves at The Needles, very much alone with just a handful of sails on the Solent. At which point we couldn’t find ourselves a berth and had to settle on returning all the way to Hamble. On went the dagger dagger again and we arrived in a dark mid-evening at Hamble.
We weren’t deterred and some very constructive chef work resulted in the best meal of the weekend on board. It was probably a good thing that we had had a second long day otherwise I’m sure we would have partied into the early hours. Which would have been a shame because on the Bank Holiday Monday morning, we awoke to the most ideal sailing weather you could hope for. So we sailed out to the a crowded Solent and made the most of it and had a fantastic end to an adventurous Bank Holiday Weekend..  

We got off to a fine start on the Friday expecting fairly strong Westerly’s, by staying in Southampton and eating in the Ketch Rigger before dashing off to Tesco’s for the vittles. Early the next morning we set off for a long sail to Weymouth. Not early enough though to get the most favourable tides through The Needles. With a strong wind against us and some cooling rain, the sun block stayed in our bags. Eventually we saw Portland Head but by that time we had run out of the best weather, so we turned to the dagger dagger to get us into Weymouth Bay.
The view coming into Weymouth was a glorious row of old coloured houses and the trip up the estuary to the marina made the long trip well worthwhile. We dined out and slept peacefully after our long journey.
The next morning the sun was trying its best to break through as we made an early start through the lifting bridge on our first let home. The first few hours was a glorious sail, but alas the wind seemed to turn against us along with a 4 knot tide. Some brave helming was done but little progress was made. As the tide eased we found ourselves at The Needles, very much alone with just a handful of sails on the Solent. At which point we couldn’t find ourselves a berth and had to settle on returning all the way to Hamble. On went the dagger dagger again and we arrived in a dark mid-evening at Hamble.
We weren’t deterred and some very constructive chef work resulted in the best meal of the weekend on board. It was probably a good thing that we had had a second long day otherwise I’m sure we would have partied into the early hours. Which would have been a shame because on the Bank Holiday Monday morning, we awoke to the most ideal sailing weather you could hope for. So we sailed out to the a crowded Solent and made the most of it and had a fantastic end to an adventurous Bank Holiday Weekend..

Report from Arc Angel on the Xmas Jolly (4-6 December 2010)

A weekend sailing on on yacht Arc Angel in December – surely this would be sun filled and fun filled? Suitably blind to the possible outcomes, I joined up as a new BTOSC member and paid my money to join the Christmas Jolly. Packing on the Friday as several inches of snow was already on the ground (with more falling) pointed me to the lack of need for shorts!

Continue reading Report from Arc Angel on the Xmas Jolly (4-6 December 2010)

Report on the Thames Crossing Weekend: Friday 20th -Sunday 22nd August 2010

[topcollage images=2 start_with=1]This event came perilously close to being cancelled due to an insufficient number of people expressing interest. To make it viable the cross channel trip to Cherbourg, also in doubt because of too few people, was cancelled. Having originally booked a place on the Cherbourg weekend, I was a little disappointed not to be going there but the challenge and excitement of the journey rather than the destination is what it’s all about, isnt’t it? Continue reading Report on the Thames Crossing Weekend: Friday 20th -Sunday 22nd August 2010

Report on the Long weekend Cruise to Poole / Weymouth 8-11 July 2010

Roy Demery and Mike Bourne report on their cruise to Poole and Weymouth:On the Thursday evening Skipper Andy Shrimpton, Steve Davies, Adele Wisbey, Roy Demery, Wally Mathews, Mike and Lewis Bourne assembled on board Ca’Canny a 40 ft Najad at Hamble Point Marina. This was Mike and Lewis”s first cruise with the BTOSC and Mike”s first experience of sailing. Continue reading Report on the Long weekend Cruise to Poole / Weymouth 8-11 July 2010

Report on Introduction to Sailing Weekend (Fri. 28th. – Sun. 30th. May)

Kieran Madigan reports on a rather wet and windy introduction to sailing:

Why did we do it ?  Because we could!

For some years now we have, as a family, wanted to give sailing a bash. Having previously only encountered life on the waves on a Cross Channel Ferry it was a desire to see what made people want to get out and onto the water. Would we be bitten by the bug and become sailors? The BTOSC Introduction to Sailing weekend was the perfect opportunity to find out. Continue reading Report on Introduction to Sailing Weekend (Fri. 28th. – Sun. 30th. May)