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.
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
Thanks to some sterling work by John Wells we now arrangements in place for members to purchase items of clothing with the club logo. The above is just one example – more designs can be seen at www.oceanworld.co.uk/btosc. Please download and read ClubRegalia2013 for further details and in particular some special arrangements for caps.
Christmas is coming so it’s time to book your places for the BTOSC Christmas Jolly which is to be held this year at a new venue – The Master Builder at Bucklers Hard. The price per berth is £135 which includes your berth, a 3 course dinner and hopfully some sailing too.
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.
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.