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SRCC Newsletter

www.squareriggerclub.org.uk

Issue 3 - November 2017

Supporting TS ROYALIST, the square rigged sail training brig of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets

A Quick Glance at the Content!

A Very Successful Year! CONTENTS

Editorial Our President Retires List of Committee Brief info from AGM Report on two charters 2018 Charters Charity Raffle New members Deaths TS Royalist Programme 2018 Delivery voyage of TS Royalist

Welcome to the November or ‘Winter’ edition of the SRCC Newsletter. The news is somewhat reflective and looks back over a very successful year for the Square Rigger Club Charity. Looking forward though, there is no reason to think that 2018 will be less successful as we anticipate the first charter in April 2018, which will sail in waters (Devonian Coast) not previously covered by a SRCC charter. In what order of priority – our lovely ship TS Royalist, our exciting charters, our successful fundraising and lastly our giving? All have been successful and to some extent they all depend on each other. Firstly the ship, commissioned in 2015 so now in her second operational year – a very successful season for the Sea Cadets and particularly with TS Royalist’ performance in the Tall Ships Races. Congratulations to Captain Angie Morris and all who took part! Royalist won her class for the entire series of races and was awarded the ‘Cape Horn’ trophy – the first time a UK ship had been awarded this accolade in over 32 years. The first charter of the year saw the charter crew of square riggers elect to take the passage to Alderney, the first of the

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Our President Retires! Commodore Roger Parker RN followed on from Rear Admiral Sir Lancelot Bell Davies to be the President of the Square Rigger Club in 2005. Roger has been an enthusiastic critical friend to the committee and has guided it and the Club in a steady path through the past twelve years. This has ensured that the Club has remained on course in providing bursaries to Sea Cadets and occasional items of equipment for the ship. As a Club and with our President’s guidance we have supported the MSSC during the phasing out of the original TS Royalist and the introduction of the new ship. We say farewell to Roger but thank both Roger and his wife, Valerie for their diligent support of the SRCC.

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Issue 3 - November 2017

Channel Isles to arrive on the horizon when sailing over from Gosport. Benign weather saw a lot of motoring but the crew enjoyed the passage and also enjoyed exploring the small island – and collecting their duty free spirits! The second charter provided something of great interest for square rigger members – joining the end of season gathering of tall ships in Le Havre – see the article on P3 for the story. The purpose of the activity of the SRCC is raising money from subscriptions and profit on charters and during the year this has raised over £13,000. We had previously ring-fenced monies for the new TS Royalist and a gyro compass amounting to £10,669. Also a Raymarine chart plotter was provided for one of the new Rustler yachts. In addition to this, £6,000 was given in bursaries during the year. Summing this up, a highly satisfactory year for the Square Rigger Club in all respects but one, tinged with a little sadness as we say thanks and ‘farewell’ to our President, Commodore Roger Parker, who has so diligently served and guided us through the past twelve years and has now stepped down from office.

During the next year we shall see the installation of a successor to Roger and this will be announced in due course.

Members of the SRCC Irene Munday, Roger & Valerie Parker, Colin Mudie, Alan Burt, John MacDonald, Rosemary Mudie and Andy Krasun. The above photo was taken whilst thanking Roger and Valerie for their great service to the Square Rigger Club Charity and wishing them well in Roger’s retirement from office! See the panel on left hand side for more information about the AGM.


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The 2017/18 Committee Commodore: John MacDonald

Gosport to Le Havre 1st-4th Sept. 2017

Immediate Past Commodore: Hugh Illingworth Vice Commodore & Hon Secretary: Miles Banister Hon. Treasurer: Andy Krasun Membership Secretary: Marina Harden Bursary Secretary: Richard Weston

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By Martin Naish


My second trip aboard Royalist was like meeting an old friend. I’m exaggerating somewhat as we’d become acquainted merely six months earlier en route to Alderney. She’d lost none of her charm, the sun shone, and the rigging and decks gleamed impressively. I knew the drill: find your bunk, stow your stuff, shake hands, greet shipmates. Some familiar faces, some new, hoping to

Charter Secretary: Sam Smith Ex Officio: Cdr. (SCC) Andy Phenna RNR Member: David Hawkins

In Memoriam We are sorry to report the deaths of the following members during the year. Jan Holligan Peter Lee Bill Wise

remember names without being prompted. Get assigned your watch and bracing station, pay attention during the safety briefings and find a set of oilies that fits. Muster in the cockpit for Captain Ben’s briefing on our itinerary. Last, but not least, meet the staff who would be our guides, mentors, and trusty companions for the journey ahead. The plan was to sail to Le Havre overnight to rendezvous with “Les Grands Voiles” and spend Saturday in Le Havre moored alongside some truly majestic tall ships, many of which had competed in the Baltic Races. We would take part in the “Parade of Sail” along the French coast on Sunday morning before making for an anchorage at Yarmouth and returning to Gosport by noon on Monday. We cast off at 18:00. The wind was favourable but weak and there was no option but to motor in order to reach Le Havre by Saturday morning. It was an uneventful journey and the skies stayed clear well into the overnight watches. I still Square Rigger Club Charity

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TS Royalist Plans for 2018 Members have often expressed interest in having knowledge of TS Royalist’s whereabout during the course of a year. In brief, the ship will start with weekly passages in the local waters of the English Channel travelling as far as Plymouth by 27th April. She will then proceed in a westerly direction around Lands End and northwards to Liverpool and Belfast by mid May. A passage will then be made up to Scotland, arriving in Oban by 8th June and then onwards through the Caledonian Canal to Inverness. TS Royalist will then travel south, arriving in London by 27th July. The remainder of the season will see TS Royalist cruising extensively around the English Channel with stops in Le Havre, St Malo and the ports on the English side of the Channel. We would not wish anyone to visit a port expecting to see TS Royalist only to find that there had been a change in the itinerary! Therefore we suggest searching the internet for ‘TS Royalist AIS’ and checking that the ship is at the expected location before setting out.

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Issue 3 - November 2017

remember the full moon rising eerily through the rigging, and half expecting a rousing background cinematic score. I was surprised by how little light pollution there was in mid Channel. There were more constellations visible than I’ve seen for a long time and I wished I could name more than a handful. The icing on the cake was the Milky Way, so clear and bright, spilling across the night sky with the moonlight catching the tops of Royalist’s bow waves as we made steady progress towards France. I was on the 04:00 watch with my Aft Starboard companions to greet the crisp, dry French dawn. A pair of youthful French pilots met us at Le Havre shortly after 06:00 and guided us through the lock gates into our mooring alongside the tallest

ships I’ve ever seen. I was lucky enough to join Coxswain Gemma in the shore party, securing the mooring lines while Royalist was eased expertly into the berth. The crowds visiting the event grew steadily throughout the morning. We had some free time to explore and some of our party looked around the neighbouring vessels, many of which dwarfed Royalist many times over. The Russian, Omani and Portuguese ships in particular were real leviathans! However, as we know size doesn’t always count and Royalist has the trophies to prove that. Royalist piqued the interest of many passers-by during the morning and early afternoon. Unfortunately, the organisers had overlooked a public friendly gangplank and potential visitors were clearly disappointed that they couldn’t come aboard and look around. The duty watch manned the barricades, gently repelling boarders at the quayside with a combination of schoolboy French, and speaking-English-veryloudly-and-slowly. When that wore thin we deployed our

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TS Royalist 2018 WHEN 18-May 24-Aug 16-Apr 31-Aug 07-Sep 14-Sep 16-Mar 23-Mar 30-Mar 06-Oct 09-Nov 16-Nov 23-Nov 20-Jul 01-Jun 11-May 06-Jul 03-Aug 25-May 27-Jul 08-Jun 15-Jun 22-Jun 29-Jun 27-Apr 21-Sep 19-Oct 02-Nov 10-Aug 13-Jul 06-Apr 17-Aug 28-Sep 26-Oct

WHERE 19-May 25-Aug 21-Ap 01-Sep 08-Sep 15-Sep 17-Mar 24-Mar 31-Mar 13-Oct 10-Nov 17-Nov 24-Nov 21-Jul 02-Jun 12-May 07-Jul 04-Aug 26-May 28-Jul 09-Jun 16-Jun 23-Jun 30-Jun 28-Apr 22-Sep 20-Oct 03-Nov 11-Aug 14-Jul 07-Apr 18-Aug 29-Sep 27-Oct

Belfast Brixham Dartmouth Dartmouth Dartmouth Falmouth Gosport Gosport Gosport Gosport Gosport Gosport Gosport Gt. Yarmouth Greenock Holyhead Inverness Le Havre Liverpool London Oban Oban Oban Oban Plymouth Plymouth Poole Poole St Malo Sunderland Weymouth Weymouth Weymouth Weymouth

Issue 3 - November 2017

secret weapon - an inkpad and “Tall Ships Race” stamp. This was particularly popular with the younger locals, some of whom sported multiple Royalist “tattoos”. By 17:00, a suitable gangplank was installed and within next the 90 minutes, Royalist hosted over 500 visitors eager to step aboard a fine example of Brit… I mean Spanish boat building. There was a steady demand from the youngest visitors to don Bosun Helen’s Navy hat while proud parents snapped them at the ship’s wheel and all had a good time.

The day was rounded off with a stroll around the harbour, admiring the light show from all the assembled ships. This was followed by a pyromaniacal extravaganza of a firework display that seemed never ending.

2017 AGM at RNLI College, Poole 23rd September 2017 The SRCC always looks for interesting locations to hold their AGM and for this year it was held at the RNLI HQ in Poole. A goodly throng of members attended and aside from the main business of the day, the Morin Scott Memorial Lecture was provided by RNLI volunteers, Tony and Carolyn Pither, who informed their Square Rigger Club Charity

It was an early start on Sunday morning to make sure we were ready to be guided out of the harbour and take our place in the parade. Before we slipped our moorings Captain Ben press-ganged RN Sub Lieutenant Matt as his hapless side kick for an Charity No. 280393

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guests on who, what and where the RNLI is. The lecture was warmly received by those present. As usual there was a SRCC Club Raffle and on this occasion it raised £260. 1st prize was Eric Greenough’s Ropework No.9 and was won by Marina Harden. The 2nd price of a Bell Rope also created by Eric went to Nick Howard.

Notes from the 2017 Minutes Subscriptions

£6,733

Charter Income*

£3,049

Donations

£1,505

Bursaries

£6,530

Bank Accounts

£32,070

Reserves

£12,330

*Charter Income for 2017 is £10,920 Continuous efforts are being made through the Marketing and Publicity, headed up by Marina Harden, to reverse the decline in membership. Present statistics: Membership

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explanation of the “Two, Six, Heave” chant used when hauling sail. I missed the finer details in the ensuing comedy as Matt (in full RN No. 1 dress uniform) acted as a ship’s cannon. Ben placed an apple in Matt’s mouth to represent a cannon ball and Matt bent his upper body horizontal. Ben then “fired” the cannon by applying his size 12 sea boot to Matt’s derriere. After the “performance”, we set off through the lock gates serenading the locals with a rousing rendition of “Rule Britannia” from the ship’s tannoy. I noticed a stony-faced group of French motor cycle cops on the quayside performing a group Gallic shrug in response. Once in open water outside Le Havre the tall ships set their sails for the climax of the event. The sunshine highlighted the many sail configurations and the sheer beauty of the ships in their natural element and large crowds gathered on the beaches and cliff tops. It was a real privilege to participate in such a rare event. Our navigator John had calculated our course for Yarmouth, so we bid farewell to France and headed northwards. The plan was to get ahead of the forecast stormy weather, but skies quickly turned gunmetal grey and the wind picked up. We also encountered a tumultuous “Atlantic Swell” that was a legacy of the cyclones which had recently devastated parts of the Caribbean and Eastern USA. Royalist quickly adopted a rolling gait, providing a taste of what it must have been like to sail on the high seas in days gone by. We were soon making a very respectable 10 knots, and good progress, but it was difficult to maintain a steady

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Bursary Awards 2017 - 58 of which 46 to cadets in TS Royalist and 7 to the yachts.

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Average Bursary value £82 per cadet. New Insurance scheme for SRCC to cover Trustee and Public Liability.

Issue 3 - November 2017

course when the ship was corkscrewing so dramatically. A classic understatement from Captain Ben at this point: “The sea state is rather confused”.

SRCC Merchandise

The Aft Starboard watch came on duty in the early evening and I took the helm for a good proportion of our time on deck while my watch mates actively trimmed sail. I now have a much better idea what it must be like to be in a rodeo. Royalist bucked like a wild mustang being attacked by a swarm of bees.

A reminder to members. Please view our attractive and useable merchandise online or contact the Hon. Secretary, who will be please to assist. For the 2018 charters, a branded Club Polo shirt will be included in the charter package.

I was grateful at this point for the stiff-upper-lip calm of the regular seafarers aboard who had clearly witnessed a lot worse than this. In particular, Captain Ben performed a sterling job of dispensing his stable of terrible jokes from a position in the cockpit. To say that the journey was spectacular would not do it justice.

Discussion about updating the SRCC Mission Statement to be inclusive -“men, materiel and money” will have to go but the ethos remains the same as ever.

When our watch finished I made the mistake of going below not noticing that many of the experienced hands were staying on deck. In the mess, some stalwarts with cast iron stomachs were eagerly tucking into a roast beef dinner. I felt this unwise and lay down in my bunk, but it was difficult to stay horizontal.

A Welcome to New Members in 2017 We are pleased to announce the following new members: Daniel Nicholls Martin Naish John Myland Square Rigger Club Charity

Unfortunately, the extreme rocking motion got the better of me, and I succumbed to the dreaded mal de mer. When this became obvious to my shipmates, I was helped into my oilies and “invited” on deck for a spell of horizon spotting (thanks Sam and Marina). I found that orientating the grey matter on a fixed point is the only reliable way of regaining some semblance of normality. I remained almost glued to the spot during the next three watches, but at least I had the company of approximately half my shipmates, many in a similar state.Our entrance into the anchorage at Yarmouth defies an accurate description. I remember a pitchCharity No. 280393

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SRCC Newsletter Nick Meeks Andrew Matthews Karen Janas

Legacies & Bequests. The square Rigger Club Charity (SRCC) has had the good fortune to benefit from occasional generous legacies of former members; this has undoubtedly provided the SRCC with funds which have significantly contributed to the building of the present ship in addition to assisting with the bursary program. It is a subject we do not normally wish to talk about but may we encourage you to think about adding a bequest of any size into your Will when you next review it. You may be assured that it will be beneficial to the charity and appreciated by the cadets we support. Suggested wording is available on request from the Hon Secretary. T: 01962 853791. honsec@squareriggerclub.org.uk

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Issue 3 - November 2017

black night, reduced visibility due to sea mist, mammoth waves, horizontal rain, and a force 7 gale driving us in. We seemed to fly past the cardinal beacons that marked the passage. By this time, I had overcome my feeling of sickness, thanks to joining others at the sharp end of the ship and helping to trim the jibs. Though at this point I was just hauling what I was instructed to haul without fully understanding what I was doing. Mercifully, things were a lot calmer as we reached our anchorage. It was another early start the next morning to make our way back to Gosport, but this time under engines. We had a ringside view of the RN’s new carrier as we made our way into harbour. Overall, it was an excellent trip and the company was second to none. The Tall Ships Rendezvous in Le Havre was an event not to be missed. I could have done without being sea sick on the way back, but you have to take the rough with the smooth and I was assured it was uncommonly rough. The return journey was so spectacular that it more than compensated. Will I be back for more? Just try to stop me!

Alderney Charter Report By Phil Wadey

Oh, it was great to be back on board TS Royalist on Friday 21 April 2017 for the spring charter! With a prompt departure from Fort Blockhouse, Gosport, it wasn't long before the sails were up and the engine off, destination Alderney. The early hours of any charter are all about familiarisation: with at least six months since the last trip, longer for many of us, the initial activities are where concentration really pays off - learning our allocated positions and remembering which line is which from the clewlines, buntlines and leachlines. On this trip we also had a fire drill, and an emergency steering Charity No. 280393

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SRCC Charters in TS Royalist Do not miss the next opportunity to take part in a SRCC Charter - it’s so much better to sail with a full ship many more people enjoying themselves and a greater contribution to the good cause what can be better charity giving than that!? For information, look out for the Charter leaflet - if you haven’t got one, contact the Hon Secretary. or go online to the website and download the details from it. There are two weekend charters in 2018, the first starting and finishing in Dartmouth starting on 13th April and the second one is from the home port of Gosport commencing on 5th October.

Marina Runs and Fund Raises! In October 2016 I decided to run the Great South Run and raise at least £500 for the Square Rigger Club Charity. I regularly do a 5k Square Rigger Club Charity

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exercise to use the rudder. There is something new to be learnt on every trip! On arrival at Braye Harbour, it was time for a walk ashore. It was good to walk along the coastline to see the Wartime defences, old prison, and lovely beaches, and ending, of course, in a friendly pub.  There was the opportunity to visit the best-value duty free shop ever, at the Mainbrayce Chandlers.  Our water taxi driver, Victoria, ferried us back to the Royalist.  She had just come from the inter-island bell ringing championships where Alderney was just pipped to second place by Jersey. Saturday evening saw the crew watching the recent Dad's Army film on the main course sail using the projector that had been funded by the Square Rigger Club. The system worked well, and there was plenty of room to sit near the bow of the ship to watch. Sunday was different: having had fair winds to get to Alderney, it was a case of motoring on the return leg for there was hardly any wind at all. Not all was lost though. We headed for the Isle of Wight, put out the dinghy and spent some fun time having trips out to take good pictures of the Royalist included some for PR purposes by the Needles.

In the evening, most of the crew headed for the nearest pub, in which the Shanklin Theatre Company was having a wind down after finishing their production of Jekyll and Hyde. The was merriment all round which continued on return to the ship where the musical instruments were broken out for sea shanties, the trumpeters mating call (Past Commodore Hugh on trumpet with responses from a bugle in the Ward Room). On Monday morning we headed back to Fort Blockhouse, tidied up and cleaned, and bade farewell until next time. It was a super way to spend four days with a good mix of sailing and socialising, climbing the masts to put the sails away neatly and doing the 'up and over' for a challenge. I can't wait until next time! Charity No. 280393

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SRCC Newsletter park run and the occasional 10k run (albeit slowly), so the 10 mile (16k) length of the Great South Run was always going to be a challenge! Due to Storm Brian the running events on the Saturday were cancelled, thankfully the Sunday morning broke to sunshine and an easing storm. I joined 20,000 other runners and set off just after 11.10 from Clarence Esplanade on course taking in Old Portsmouth, the Royal Naval Dockyard, Southsea, Eastney and a tough last two miles into the wind back to the esplanade! My finish time was 2hrs 05mins and I admit to walking (although on occasion overtaking runners), the last two miles due a very painful ankle. I’m hugely grateful to all those that sponsored me especially fellow Square Riggers Miles, Martin N, Chris F, John B, Norman, Hugh, Keith, Peter G, Sam and Roger P. The amount raised is currently £663.38 and donations are still welcomed via https:// www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ squareriggermarina

Eric’s Latest Creation! Ideas for Auction/Raffle in 2018 please? Square Rigger Club Charity

Issue 3 - November 2017

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Bringing the new TS ROYALIST Home

By Jonathan Tatlow

Early in 2015 when the new ship was nearing completion I made sure that the then Sailing Master Roy Taylor was in no doubt that I wanted to be one of the crew to sail her home to the UK from northern Spain where she was built. Thus on 5 May I found myself at Heathrow airport where, before I had completed all the formalities, I was joined by Emma, a young woman I had sailed with before. Eventually a small group of us boarded the flight and by late evening we were ensconced in a comfortable modern hotel on the edge of the town of Ribeiro, about seventy miles east of Corunna. This 'hardship', with a view of the wooded hills of Galicia from my room, was forced upon us because the shipyard was not just finishing small 'snagging' jobs, they were in fact considerably behind schedule and we could not yet live aboard. And so every morning we and some others who had been monitoring the build for some time had to be driven across the high bridge over the mouth of the river Eo to the small waterside town of Figueras where our new ship lay alongside the small but busy yard of Astilleros Gondan. Here we were issued with protective 'hardhats ' and made our way beneath towering cranes, past welding workshops spurting fiery sparks and piles of steel both in sheet form and fabricated into all manner of parts for two oil rig support vessels under construction. Once on board we had to familiarise ourselves with every part of the ship from the engine room to emergency steering gear, fire escapes and extinguishers etc., all the time stepping over and around the hapless Spanish workers under pressure to get the job done. 'Learning the ropes' was not a great problem because their uses and belaying points are almost identical to the old Royalist (and any other square-rigger). The following days are hazy in my memory, recalled through a veil of sweat and toil as we sorted, loaded, and stowed innumerable stores and equipment of every description. But there was a lighter side to this working holiday, not least the crew's R&R headquarters in the cafe-bar El Soroco, just across the road from the shipyard gate. Here we were warmly welcomed each day and their three-course lunch with a few bottles of wine on the long table at eight euros a head was warmly welcomed by us! (I thought the Charity No. 280393

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EU was supposed to have reduced such inequalities of wealth, but not in northern Spain apparently.) Come the weekend we had a day off and were driven high up into the hills where, after lunch in a sunny restaurant, we visited a stone-built village where in the past a high waterfall had been used to power all manner of machinery including, until quite recently, the villagers' own electricity generator. But after that break, and now living on board, we and the Spanish workers had six more days work to get the ship ready for sea and over that time more volunteers arrived, some old friends, others not, until there were enough of us to sail the ship - not a full 'cadet crew' but all experienced adults.

Newsletters 2018 If you have enjoyed this Newsletter, why not contribute to the next one? Do you have any information or story that may be of interest? Send an article, not more than 1,500 words or short piece of news about 150 words. You can send it as soon as available or no later than May 2018 as we shall publish the next Newsletter around July time with stories and photos of the 2018 Dartmouth charter. We are looking for a Newsletter Compiler/Editor - If interested please contact our Hon. Secretary, Miles Banister. Photography Credits: Thanks to: Amanda, Miles, Marina, Hugh, John Bridger, John Burgess, Sam and our apologies to anyone not mentioned!

Regardless of the shipyard's over-run deadline Royalist had one of her own: she had to be in London in time for her commissioning by HRH the Princess Royal. But the weather pays no heed to human affairs and gale force winds were forecast in sea area Biscay, into which we now had no choice but to sail. Before we could finally get away most of us were sent aloft to thoroughly check every detail of the rig. Several minor faults were discovered amongst which I found an un-wired shackle at the fore topsail yardarm. Pliers and wire were sent up on a gantline but, not being able to do the job standing on the 'Flemish horse' footrope, I had, for the first time in my life, to sit astride the yard's end. (Not the done thing when there are cadets aboard!) Eventually, on the afternoon of Sunday 17 May, lines were cast off and we motored out to sea, the mainmast just clearing the bridge we had so often been driven over. Sail was set under a clear blue sky with a 'soldier's wind' on our port beam and we were at last on our way. By the time I was woken for my night watch the promised gale was at full force. Getting one's boots and foulies on and climbing the see-sawing stairway to the chart room soon woke up both body and mind and out in the pitch black cockpit everyone was clipped onto the webbing jackstays criss-crossing the deck and hanging onto anything to hand. Collars zipped up and warm hats pulled down we relieved the helm and lookouts and braced ourselves for some very lively sailing. Every few minutes, unseen in the roaring darkness, a particularly large and steep Atlantic swell, the so-called seventh wave, would throw the ship, and us, violently to starboard. On one such occasion I was at the wheel and ended up sprawled across the deck hanging on to only the rim of the wheel. But the ship righted herself immediately, I was on my feet and we were back on course.

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Later when I was port lookout in the aft corner of the cockpit the aforementioned Emma was trying to get something out of the locker at my feet. A big wave hit and, the builders having neglected to fit a handrail, I went flying to starboard taking her with me, the two of us ending up in a heap on the other side of the cockpit. I was fine but she had a nasty bruise-cum-wound on her temple from impacting the engine control console. Happily, she was soon mended with a few 'butterfly' patches, leaving me very relieved it was not worse. And finally, an interesting snippet! During forty years of support for TS Royalist and the Sea Cadets, from Subs/Donations/Charters/ Bequests, the Square Rigger Club Charity has contributed with this magnificent amount: Equipment Bursaries

£141,646 £203,901

©2017 SRCC Newsletter Nov. 2017 Editor: Hugh Illingworth Sub Editor: Miles Banister Contributions welcome for the Spring/Summer Newsletter 2018 to hugh@squareriggerclub.org.uk

Sad to say, the only other mishap that night was also due to Spanish workmanship. The fastenings of the lee cloths in the mess deck were so inadequate that a big roll sent 'Uncle Albert' plummeting from the middle bunk to the floor below, potentially a very dangerous fall that was softened only by relief bosun Mark who had already forsaken the bottom bunk in favour of said floor. A very rude awakening for both of them but only a few bruises to show for it. To be fair to the builders, a twenty first century square rigged sail training ship presents particular problems, not least the accommodation and segregation of twenty four cadets, male and female, and an afterguard of eight adults within a one hundred foot hull. Add to that water and refrigerated food for those thirty two souls, all the electronic gadgetry, 'black tanks' for all wastewater etc. and the fact that Royalist was a first for Astilleros Gondan. Teething problems, and there were more, were to be expected. But that baptismal Biscay gale demonstrated that the computer-generated, tank-tested design has produced a fine ship, seaworthy and a considerably better sailer than the one she replaces. The result was that we entered the Channel well ahead of schedule and eventually took in all sail and motored at our own slower speed to catch the flood tide into the Solent. Captain Angie Morris conned us through the narrow entrance into Portsmouth Harbour and up to the Petrol Pier where heaving lines snaked through the air and the new Royalist berthed for the first time at her new home. Long may she continue to do so. ———————————————— Our Commodore, John MacDonald and Committee send Best Wishes for the coming festive season to our Members, the Sea Cadets and the crew of TS Royalist!

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