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LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

MARY LUNN First Fast Cruise

CRUISING, RALLYING, RACING Members out on the water

AT THE CLUB

Photographic competition, social events and trophy winners

HONORARY PORT OFFICERS Latest news and contacts


LITTLE SHIP CLUB

President: Mike Golding OBE Commodore: Anne Billard Vice commodores: Commercial: Iain Pickard Sail and Power: Jonathan Hague Rear commodores: House: Vacant Marketing: Frank Walters Membership: Hunter Peace Social: Sue Lyons Training: Graham Broadway Hon solicitor: Mark Turvey Hon treasurer: Arlene Keenan Members of the Club Committee: Rune Bakken (URNU Liaison), Paul Banks, James Donaldson (Membership), Ray Fox (House), Pete Hampson, Barrie Martin President’s committee: David Roache, Iain Muspratt, Jill Moffatt, Pete Newbury, Don Shackley Honorary life vice presidents: Norman Hummerstone MBE, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dr Jean Plancke Little Ship Club Ltd, Bell Wharf Lane, Upper Thames Street, London EC4R 3TB Tel: 020 7236 7729 Fax: 020 7236 9100 Internet: www.littleshipclub.co.uk Email: office@littleshipclub.co.uk Directors: The Club Committee Members: All Guaranteeing Members Club secretary: Nicholas Long Hon librarian: Deborah Wheeler HPO liaison officer: Anne Le Verrier Bizzey Hon chaplain: Revd Andrew Wright Hon archivist: Ian Stewart Editorial committee: Brian Humber, Chris Nicholson, Deborah Wheeler Managing editor: Vacant Design and production: Linda Mugridge Tel: 01353 664433 / 07388 902302 linda.mugridge@virginmedia.com Advertising: for advertising enquiries contact the Club office on 020 7236 7729 Copyright: None of the material in this journal may be reproduced without written permission of the Editorial committee.

The Little Ship is published three times a year by the Little Ship Club Limited. All editions are published online and two editions are printed and sent free to members. Articles appearing in this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the Little Ship Club or its officers. Charts: No responsibility is accepted by either the contributor or the Club for the accuracy of charts or other sailing directions published. Printed by TU ink

CONTENT

CONTENT

COMMODORE’S COLUMN: Let’s make 2018 “a wonderful year for the Little Ship Club!” ................................................................ 4–5 NEWS FROM YOUR COMMITTEE: Reports from Club committees Overview of the Club’s committees ........................................................ 5 Welcome to our new Club secretary ...................................................... 5 Sail and Power committee promotes the cruise to Venice ......................... 6 OBITUARIES: Richard Hodder and Jim Thomas ..................................... 6 AT THE CLUB: Photo Competition 2017 Winning pictures from the 2017 competition and report by competition organiser, Patrick MacCulloch ........................................ 7–10

ME AND MY BOAT: Edward Allcard, keen sailor and adventurer (part two) Clare Allcard reports ...................................................... 11–14

RACING: Juno’s impressive 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race Charles Whittam reports ................................................................ 15–18

EVENTS: Little Shippers on the water ................................................. 18 RALLIES: Hurricane Irma impacts on Caribbean Rally Martin Sandford and Bill Preece report, introduction by Deborah Wheeler ..................................................................... 19–21 RALLIES: Caribbean style heats up Frostbite and Fast Cruise Graham Pinner reports, photos by Jill Moffatt and Charlie Quayle ........ 22–23 RACING: Thames Trafalgar Race series finale Richard Keen reports, photos Louis Ma and Kate Newman ................ 24–26 CRUISING: Claudia III in Irish waters Tom Wall reports ......................................................................... 27–29 CRUISING: Unfinished business – Bagheera’s 2017 cruise David Clements reports ................................................................ 30–35 RNLI FUNDRAISER: Alex’s 9,500-mile journey raises £70,000 for RNLI Judy Brown reports, photos RNLI and Alex Ellis-Roswell ........................................................................ 36–38

THE CLUB ABROAD: Club wedding after whirlwind romance The story of Heather and Nigel Rogers kicks off our new series, ‘the Club abroad’ ............................................................................. 39 AT THE CLUB: Members get together Images of recent social events at the Club ...................................... 40–43 BOOKS: Reviews Members review a selection of recent donations to the Club library ..... 44–45

HPO NEWS: 2017 – a very nasty year for some of our HPOs Anne Le Verrier Bizzey reports ............................................................ 46 HPO CONTACT LIST: ......................................................................... 47 Cover photograph by Kate Newman

LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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COMMODORE’S COLUMN

LET’S MAKE 2018 “A WONDERFUL YEAR FOR THE LITTLE SHIP CLUB!” Social functions, cruising, racing and rallies have all been part of the Club’s activities in recent months. Here, Commodore Anne Billard shares some of the highlights of 2017 and looks

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irst of all, a very happy 2018 to all – I hope it brings you all the joy and happiness you wish. May it be filled with laughter, fair winds, following seas, and your heart’s content of sailing in good company. The end of last year has seen some changes in the office, and last month we welcomed Nick Long as our new Club secretary (see page five). I have no doubt you will all make him feel most welcome. If you have not met him yet, please introduce yourselves to him! Once again, the Club has been very busy since the summer: we hope you enjoy the pictures of some of the events which have taken place, and decide to join us next time! If you only read one article in the magazine, make sure it is Judy’s piece on Alex Ellis-Roswell’s fundraising adventure for the RNLI (page 36). Those of you who met him at the Club will remember how self-effacing and modest about his achievement he was. We hope to see him again for a re-telling of the most salient parts of his 9,550-mile trek. On 19 September I co-hosted a joint lunch with the CLC; this was the last time we saw President John Garbutt at an official function at the Club; Christine Rigden’s speech, full of anecdotes, was enjoyed by all. Tuesday 17 October saw us honour tradition with a lively Trafalgar Night Dinner. Mary Arthur, a direct descendant of Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton, gave a very different after-dinner talk: concentrating on the love story behind the great man, she had all the women in the audience swooning – a fantastic success! Unfortunately for me, family obligations meant I had to miss the whisky tasting on 24 October. I gather it was as enjoyable as the first such tasting Michael organised a few years ago, and judging by the pictures, I did miss a good one! 14 November saw a full house, with a wonderful talk given by Sophie Todd, the producer of the Channel 4 series ‘Mutiny’: an SAS officer, joined by a doctor, a carpenter and specialist sailors battled storms, reefs, and Australia’s shark-infested waters, in a re-creation of Captain Bligh’s voyage after the mutiny on the Bounty. Not quite the sailing in which Little LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

forward to 2018 calling on members to get involved at the clubhouse and on the water.

“... everyone is welcome to give as much, or as little, time as they can afford. It is fundamental for the Club to have new people at the helm, new ideas introduced, debated – even argued!”

Shippers engage! Our President, Mike Golding, joined us for the talk and dinner: it turned out he knew one of the crews well. 28 November was our regular shanties evening: the eighth edition of what has become one of the most sought-after stalwarts in our calendar. Organiser Mark Turvey does deserve a trophy: from Graham Pinner and family with violins and guitar, the inaugural ‘Tom Davey LSC Poetry Competition’, the famous French shanty ‘Le 31 du Mois D’Août’… the motto of the evening, enthusiastically compèred by Michael Forbes Smith, was “if you don’t sing, you don’t get fed!”. And sing they did! Little Shippers have been sailing far and wide: among others, Bagheera of Whitby took David Clements around Britain, Claudia III was seen in Ireland and Juno held her own in the Fastnet. Whilst the rally Debbie Wheeler had organised in the BVIs sadly had to be abandoned because of hurricane devastation, some skippers decided to visit other parts of the Caribbean. Read their accounts on pages 19 to 21. Your Committee has been looking ahead, and preparing our AGM on 6 March. Do read the ‘News from your Committee‘ section for information about Club governance, the various Club committees and sub-committees available to join, for those of you who want to get involved. Don’t be shy, don’t be put off by what you might perceive as “too much work”. I cannot stress enough that everyone is welcome to give as much, or as little, time as they can afford. It is fundamental for the Club to have new people at the helm, new ideas introduced, debated – even argued! And, I know from experience, getting involved is the best way to meet people for those new members still a little nervous! One of the most pressing departments which need help is Marketing: Rear Commodore Marketing Frank Walters is stepping down after taking the Club’s brand into the 21st century, with a new campaign and refreshed creativity. The Club also needs a PR officer to spearhead the Club’s nascent editorial exposure. Look out for Sailing Today, which will soon carry an interview with the first lady Commodore of the Little Ship Club in 20 years, discussing the subject of women in sailing – a


NEWS FROM YOUR COMMITTEE contentious subject if ever there was one! As research, I talked to many Club members: skippers who choose not to sail with women crew on long passages, those who won’t sail in mixed crew, those who will only sail in mixed crews – even our President, who, in his role as chairman of World Sailing’s Sustainability Commission, is involved in the issue: a fitting subject for a yacht club which voted to accept full lady members as far back as 1927. The Little Ship Club deserves much, much more of this sort of exposure so please join the Marketing committee and help! Or you might like to join the Sail and Power committee and help develop our rally programme? Maybe the Training committee? If you are not sure where your talents would be best used, do talk to one of us: our mugshots are on the board in the corridor, we will be only too happy to talk you through. As the new year begins, we have much to look forward to. At the Club, an introduction to the wonderful charity Oceans of Hope, square dancing on Burns’ Night, a London Quiz … and so many more unmissable Tuesday Club Nights! On the water, we are spoilt for choice: the start of season rally to the Royal Solent Yacht Club; the Commodore Calvados Cruise will take you to Normandy for Bastille Day fireworks in Caen; the Solent Leisure Cruise will alternate sailing days with lay days to visit places of interest; the Venice rally will take you boating on the lagoon. This June, we will join our Corinthian friends to sail on the Chesapeake – and let’s not forget the Calais, West Mersea rallies among many, many more! Join us on the water; enjoy the clubhouse; spread the word, make 2018 a wonderful year for the Little Ship Club! As wonderful, happy and fulfilling a year as I wish you all. n Anne Billard, Commodore

WE ARE DELIGHTED TO INTRODUCE NICK LONG, OUR NEW CLUB SECRETARY

Nick’s career has spanned three main stages – 24 years as an officer in the Royal Navy, six setting up and running a business in France providing maintenance services primarily for people with holiday homes, and for the last nine years as an engineering manager at various grades with Transport for London. Nick brings a wealth of House experience: organising and supervising sub-contractors (or getting stuck in and carrying out tasks himself!); he is also a skilled administrator, and, having designed, built and published his own website he is completely IT literate. Last but not least, Nick has a RYA Offshore skippers ticket. Since returning to London, he has taken an active interest in dinghy racing again (going out most weekends throughout the year in either a Merlin Rocket or a Solo); he is currently Vice Commodore of the Ranelagh Sailing Club, Putney.

The Club Committee works for you the members, and this section is our way to publicise a little more what we do, our projects, and to ask for help, ideas and suggestions.

CLUB COMMITTEE

THE CLUB DEPENDS ON MEMBERS’ INVOLVEMENT

Whether a new or a seasoned member of the club, being part of the Club Committee is a great way to help shape the future of the Club. To help you choose where your talents and interest lie here is an overview of the Club’s committees: Sail and Power: oversees the Club’s activities on the water, including the rally programme. It also decides on the award of the various trophies for the Club’s activities. Additionally, under this banner are the Skippers and Crew committee and the Handicap committee as well as the HPO liaison officer. Commercial: oversees all aspects of the Club’s commercial activities. This includes principally catering and room hire.

Training: oversees all aspects of the training provided by the Club. It decides on the courses to be provided and their pricing and ensures properly qualified instructors are available.

Membership: decides on all aspects of membership such as categories

and rates.

Social: looks after the Club’s social programme, including the selection and booking of speakers for Tuesday nights.

House: looks after all aspects of the maintenance and refurbishment of the Clubhouse.

Finance and Audit: made up of members deliberately not on the Club Committee and advises and monitors the Club’s financial side including all contracts and insurance. It reports to the Club Committee as required.

Marketing and Communications: looks after the website, the monthly bulletins and the magazine. Also under this banner is the Editorial committee which assists with all aspects of the production of the Little Ship.

PLEASE GET IN TOUCH

n n n n n n

commodore@littleshipclub.co.uk

Marketing Committee: marketing@littleshipclub.co.uk Training Committee: training@littleshipclub.co.uk

Sail and Power Committee: sailandpower@littleshipclub.co.uk Membership Committee: membership@littleshipclub.co.uk Social Committee: social@littleshipclub.co.uk

If you are a new member, please get in touch with Paul Banks: paulbanks.123@btinternet.com LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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NEWS FROM YOUR COMMITTEE SAIL AND POWER

JOIN OUR MOTOR CRUISE TO VENICE

Don’t miss the Club’s Venice cruise from 7 to 15 September. Gabbie Ryan reports on a cruise briefing at the Club and encourages members to take this opportunity to see Venetian architecture from the water.

Tim Ryan on San Francisco del Deserto in the early morning mist. Still inhabited by the Franciscan Order, this was where St Francis ended up – not bad!

On 19 September 2017 a briefing presentation for the Little Ship Club Venice cruise was held at the Club. This was very well attended, indeed, there was standing room only and many stayed on for the meal. The briefing was intended for those who have booked with the charter company, Le Boat, those intending to book and those who are still undecided. We were informed that on joining the craft at Casale, everyone will be issued with comprehensive charts and instructions by Le Boat. Copies of this information were shown at the briefing and once a firm booking has been made, this information can be obtained in advance from Le Boat, for a small fee. It was pointed out that the starting base Casale was ‘up the Sile River’, which has its attractions. On leaving the Sile (one sliding bridge and one lock) one is subject to the rules of the lagoon. These rules, such as they are, were discussed along with practical advice such as not to moor alongside busy channels due to the effect of the constant wake of vessels. Access to Venice itself was also discussed. Attendees will be able to use the free moorings offered by Le Boat in Vignole and Burano/Mazzorbo and then to access the highly efficient water-bus network to get around the main island and tourist sights. It was clear that we had some ‘old hands’ in the gathering and some were intent on not even bothering with Venice itself but exploring the coastal canal network – as the Italians do – presumably to get away from tourists! There were other helpful suggestions such as to bring one’s own portable VHF to be able to stay in contact with the group as an alternative to mobile or text.

OBITUARIES

TRIBUTE TO RICHARD HODDER

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It is with sadness that we heard that Richard Hodder passed away from the effects of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow from which he had been suffering for well over 20 months (to our knowledge, and probably more), before it was diagnosed. He died on 9 September 2017. He thoroughly enjoyed his membership of the Little Ship Club for many years and enjoyed hosting a lunch for some old friends from time to time. We and our daughter attended the flotilla for the Queen’s Jubilee when the Little Ship Club hosted a lunch to celebrate the event. LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

We were asked what we should recommend for the members ‘not to miss’ but we could not answer that question as there is so much to see and we would defy anyone who could claim to have seen it all. There are many books on Venice but the ‘Rough Guide to Venice and the Veneto’ does give good basic information plus 18 things not to miss! Venice is an experience as much as anything else and being able to approach the islands from the lagoon in a boat under one’s own control, just like the Venetians, is what the cruise is all about. This is not strictly a ‘cruise in company’ but that we would hope to meet as a group at the start and end of the cruise and then possibly at Vignole and Torcello. Individual boats will make their own cruise plans but the Club will also provide plans for anybody who would like it. The final dinner will be near the base so that we could swap experiences. There was some excitement about the cruise and plenty of interest. A good number of people have made bookings and there are still boats available. If you are interested in taking part in this wonderful opportunity to see and explore Venice and its islands, there is more information on the Club website. Please contact Gabbie at gabriellecryan@hotmail.com if you are planning on booking with Le Boat.

TRIBUTE TO JIM THOMAS

Jim Thomas joined the Little Ship Club in 1975 and was one of the first candidates for the Yachtmaster Certificate then being introduced by the RYA. In 1978, he became a qualified Instructor and for many years taught navigation and seamanship theory through the LSC winter season. In the summer he was a regular instructor with the LSC Practical Training Centre in Yarmouth. Half a generation of students Jim Thomas and friends. benefitted from sailing on his Rival 32, Antar, and his après-sail singing of “Green grow the rushes oh!” was the highlight of many a convivial evening. He was elected Vice Commodore South Coast in 1979 and held the post until 1984. He met his wife Gilly at the Club and in 1987 they left London to run a holiday cottages business in Devon. Jim died in November 2017 and Gilly survives him.


PHOTO COMPETITION 2017 PHOTO COMPETITION 2017

ORGANISER’S REPORT

This year’s competition had a record entry with 94 photographs and 11 pieces of artwork. It proved that members still had time to record their nautical activities along with the many interesting and picturesque places they have visited. The other encouraging factor was the number of entries from new members or from people who were submitting photographs for the first time. The largest entry was in Category 1 ‘Waterscape/weather’ with 26 photographs, followed by Category 4 ‘Portraits’ with 24 photographs. There were a good number of photographs in Category 5 ‘Humour’ with 17 entries. The weakest Categories were that of ‘Making Way’ with only 16 photographs and Category 3 ‘Rallies’ with only 11 entries. However the most rewarding part of the competition was the number of entries in the Artwork Category with four members entering 11 very interesting pieces of artwork portraying vessels and seascapes. Four members, Rune Bakken, Bill Lewis, Patrick MacCulloch and Barrie Martin entered photographs in all of five photographic categories with Barrie being the only person to enter three photographs in each of categories 1 to 5. It was also interesting that the first prizes in Category 1 and 5 were awarded to Drummond Robson and Tom Wall, who each submitted only one photograph for the competition. In Category 1 ‘Waterscapes’ several of the photographs were of reflected scenes. There was a good number of weather related photographs both of sunsets and over the horizon views. It was Nicola de Quincey’s photograph ‘A break in the clouds’ that was the Commodore’s choice to be awarded the Alan Walden Memorial Trophy. This trophy is awarded for the photograph that in the opinion of the Commodore is one that merits winning the trophy and not selected by the competition judging panel. Next year Nicola de Quincey who won this year will be asked to be one of the judges for the 2018 competition along with the winners of the various categories in 2017. This year’s real surprise was quality of the 11 entries in Category 6 ‘Artwork’. Any one of Frank Walters’ three paintings could have won the first prize. Tony Ratcliffe, the Honorary Port Officer for River Deben captured in his painting of his Motor Cruiser Temple Bar, the atmosphere of having to go through the rough seas at the bar of the River Deben. Patrick Smith again produced an excellent atmospheric etching. Nicola de Quincey gave us two quick sketches of scenes off the Hebridean Islands, along with a painting of the River Seine in Paris looking upstream towards the île de la Cité and Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Please remember to submit this year’s photographs from December 2017 right up to the closing date of Tuesday 6 November 2018. This year there will again be an Artwork category so please get drawing and painting. There will also be a new Category ‘Animals and pets at sea’. Members will again be asked to provide digital copies as well as actual photographs. The exhibition of all the submitted photographs and artwork along with the prize giving will be on Tuesday 4 December 2018.

Patrick MacCulloch, Competition organiser

CATEGORY 1: WATERSCAPES/ WEATHER Marine and inland waterways

First ‘Reflections’ Drummond Robson

Second ‘Reflections’ Joy Noble Rollin

3rd ‘Regent Canal, exiting the Islington Tunnel’ Patrick MacCulloch

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PHOTO COMPETITION 2017 CATEGORY 2: MAKING WAY

CATEGORY 3: RALLIES

Vessels under way, not drifting

Rallies and water based club events, ashore or afloat

First ‘The Fleet’ Rune Bakken

First ‘Thames Trafalgar, foggy Light Airs’ Patrick MacCulloch

Third ‘Then there were three’ Bill Lewis Second ‘Pilot Cutter on a foggy Falmouth day’ Barrie Martin This photo was taken at a low resolution, so we have placed an additional image of Pilot Cutter, which won fourth prize

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Fourth ‘Pilot Cutter racing on Southampton Water’ Barrie Martin LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

Second ‘En route to Ramsgate’ Joy Noble Rollin

Third ‘Everyone is in’ Rune Bakken


PHOTO COMPETITION 2017 CATEGORY 4: PORTRAITS

Members and families afloat, at the waterside or ashore at an LSC event

First ‘David, Mike and Barrie’ Nicola de Quincey

CATEGORY 5: HUMOUR

Third ‘Cheers’ Bill Lewis

Second ‘Mark Turvey’ Rune Bakken

Highly commended ‘Jonathan Hague’ Rune Bakken

Capturing those humorous moments First ‘Catch of the day’ Tom Wall

Second ‘Mine’s a G & T’ Joy Noble Rollin

Third ‘Oops, that shouldn’t happen’ Anne le Verrier Bizzey This photo was taken at a low resolution and is too small to publish. LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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PHOTO COMPETITION 2017 CATEGORY 6: ARTWORK

First ‘Greenwitch charging upstream’ Frank Walters

Any painting, sketch or artwork on the theme ‘The Sea, it’s in our blood’

Second ‘Motor cruiser Temple Bar crossing the bar at Felixstowe Ferry on the River Deben’ Tony Ratcliffe

Third ‘Etching/aquatint’ Patrick Smith

ALAN WALDEN-JONES TROPHY 2017

The Commodore’s choice was awarded to Nicola de Quincey for ‘A break in the clouds, Scotland 2017’ entered in the Weather category.

Please take part in this year’s competition and submit your photographs and artwork from now right up to Tuesday 6 November. This year members are asked to send entries both as prints and as digital copies to the Little Ship Club Office and email office@littleshipclub.co.uk.

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LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018


ME AND MY BOAT In a three-part series Edward’s wife, Clare shares her husband’s story with Little Ship readers. Edward, an adventurous sailor, who became an honorary LSC member in 1951, sadly died in July 2017, aged 102, (obituary, Little Ship summer 2017). Here, Clare picks up from part one (Little Ship spring 2017) and tells of the first half of his solo circumnavigation. Part three will be published in the next edition of Little Ship.

EDWARD ALLCARD, KEEN SAILOR AND ADVENTURER PART II: FIRST HALF OF A SOLO CIRCUMNAVIGATION

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should have mentioned in Part I that, after his first Atlantic crossing and arrival in New York, Edward had fallen head-over-heels in love – yet again! The object of his desire? A derelict yacht, lying in the Hudson River, her once white topsides splodged with mildew like a black and white cow. Her name was Wanderer. One glance and he knew instantly that she was the perfect companion with which to circumnavigate the globe. In 1950 he bought her for $250 and hauled her out under a tree. Once more aboard Temptress, he sailed back across the Atlantic to sell her in the UK. Now he needed to get back to Wanderer as quickly and cheaply as possible. Norman Fowler, a young American, was looking for a skipper to sail his yacht, Catania, to the States. Local tittle tattle had it that he had inherited the yacht after murdering his wealthy lover. Not perhaps the ideal partner but beggars can’t be choosers and the risk paid off. Edward arrived safely in New York. Wanderer (later renamed Sea Wanderer at the insistence of Eric Hiscock), was launched in Lübeck, Germany in 1911. Built of pitch-pine on oak, she was 36ft long, with 11ft beam and 5ft 4ins draft. She weighed 11 tons, two tons of which was a long straight ballast keel, ideal for beaching against a harbour wall. In 1953 Edward and American shipwright, Waldo Howland, worked around-the-clock to get her

Above: Wanderer, renamed Sea Wanderer, a yacht in need of a little TLC that Edward instantly knew would be ideal for circumnavigating the globe. Below: Wanderer, almost ready for launching – note the long straight keel.

minimally seaworthy. With hornets nesting in the mainmast and all the rigging rotten, Edward designed a Bermudan ketch rig suitable for solo sailing in the southern latitudes. He hand-sewed a new mainsail and installed a two cylinder, 18hp diesel engine generously donated by Listers. He was ready to cross the Atlantic to the UK’s cheaper boatyards. At the start of his latest book Edward encapsulated his philosophy on safety. He would carry no ship-toshore radio. It was his choice to sail alone. If he got into difficulties that was his problem. He had no right to radio for help, maybe risking others’ lives. Nor would he have a government-approved lifeboat as they are designed to keep shipwrecked mariners in one place, the easier to locate them. He’d have to rescue himself

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ME AND MY BOAT

Above: Edward and Peter Tangvald before the transatlantic race. Left: Edward fitted robust anchoring gear on board Wanderer. Left: English Harbour, Antigua, in 1973.

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and so chose the most sea-worthy dinghy he could afford. As to life-insurance he invested in the most robust anchoring gear he could find. The only reference I can discover to that 76-day transatlantic voyage says: “Austere single-handed passage back to the UK.” One dreads to think! Back in England, Edward met up with a past flame, Michele. Recently widowed, she had a two-year-old daughter, Andrea. Sinking what little money they had into an old house, they renovated it so Michele, a nurse, could provide a home to foster children. In 1956 they married. But things didn’t work out and money was getting seriously short. Edward decided to sail to Antigua and try his hand in the blossoming charter business. Michele stayed put along with Andrea and their own daughter, Dona, who remained much loved by Edward and was at his bedside when he died this July. In 1957 Edward set out to girdle the globe armed with his latest dream. He had just read Lucas LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

Bridges’ ‘Uttermost Part of the Earth’ and was determined to winter down near Cape Horn. Arriving in Tangier he tried his hand at charter fishing. Then, one night, he was woken by a huge explosion. Rushing on deck he saw a 110ft vessel, moored one boat away, gurgling slowly beneath the waves. Later that night another ear-splitting blast hailed debris onto his deck. A boat on his other side had been blown to smithereens. He was right in the middle of a smugglers’ war. Next morning he photographed everything, wrote an article and a Sunday newspaper paid him a much needed £150. He had the money sent direct to Michele and the children. Shortly afterwards Edward set sail for the Canaries. There he met Peter Tangvald, the NorwegianAmerican single-hander. Dining together each evening, they found they had many views in common: on smoking and drinking and keeping fit, on bragging and the simple life. They were also both eager to cross the pond before Christmas. In a fit of joie de vivre, Peter challenged Edward to a race to Antigua – for which, incidentally, neither of them had a chart. The local Real Club Náutico provided the starting orders though, unable to find the Club’s starting gun, they resorted to a hanky instead. And thus it was that, on the 20 November 1957, the two set out on the first ever east – west single-handed transatlantic race. (The first OSTAR race with Blondie Hasler, Francis Chichester et al took place in 1960.) Peter’s Windflower was a sleek 45 feet to Sea Wanderer’s more curvaceous 36. Neither had selfsteering gear. It was agreed they could use their engines though Edward’s Lister was almost new while Peter’s in fact failed altogether. And the prize for this great race? One US dollar. Peter took 33 days to cross, two days less than Edward and two days more than the previous record. He hung the dollar note, framed, in his saloon. Edward spent the next four years chartering for the Nicholsons out of English Harbour, Antigua. He loved it: the comradery amongst the skippers and crew, the friendship of the Nicholson family, the charterers themselves and the sailing lifestyle. And best of all, he could finally put rubber bands around his dollar bills and send money back to England. Eventually Edward had enough saved to head south for the uttermost part of the earth. On 29 November 1961, he waved goodbye to his many friends and set sail non-stop for Uruguay’s capital Montevideo some 3,300 miles away. Sea Wanderer floated low in the water, weighed down by 200 days of stores. After carefully consulting the wind charts, Edward chose the most northerly route which would carry him back across the Atlantic to near the Cape Verde Islands off West Africa where he hoped to pick up the trades to carry him south west to the River Plate. The trip took him 100 days. Once arrived in Montevideo, Edward stayed aboard for a few more days while his single-handed soul came to terms with the noise and bustle awaiting him ashore.


ME AND MY BOAT

Edward spent the next four years in and around the River Plate, travelling frequently between Montevideo and Argentinean Buenos Aires (where, after being jettisoned through a car’s windscreen and virtually scalped, he remained convalescent for a year). While there he was delighted to meet with one of his sailing heroes, the Argentinean solo circumnavigator, Vito Dumas. Sadly, just two days after their second meeting, Vito died. Funds were again low. Edward organised an advance for his next book, ‘Voyage Alone’, to be sent to Michele. He himself spent the winter moored up a little creek writing, whilst surviving on short rations: a large sack of donated rice, windfall oranges, and eggs bought on tick from a friendly grocer. Oh and some hongas mortalis or deadly mushrooms which almost carried him off. He also laboured to prepare Sea Wanderer for the rigours of the southern oceans and refined his homedesigned self-steering gear. 1 January 1966 saw the start of his South American adventure as related in his last book ‘Solo Around Cape Horn and Beyond’, published in 2016 when he was 102. How wise Edward had been to equip Sea Wanderer so robustly. Sailing south he met gale after gale. Four times he tried to escape from Gulfo Nuevo and four times a new gale drove him back – once after 16 fruitless hours of bashing to windward. The Roaring Forties indeed. However all was not bad. Arriving in Patagonia’s landlocked and uninhabited Caleto Horno, he wrote in his log: “When below I keep looking out just to admire the scene ... I love this place! ... Could happily live here.” Finally, he rounded Cape St Vincent, navigated the treacherous Le Maire Strait and anchored in Bahia Buen Suceso. Cape Horn was only 100 miles away to the south west. Edward set out the next morning, elation singing in his heart. The following few days almost cost Edward and Sea Wanderer their lives. A four-day Cape Horner drove them stern-first 50 miles north up the Le Maire Strait. On the very first day, the 55-year-old ketch

Above left: Caleto Horno, a place loved by Edward where he said he “could happily live”. Above right: Sailing with his GermanChilean cousins, the Harseims, off Valparaiso. Right: Stunning scenery of the Patagonian Channels.

sprang a near fatal leak. Edward was pumping out with the motor every 40 minutes. Sleep-deprived, he knew he couldn’t survive another day. In the book he gives a most harrowing account, brilliantly told. Eventually the sun shone and Edward arrived, worn but triumphant, at Harberton, the most southerly estancia in South America, the setting for the ‘Uttermost Part of the Earth’ and home to Lucas Bridges’ memorably hospitable descendants. He’d made it. After that, rounding the Horn on 12 April 1966 was a doddle with Sea Wanderer probably becoming the oldest yacht to make the passage single-handed. As planned years ago, Edward spent six months wintering in Tierra del Fuego before heading some 2,000 miles north up Chile’s magnificent, virtually uninhabited, Patagonian Channels. Here he acted out his boyhood fantasies. He lived off the land, scavenging for food, mainly mussels and geese, collecting water from clear waterfalls and chopping wood for his stove. LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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ME AND MY BOAT Left: For a solitary chap like Edward the Tuamotu islands had its drawbacks!

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Just after year’s end he reached Valparaiso and met his German-Chilean cousins, the Harseims for the first time. It is from those genes that his longevity springs. In the past 18 months one Harseim has died aged 102, another aged 100 while the last was a mere 99-years-old. In February 1967 he set out again this time to sail to New Zealand. On the way he was hit by a rogue wave that upended poor Sea Wanderer, smashed all the crockery, and turfed Edward rudely from his bunk. Half an hour later that sturdy boat was on her way again; first stop the Tuamotu islands. At first sight an idyllic tropical haven, peopled by wonderfully hospitable inhabitants but, for a solitary chap like Edward, it had its drawbacks. And so he moved on. Next to Tahiti to stock up with crockery and stores. There he was greeted by a Canadian woman, Viv. Later she told me the tale of their first encounter. She and her husband, Raith, had recently made their first ocean passage. Leaving from Vancouver they had LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

Above: Sea Wanderer, along side in Auckland Harbour.

reached Papeete a few days before Edward. Viv told me how she saw this poor old guy (all of 53) sailing in, totally alone and rushed over to help, explaining to him in detail how best to moor his boat. Thus are great friendships forged! Edward’s next mission was to Nukualofa, Tonga. In Chile, someone had given him a magnificent uncut rock of Lapis Lazuli and he had decided that only the 6ft 3ins Queen Salote of Tonga could do it justice. What Edward didn’t know till he arrived, was that the Queen had died the year before. In Tonga he also heard that his father had been killed in a road accident. He decided to sail to New Zealand, haul Sea Wanderer out and fly home. But he had one more adventure in mind. Edward had recently read the book ‘Minerva Reef’. It told the tale of 17 Tongan fishermen who survived 102 days shipwrecked on Minerva Reef some 200 miles from the nearest land. How they caught fish for food. How, using rough tools and wood from a Japanese wreck, they built an 18ft boat. How they designed an ingenious water still fuelled by deck planks to produce drinking water and how, finally, three of them made it to Fiji to get help. Deeply impressed, Edward decided to see the reef and the wreck for himself. It was also conveniently en route to Auckland. Today it is quite a popular stop-over for yachts crossing the Pacific. They of course have GPS. In Edward’s day, with nothing but sextant navigation and the reef only appearing above water at low tide, it was a scheme verging on the foolhardy. Nonetheless he found the reef and spent three days safely anchored inside its lagoon before setting out on the final, 800 mile sail to Auckland. There he received the news that now it was his mother who was failing fast. He hauled Sea Wanderer out at Westhaven Marina and caught the next flight to England. n


RACING

Right: Juno’s Fastnet crew – (left to right) Simon, Anne, Anthony, Charles T, Katie, Charles W (skipper), Max and Chris.

New top speed for Juno set during classic 600-mile race from Cowes, round Fastnet Rock and back to Plymouth. Here, skipper Charles Whittam recalls the preparation, the race and the post-race celebrations shared by a great crew on board Juno.

JUNO’S IMPRESSIVE 2017 ROLEX FASTNET RACE

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he 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race for Juno started back in October 2016 with a conversation with regular crew Mark who persuaded me to attempt to take Juno round the rock for a third time (and my fifth trip). Ironically Mark was then transferred to Singapore in early 2017, after I had entered Juno for the race, and was unable to join us. However, he has already booked for 2019. Entering and completing the Fastnet is really a project management process with a number of strands: n Crew recruitment n Boat preparation n Victualling n Training and experience qualification n Other logistics and administration n The Fastnet itself n Afterwards The race itself – though the primary purpose – is really just the tip of a fairly large iceberg.

CREW RECRUITMENT

By the end of 2016 I had six people (including myself) signed up, all of whom had sailed on Juno previously, including most importantly a dedicated navigator. Past experience had told me not to attempt to take on that role as well as being skipper and finding someone to replace our ‘retired’ ex-naviguesser was a pre-condition for me.

January saw our number reach the target of eight, allowing for two watches of four people, with the recruitment of two entirely new people. Six out of the eight people on board had previously done a minimum of one Fastnet – in some cases considerably more.

BOAT PREPARATION

As an X-34 that has been raced regularly Juno needed little extra preparation, outside of routine maintenance over the winter. However we did finally fit the kit for a third reef pennant, thus avoiding the task of having to try and thread a line through the clew while actually putting in the reef. Along the way we had a joint on the luff foil fail, forcing us to retire from one of our planned qualifying races. As a result we replaced all the joints with a newer improved design.

VICTUALLING

In the past although this has been a collaborative effort, I have coordinated it all myself. Fortunately one of our new recruits expressed a keen interest in the subject so this time I was able to also delegate the coordination. On Juno I firmly believe in trying to have one hot meal a day and in the qualifying races we tried out a number of ‘look what we found’ boil in the bag meals. For the Fastnet itself we combined a number of meals from this range with a couple of meals from pre-cooked and frozen homemade food. LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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RACING We also made use of supplements usually sold for consumption by cyclists to combat dehydration and to provide protein and carbohydrate boosts in the middle watches of the night.

TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE QUALIFICATION

As part of the general trend towards a more safety conscious environment (and prompted especially by the terrible events of 1979) it’s not possible these days to just turn up on the start line without prior planned and checked training and experience. Certain percentages of the crew need to have: n In-date World Sailing offshore safety training (fiveyear life) n First aid qualifications (three-year life) n Raced on the boat within 12 months preceding the Fastnet for at least 300 miles of Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) races Crew have to upload their training certificates to the RORC race management system and the detailed proposal to complete the qualifying mileage needs to be pre-approved and subsequently confirmed as completed by the RORC race admin team. Juno’s planned qualifying races were: n Cervantes Trophy, Cowes – Le Havre (approximately 120 miles) n De Guingand Bowl, Cowes – round marks – Solent (approximately 120 miles) n Myth of Malham, Cowes-Eddystone – Solent (approximately 250 miles) Unfortunately our luff foil developed problems early in the Myth so we had to retire which was particularly irritating because the race is a good rehearsal for the opening stages of the Fastnet itself. However, a hasty late entry into the forthcoming Morgan Cup to St Peter Port enabled us to complete our requisite mileage with a scheduled ‘weekend’ to spare. For this final outing, two weeks before the Fastnet itself, we decided to focus on training inshore to practice boat handling skills. As one of the team said “We all know how to sit on the side deck for four hours”. However, time spent gybing spinnakers is never wasted!

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LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

Above: Regular snacks are vital for morale! Below left: Professionals start the race. Below right: Juno crew uniform – Star Trek?

OTHER LOGISTICS

A couple of other items need to be considered before the start. Firstly, how much kit is allowed on board and how to reunite crew with the rest of their gear in Plymouth? On Juno we allow a 30l kit bag which must include everything (including sleeping bag) except what you are wearing. This essentially leaves room for a change of sailing clothes and an extra fleece or two. Anything else required in Plymouth has to go via the very efficient bag drop service that the RORC organise. The other big issue is the crew souvenir! As most of the Juno crew have by now accumulated a large selection of jackets and polo shirts we decided on something highly practical – a base layer garment that could be worn many times. The executive committee decided on the colour. One Facebook wag commented that we looked like the crew off early Star Trek episodes.

THE RACE

Our start was at 1120 on Sunday 6 August, the first (and slowest) of the IRC classes to start after the


RACING

professionals and Open 40s were sent on their very swift way. It’s always an exciting time, milling around (briefly) in the company of some well-known names. Conditions this year were ideal with bright sunshine and a good breeze. There’s nothing worse than setting off for five days or so in pouring rain or a gale. Since the course is known far in advance there can be little excuse for not having considered in some detail the first part of the race, having studied the weather patterns during the week leading up to the start. Critically for a boat of Juno’s size is whether or not she will get past Portland Bill on the first tide. I have never succeeded yet! So we headed west initially till about St Alban’s Head where we turned south to be well offshore when the tide turned foul. So started what turned into a long upwind slog all the way to the Fastnet Rock! Conditions this year were reasonably benign though. In the Celtic Sea on the way to Ireland we had some hail storms; some calms and a top wind speed of around 27–28 knots in the middle of the

Above: The Fastnet Rock from Juno – always an evocative sight. Below: Dawn breaks as the crew enjoy post-race drinks in the bar.

night inevitably, with noticeably bigger seas than would be found in more sheltered waters. Nonetheless, two boats in other classes with which we had personal links both suffered rig problems and had to retire. Winds initially on rounding Land’s End were from the NE but expected to veer to more northerly in due course. So we stayed somewhat to the north of the rhumb line to take advantage of the shift if or when it came. Which for once it did: so our last 90 miles or so to the rock were on starboard tack with sheets just cracked. By Wednesday morning we had the Rock in sight amidst bright sunshine and calm seas. This was fortunate as it meant less of the champagne was spilled as we raised a ‘glass’ in toast as we rounded! The benefit of having sailed upwind all the way to SW Ireland was that (for once) the wind played fair and held its broadly northerly direction for the next 24 hours, enabling us to have an increasingly swift downwind ride back to the Scillies. We needed just one gybe between Fastnet and the Scillies TSS and set a new top speed for Juno of 15.3 knots during Wednesday night. Fun! Arriving at the Scillies it is always tempting to think you are nearly finished. In fact there is around 100 miles still to go. By the time we got there the wind had eased and backed to NW/W as predicted with a further shift to the SW forecast. In fact the trip from there to Plymouth was fairly uneventful and relatively straightforward – just a question of trying to keep the boat going as quickly as possible. The final leg in from the Lizard to the finish was its usual stressful self with the wind distinctly variable in strength and direction. We made it to Draystone PHM (about 1.5M from the finish line) under A3 then S4. As usual when a mile from the finish the wind then died and we had an ebb tide coming out of the harbour. Over the last mile we changed headsail three times, finally crossing the line at 0321 on Friday morning – four days 16 hours and one minute after we started. Of course there was then only one thought in our minds: where we stayed until the sun came up!

LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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RACING AFTERWARDS

The rest of Friday was spent sleeping, clearing up the boat, checking our placing, and attending the prize giving and our own end of race meal in the evening. Then after a most enjoyable Thai meal in our favourite Plymouth restaurant we said some goodbyes in the rain as three of the team had to leave early in the morning to meet their family commitments. The remaining five of us topped Juno up with water and diesel and slipped lines at about 1130 on Saturday, bound for Hamble, enjoying a very relaxed sail home under spinnaker almost to the Needles and arriving at Port Hamble at about 1000 on Sunday. After a final tidy and clear out it was time to say farewells – always a time of mixed emotions for me as it is quite difficult to re-enter ‘normal’ life after a period of such intense close knit activity with a group of people I regard as good friends. In some senses you never want it to end – but only in some senses! While we didn’t trouble the prize giving ceremony Juno finished 27th out of 83 in Class 4 – a top third result which I think we all felt was a fair reflection of our efforts. What pleased me the most was when one of the team later commented to me that it was their favourite 600 mile race so far, with a great bunch of people in a very well sorted boat. As a skipper I think that’s about the best thing you can hear. n

LITTLE SHIPPERS ON THE WATER

FAST CRUISE 5417 FEBRUARY

Fast Cruise to Southampton Town Quay, followed by a set hot buffet meal at Kuti’s Brasserie/Indian.

FAST CRUISE 6424 MARCH

Final Fast Cruise of the 2017-18 series and prize giving dinner at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble-le-Rice.

SOUTH COAST OPENING RALLY 45–7 MAY

Bank holiday weekend rally to the Royal Solent Yacht Club in Yarmouth and another location to be finalised.

EAST COAST OPENING RALLY 45–7 MAY

Traditional opener at West Mersea featuring fine dining, grand company, seafood and bubbles breakfast.

CALAIS RALLY 426–27 MAY

The annual LSC pilgrimage to Calais held jointly with the Royal Naval Sailing Association. CORINTHIAN CRUISE42–9 JUNE

The biennial cruise with the Corinthians in Chesapeake Bay, USA. Contact the LSC Corinthians 2018 Liaison Officer, Paul Banks for details. COMMODORE’S CALVADOS CRUISE47–19 JULY

Cruise starts in Cherbourg and taking in important events in English and British history from William the Conqueror to the D Day landings, ends in Honfleur. MOTORBOAT CRUISE OF VENICE45–15 SEPTEMBER

Chance to appreciate the Venetian architecture from the water. More details on page 6. Details of sailing activities and social events: http://littleshipclub.co.uk/events/all Skipper and crew service: skippersandcrew@littleshipclub.co.uk

Queries, suggestions, offers of help: sailandpower@littleshipclub.co.uk

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LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

Relaxing sail home for five of us.


RALLIES

HURRICANE IRMA IMPACTS ON CARIBBEAN RALLY

The Little Ship Club tends to organise a rally in the Caribbean every five years or so. Planning for this one started in 2016. There was a flurry of interest and following some expert advice and a tempting offer from Sunsail, we settled on The British Virgin Islands for November 2017. By early spring 2017 we had enough people signed up to fill five or six yachts from Sunsail. Unfortunately, disaster struck in the first week of September. Hurricane Irma caused such devastation to these islands that it became clear that a cruise in that area was unthinkable. The Islanders were in dire need of shelter, food and water themselves and in no position to provide anything for holidaymakers. Sunsail offered us several alternative dates and places in and around the Caribbean and after some discussion, two boat loads of our original party took up the offer of charters in the Windward Islands and the rest of us opted for refunds. The two boats, skippered by Martin Sandford and Bill Preece started from different ends of the Windward Islands and failed to meet in the middle. Both had a mix of experienced and novice sailors, both found the heat a little too much, that air-con was a mixed blessing and that some of the ‘luxuries’ of modern yachting bring their own problems. These are their stories.

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Sunset at Marigot Bay

OUT OF ST LUCIA

he demise of the British Virgin Islands Rally left us with a problem. The dates for the rally (8–19 November) were the only ones we could all make but it was not certain Sunsail could offer us a sensible alternative. Initially Sunsail thought they could offer us a similar boat (three-year-old 42ft) on Antigua but the boats were ultimately found not to be arriving on Antigua until early December. We were then offered a 42ft from 8–18 November or a 51ft from 9–19 November, both from St Lucia. The latter, a 2016 model, came with four (electric) heads, electric winches and onboard air conditioning from an onboard generator, so we decided to go for that. We were upgraded to BA World Traveller Plus on the flight out, so arrived in St Lucia in good condition. We shopped for provisions on the evening we arrived and were set to go by midday the following day, after chart and boat briefings. We discovered that customs and immigration are fairly relaxed in St Lucia in that, having checked out at the home base (Rodney Bay) we could actually overnight at Les Pitons (still on St Lucia) before the transit to the Grenadines the following day. Our LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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RALLIES

Above: The Tobago Cays. Above right: Les Pitons, S Lucia from North

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travels over the next week took us to overnight stops at Admiralty Bay (Bequia), Charlestown Bay (Canouan), Salt Whistle Bay (Mayreau), Petite Martinique (technically part of Grenada), Admiralty Bay (Bequia), Chateaubelair (St Vincent), Les Pitons (St Lucia) and Marigot Bay (St Lucia) before returning to Rodney Bay on the morning of the day we flew home. We also had daytime stops at The Tobago Cays and Clifton Harbour (Union Island). The total distance travelled was some 225M. It came as a slight surprise when my Windward Islands Sailors Guide arrived to discover that Grenada is not part of the Grenadines. There are three countries: St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines (all the islands between St Lucia and Petit St Vincent) and, finally, Grenada which includes all the islands from Petite Martinique and Carriacou going south to Grenada. Sailing in the Grenadines was delightful; steady winds between 8 and 19 knots, generally from the east, so the main passages (St Lucia to Bequia and St Vincent back to St Lucia) were close to beam reaches at up to 7.5 knots. However, between the islands the seas can be quite big and two of my crew discovered that they suffered from sea sickness. At most anchorages we visited we were met by ‘boat boys’ who offered to help us moor up to a buoy and then expected anything up to EC$40 (about £12) for that service; the Sailors Guide indicated that EC$10–20 was adequate, depending on the difficulty of mooring. We were also often offered fruit, veg and ice by passing dinghies. The wind does not drop at night, though with virtually all of the anchorages on the leeward sides of the islands, there was ‘wind shadow’. On our antepenultimate night the wind went round to the north and freshened; this led to a very uncomfortable swell and a noisy night. Sleeping was an issue throughout the holiday for some. The humidity and night temperatures were high. Though we had air conditioning, this required all the hatches to be closed and the generator to be run. Left running, the generator LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

Left: Bill and Pam Preece, Peter and Pamela Houghton, Elsbeth and Len Cotton. Below: Charlestown Bay, Canouan.

was too noisy for the crew in the aft cabins to sleep. So, we used the aircon to cool the cabins before opening the hatches and switching on the fans. The boat, a Sunsail 51/4/4 Bermudan sloop, was relatively new and sailed quite well. The main problems we encountered were in relation to the lazyjacks and reefing lines catching the exposed ends of the full length battens. Thus raising or lowering the mainsail required both luck and judgement. This was made more difficult by the fact that viewing panels in the bimini cover did not enable the helmsman to see what was happening; the resolution was to place one of the crew either in the companionway or on deck with the sole task of calling “raise”, “stop” or “lower” as appropriate. The danger with electric winches is that you may not know till it is too late that something has got caught! We avoided this but the mainsail showed some signs that this had happened in the past. Did the Sunsail service live up to expectations? Yes, and the boat offered was superior to that which we had originally booked; all four of us had a double cabin with heads. Would we go to that part of the Caribbean again? My wife and I would; the scenery is beautiful, the sailing is interesting and fun and the people are generally welcoming. Marigot Bay was the best anchorage we visited but all had their charms. ‘Supermarkets’ have very limited choice and prices are generally higher than in the UK with much produce imported and designed for US tourists. My other two crew would probably not go again; it was too hot and humid, and they suffered from sea sickness and sleeplessness. Funniest incident? Watching some Brits on a locally chartered boat from Grenada lower their anchor until it became apparent that … it wasn’t tied on! A local diver retrieved it for them. n Martin Sandford


RALLIES

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GRENADA

e were due to holiday in the Virgin Islands but after the devastation of Hurricane Irma we switched to Grenada. The three couples shared a Beneteau 45ft three berth yacht based in Port Louis marina in St George’s. Bill and Pam Preece and Peter and Pamela Houghton are experienced sailors and had previously owned their own yacht and sailed extensively in Scotland. Elspeth and I were complete sailing novices. For us therefore everything nautical was a novelty and of course there were many challenges. Surprisingly neither of us were seasick. Elspeth did fall quite ill through food poisoning we think, at a fish restaurant and I suffered as usual from multi insect bites. The early impression at Port Louis was the unrelenting heat and the mind boggling wealth displayed. Words associated with sailing at this level are wealth, status and elitism. Looking around you see mono hulls, catamarans and super yachts. Our charter, although impressive to us and costing around £250,000, is only a Ford Fiesta in a pool of Aston Martins, McLarens and more. Near our berth was Here Comes the Sun a 272ft Dutch built super yacht to carry 12 guests and has 25 crew, available to charter at £1.15m per week. There was also everything in between. One of the first nautical novelties was navigation. Latitude and longitude are alien to someone brought up on eastings and northings. The Beneteau is equipped with a multifunction touch screen with GPS, electronic chart, depth and speed indicator and autopilot. This does away with traditional navigation to a large extent as long as the batteries are working but of course traditional skills are required for emergencies. On a practical note the Beneteau behaved well but with some challenges. There were battery issues including a failed starter battery (replaced very efficiently in Bequia) but also failures on the charging capacity of the other batteries. On a long journey this would result in catastrophes like the freezer not functioning thus losing ice. The photovoltaic panels did not seem to contribute. The rear cabins are near claustrophobic and the noise levels of the fans, aircon and water pumps are accentuated by the sound box design of the yacht. There were small defects with a door handle and non-functioning toilet which the charter company stubbornly charged for (but they were not our fault). On full sail we were achieving 7 to 9 knots.

Above: Port Elizabeth, Bequia Above right: The Grenada crew. Below: Port St Louis.

The main benefit of a cruising holiday is the freedom to go and moor wherever the fancy takes you. Grenada and the Grenadines have wonderful beaches, picturesque bays, clear turquoise seas and the people are friendly and helpful. There was virtually no pestering apart from good natured boat boys. One feels safe all the time. The locals have accepted tourism for what it is. Except for Bill and me, the group greatly enjoyed the swimming and snorkelling in near perfect conditions sighting brightly coloured fish and sea vistas (especially the sea sculptures off the Grenada coast). There was plenty of time for chilling out although one has to respect the sun exposure. The clouds and constant breeze were a saviour. Convectional rain would arrive with little warning, but was soon gone. It seemed the three couples got on really well together in what is a cramped space for two weeks. Individual idiosyncrasies were tolerated. However, the others may disagree. All menial tasks were willingly shared , the food on board was excellent sometimes worthy of the scrap yard challenge scenario often given on food programmes. Nearly all the meals out were a joy. We found the temperature and humidity overwhelming, especially as most of the time we did not have air con which only worked on mains power. I think it is fair to say that none of us would want to return to such heat again. However, this was not the fault of Sunsail and the Moorings who delivered everything as promised. The boat was only a year old and performed well except for the battery problems mentioned above. Overall it was a fantastic experience which we will all remember for a very long time. n Bill Preece

LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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RALLIES

CARIBBEAN STYLE HEATS UP FROSTBITE AND FAST CRUISE

Couldn’t make it

to the Caribbean this year? Don’t worry! The Caribbean came to Cowes for Little Ship Club members this October! Combining the end of season, south coast, Frostbite rum punch reception and dinner with the first Fast Cruise of the 2017–18 winter series. Report Graham Pinner. Photos Jill Moffatt and Charlie Quayle.

Right: Windhover and Finesse, the first Fast Cruise. Right: Frostbite 2017, calypso contestants.

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he Little Ship Club continued its tradition in 2017 of holding the south coast end of season rally Frostbite Dinner at one of the premier Cowes yacht clubs. This year it was held at the Isle of Wight clubhouse of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), formerly the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club on Saturday 14 October. Whilst this marks the end of the traditional sailing season on the south coast, the Frostbite Rally was also combined with the first Fast Cruise of the 2017–18 winter series which sees a monthly event from 17 October through to 18 March. Berths were reserved at Cowes Yacht Haven for those attending by boat. So a gathering of two halves – the October Fast Cruise and then the Frostbite reception and dinner afterwards which saw in total just over 80 people and 14 boats attending across the two elements of the day and evening. There was something for everyone!

CHALLENGING CONDITIONS FOR THE OCTOBER FAST CRUISE

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The first Fast Cruise of the 2017–18 season provided challenging conditions for the sailing participants. Saturday dawned fair and the Fast Cruise fleet got off to a good start, albeit some initially on the wrong side of the starting mark! Whilst others held back to see the effect of the tide and keep out of the melee.

LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

Graham Broadway set a course which saw the yachts heading westwards in the Solent towards Cowes, including the traditional rounding of Browndown early on in the day. Given the weather forecast of light winds there was also the option of shortening the course just outside Cowes. In the end, the bigger and faster boats managed to complete the course but unfortunately for the smaller, slower yachts the wind gradually died during the afternoon which meant they found themselves slowly but relentlessly drifting backwards! Despite the course being shortened, the dying wind was sadly no match for the increasing tide and so the majority of the fleet had to retire. However, some stalwart yachts like Mary


RALLIES

Lunn and Musyk did hold out for a bit longer, enjoying the fabulous sunset before having to finally retire and head for port. This was so they would be able to be in time for the last of the rum punch reception and to be ready in time for the Frostbite reception, dinner and entertainment afterwards! Results for the Fast Cruise series can be found on the Little Ship Club website.

THE FROSTBITE RUM PUNCH RECEPTION, CARIBBEAN-THEMED DINNER AND FUN

The lucky, faster Fast Cruise boats arrived in Cowes Yacht Haven in the early afternoon, in time to be greeted on the pontoon with flower garlands, rum punches and a steel pan band playing in the glorious autumn sunshine. Fortunately for those boats and crews who arrived later there was still plenty of rum punch being liberally distributed on the veranda of Cowes Yacht Haven. Crews quickly got into the spirit of the event and a wide variety of Caribbean attire – bright shirts, shorts, dresses, sunglasses and Rasta wigs were worn! Suitably warmed up by the welcome rum punch reception, some crews then paid a visit to the Cowes Ale House whilst others enjoyed drinks in the cockpits of club yachts before moving on to the Frostbite Dinner. During an excellent three-course Caribbean buffet at RORC, each table stood to entertain the gathering with

Top left: Wolverine dressed for heavy weather! Top right: Fabulous sunset. Above left: Anne dressed for her baptism as Commodore at the Frostbite. Above centre: The Calypso Cup. Above right: The Calypso judges in full voice.

their own calypso composition. With backing from the acclaimed Steelasophical Steel Band, crews from Windhover, Britt and Finesse bravely opened the competition with their version of the Banana Song but were quickly overhauled by a highly original and glittering performance from One the Juggler. Then the wind changed and the combined musical talent of Altano and White Lady presented their interpretation of the same calypso but with truly Caribbean rhythm and harmony. Next, the well trained crews of Mary Lunn and Musyk joined company with much gusto, closely followed by the awe inspiring (but less disciplined) tenor voices of Wolverine and Shearwater. Finally, Pam Cassidy led the crews of Pim and Snoek with a deeply moving rendition that brought tears to many eyes. It is rumoured that Pam has since been invited by the band to feature on their next album but this is not confirmed. After dinner, the judges’ scores revealed Altano and White Lady as clear winners and the Commodore presented them with the highly coveted Calypso Cup. The rest of the evening was danced away to music from the fabulous Steelasophical Steel Band. Huge thanks are due to Jill Moffatt and Charlie Quayle, plus other members of the Little Ship Club who set the courses and assign handicaps for boats, also to Frostbite organisers, Tim Bizzey and Graham Pinner and especially to their combined support teams. n LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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Kate Newman

RACING

Richard Keen (TTR joint committee) reports on the best weekend open racing on the River Thames – the 2017 Thames Trafalgar Race. Photos Louis Ma and Kate Newman.

Louis Ma

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downstream. All yachts motored through the Barrier – in accordance with PLA regulations – and then continued racing down river through into Gallions Reach. Three Erith YC race officer ribs were in constant attendance throughout the day, liaising with London VTS and relaying shipping movements on the river by VHF advising the fleets where and when to keep clear of the deep water channel to allow unobstructed passage for these large vessels. Thamesmead, Dagenham and Erith town were soon passed as the fleets entered Erith Rands overlooked by the fine new headquarters of Erith YC. Turning into Long Reach, the QEII Bridge at the Dartford Crossing came into view with its constant stream of traffic. A Fleet soon passed beneath and turned into St Clement’s Reach, then past Thurrock YC and round into Gravesend Reach with Tilbury Docks on the north side of the river. Their goal was the Ovens Buoy (Gn) at the top of the Lower Hope which they would round before returning up river towards Erith. Meanwhile B Fleet in due course entered St Clement’s Reach, running down to the Black Shelf Buoy (Gn), tacking round and back up river to round the St Clement’s Buoy (Gn) before again running down to the Black Shelf Buoy and again up to St Clement’s Buoy, so performing a figure of eight course before the final leg back to the finish line off Erith YC. A Fleet – on returning from the Ovens Buoy – also carried out a similar figure of eight course in St Clement’s Reach,

his year saw the fifth and final Thames Trafalgar Race in the original series arranged and jointly organised between the Little Ship Club and Erith Yacht Club. I’m very pleased to report that, after recent discussions, both clubs have agreed to run a further series of three races which will cover the period 2018–20 inclusive. This year saw a number of last minute cancellations ranging from family bereavements through engine and crewing difficulties to being weatherbound in Falmouth. In all 23 yachts took part and the weather proved generally kind with southerly winds of varying strength on both days. Saturday 30 September saw the start of A Fleet – comprising of the 10 larger and/or faster yachts – in Blackwall Reach below the Old Royal Hospital at Greenwich, many of the competitors of both Fleets having motored down from their berths in Limehouse Basin Marina. Fifteen minutes later, the 13 yachts comprising B Fleet started and all the competitors were soon rounding 02 and making down Greenwich Reach towards the turn into Woolwich Reach, and bringing them in sight of the Thames Barrier. Two Barrier boats were stationed – one above and one below the Barrier on the south side – with LSC motoryacht Seacrest skippered by Mark Scorer with his crew and the race volunteers upstream and Eelpie Island Boatyard’s river tug Sanfiona skippered by Peter Shepley, his crew and race volunteers

Kate Newman

Below: Paul Reynolds (EYC Commodore), Commodore Anne Billard, Mike Golding and Sara Taylor (EYC).

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THAMES TRAFALGAR

LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018


RACING

RACE SERIES FINALE

Louis Ma

Right below: LSC yacht, Greenwitch.

Kate Newman

Right: A Class winner, Apex.

then turning up river, originally to sail past Erith YC, up to the Jenningtree Buoy (R) and back to the finish line at Erith YC. In the event, the A Fleet course was shortened to finish off Erith YC thereby eliminating the final leg up and back to the Jenningtree Buoy. As always, Erith YC kindly provided moorings and a comprehensive Trot Boat service to bring everyone ashore for drinks and the much anticipated and always popular Trafalgar Dinner. One hundred and twelve competitors and volunteers sat down to a first class meal followed by the Loyal Toast, the toast

Louis Ma

Above and below: Open racing on the Thames.

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RACING the Thames Barrier (engines on – sails flapping) and towards Greenwich Reach. Due to the out-bound sailing of the PS Waverley and the uncertainty of wind around 02, the PLA requested that the course be shortened to finish off Trinity Pier. Sensibly, the Race Officer – Robert Hall (EYC) – decided that this was not a good place owing to the proximity of the Thames Clipper pier, and so chose a finish line just above Greenwich YC. All competitors had completed the course by 1040 and then dispersed, either back to their own yacht club moorings in the Thames and Medway or, for those from farther afield, returning up river to their berths in Limehouse Basin Marina. Early feedback indicates that, once again, the competitors thoroughly enjoyed the weekend’s racing plus its social and catch-up sides with friends old and new. And for those who, from farther away, berthed in Limehouse, the opportunity to enjoy the remaining week of their special TTR two-week berthing deal in the Capital for just £140! The TTR joint committee is now liaising with the Environment Agency and the Port of London Authority to identify and agree the most suitable weekend (time and tide dependent) for the 2018 Thames Trafalgar Race. I also hope that we can arrange another great berthing deal with Limehouse Basin Marina for next year. Since this report was written, the 2018 TTR dates have now been agreed for the weekend of 29–30 September, so come and join the best weekend open racing on the Thames that you could hope for. Just go to the LSC ‘Thames racing’ website for more details. n

Left: LSC yacht, Britt. Left below: Thames Barrier. Right below: Mike Golding, Erith Yacht Club.

Louis Ma

Kate Newman

Louis Ma

to the Immortal Memory and the announcement of the intermediate positions in both fleets at the end of Leg One. This was followed by an address given by the new LSC President – Mike Golding – who took part on board LSC yacht Britt which, sadly, had to retire with mechanical problems at the end of Leg One. Needless to say, the Trot Boats were working late, returning crews to yachts and volunteers to Barrier Boats or to those yachts kindly providing them with an overnight berth. Sunday morning dawned with a light southerly breeze as the two Barrier Boats got away up river at 0700 towards their allotted stations. B Fleet started first at 0800. A Fleet got their ‘gun’ 15 minutes later and, as the breeze increased in strength, they were soon powering through B Fleet off Dagenham and Thamesmead. Round again into Woolwich Reach went both the fleets, past the Woolwich Ferry, through

THAMES TRAFALGAR RACE 2017 RESULTS: A CLASS

PLACE 1 2 3 Wooden Spoon

BOAT Apex Brave Principessa Hara

LINE HONOURS SATURDAY:

YACHT CLUB Haven Ports Haven Ports Royal Temple Erith

B CLASS

PLACE 1 2 3 Wooden Spoon

BOAT Lodestar Cirrus Pettie Fleur Maid Marion

LINE HONOURS SUNDAY:

CLASS BOAT CLASS BOAT YACHT CLUB A Brave A Principessa Royal Temple B Caroline V B Pettie Fleur Medway SIR ROBIN KNOX-JOHNSTON TROPHY (Awarded to the yacht club with the highest placed three finishers)

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LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

YACHT CLUB Hoo Ness Greenwich Medway Erith YACHT CLUB Haven Ports Greenwich Haven Ports


CRUISING

CLAUDIA III IN IRISH WATERS Claudia III skipper Tom Wall, shares the highlights of a 320M cruise of the east coast of Ireland that took in several great marinas and delightful pubs. Above: Claudia III at the National Yacht Club (NYC) of Ireland in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

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fter a day of preparation and familiarisation training on the River Barrow in New Ross, County Wexford, Mike Gregory, Terry Murphy and myself set off on 1 August to sail the east coast of Ireland stopping at selected marinas and pubs along the way. I was delighted to welcome my nephew Stephen on board, a teacher at the De La Salle College in Waterford. Stephen joined the sailing fraternity last year and moors his ketch at the marina in Waterford during winter and then at the sailing club in Dungarvan during the season. He sailed with us to Kilmore Quay, oh the agility of youth, great to have him on board. Claudia III is a motor yacht, 52ft in length with two MAN engines, 820hp each. She is a comfortable lady with many attributes. The weather was kind as we glided down the meandering River Barrow and out to sea. We sailed by the bridge construction works either side of the river at its narrowest point. A new one-span bridge is being erected across the river to carry road traffic between Waterford and Wexford to bypass New Ross. Stephen guided Claudia safely under the old railway bridge at Cheek Point. As expected the sea

was a bit rough passing Dunmore East and the Hook lighthouse heading for Kilmore Quay our first stop. Mike is a veteran of the good ship Claudia and had done this trip before. He was also our resident chef. Terry is a very experienced sailor and it was comforting to have him on board. I am still learning. At Kilmore Quay we refuelled on the new refuelling pontoon and then moved to a secure position on the visitor’s pontoon next to the Kilmore Quay lifeboat. The weather forecast indicated that we could not leave Kilmore until the following Friday and it did not disappoint. We spent a very pleasant three nights in the marina eating the delights prepared by our chef Mike and sipping grape juice. Mike tends to make sure we have enough food on board for an Atlantic crossing. I could not get anything into our newly installed fridge as Mike had bought a pack of 75 rashers of Irish bacon and four T‑bone steaks. A lone sailor from Wales sidled up to Claudia in his ketch and moored alongside. The two resident seals in the harbour came for a look, had a sniff and thought “no fish from that lot” and drifted away to LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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follow the charter fishing boats. Sailors from all nationalities were sheltering from the weather. On the Friday the wind dropped and we were good to go. The passage plan had Arklow as our next stop but as usual in sailing no passage plan ever survives in reality. Bypassing Arklow we headed for the newish marina in Greystones. An uneventful eight-hour passage was followed by a very lively evening meeting up with Terry’s many relatives in Greystones. Terry’s Irish grandfather had owned half the hill overlooking Greystones. After closing time the doors were locked and we had to wait to be allowed out. The owner checked that there were no Garda outside and we then headed to a mini Winnebago where Dennis and Ann (relatives of Terry), served up tea and coffee for ‘rehydration’ at 0200. The following day we headed for the National Yacht Club (NYC) of Ireland in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. NYC is twinned with the Little Ship Club. We were received with the traditional Irish welcome and headed to the club bar. Shortly after they fired up the barbecue and we had a feast of chicken, pork, homemade beef burgers with all the trimmings. On board in the evening erudite discussions about UFOs Terry has witnessed, intelligent life on other planets was discussed and verified by Mike concluding that it was just a matter of time. The wine ran out and almost by a miracle a half empty or full Famous Grouse was found in a locker and served up as a nightcap. Terry observed a few more UFOs that evening over Dublin. On Sunday we bid farewell to Terry who headed for Dublin airport to return to his home in Marlow. As he left the Irish shores Leslie Morant arrived from Heathrow. We were then joined by our dear friend LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

Above: Claudia III, from left to right Tom Wall (skipper) and crew, Leslie Morant and Mike Gregory. Below: Claudia alongside a new fishing trawler, Diligent Jo LT 1045, on the pontoon in Arklow.

Matt who lives in Wicklow. Matt is a veteran of Claudia and a very experienced sailor. It was a bank holiday in Ireland so in the evening we joined the ‘Young Ones’ at the Forty Foot in Dun Laoghaire because they had English beers. The boys ordered Guinness and scampi and chips. On the Monday we set sail for Malahide about 14M north of Dun Laoghaire. It was Claudia’s first time into this marina where the sand bar across the entrance to the channel is a navigation challenge if not approached at high tide. During our stay in Malahide Mike caught several fresh mackerel. I say caught which he did by holding out a yellow bucket as a small two man fishing boat glided by and a kind gentleman threw the captured filleted fish wrapped in a plastic bag into the bucket. Breakfast on the morrow was fresh mackerel. In the evening we found an unsuspecting stairway leading to a restaurant which claimed to be the best in Ireland ‘e Pepe’. We were soon to find out why. Dressed crab starter, followed by a variety of excellent cuisine. Matt was joined at the table by a couple of Galway Hookers while Mike settled for a Coors light. The following day we headed back across the sand bar at the entrance to the estuary and sailed south arriving back in Greystones marina around 1500. Bad weather meant a rest day at Greystones where we were visited on board by Matt’s wife Sylvie and her sister Betty. After a fish and chip supper we set sail for Arklow. I knew we could not reserve a berth on the visitor pontoon in Arklow but was told that it was almost empty anyway. On arrival it was full with yachts and the light was failing so there was poor Claudia stationary in the middle of the river Avoca with no bed for the night. A good Christian on the bank asked if we needed a berth and told us to tie up next to a new unmanned fishing trawler Diligent Jo LT 1045 lit up like Blackpool. I brought Claudia alongside and Matt shinned up the trawler’s ladder and secured our boat for the night. Ahead of us was the Irish customs boat with the Gaelic word ‘Custaim’ painted on its port and starboard sides. We were glad to see the back of Arklow and slipped our


CRUISING lines early the next morning and headed for Kilmore Quay. This was a long sail but weather was good and the automatic pilot was engaged for most of the way. As we surfed the Irish sea we observed the ‘Custaim’ boat hugging the coast line and burning fuel at the expense of the Irish taxpayer. Keeping a constant watch at all times Matt and Mike on the fly bridge spotted a red object in the water. It seemed to be solid and anchored and could be a hazard to small craft. I radioed the coastguard to report the sighting and gave the longitude and latitude details. Shortly after we spotted the ‘Custaim’ boat heading at speed in our direction. She surfed passed Claudia and then turned in our wake and slowed to inspect the object we had reported. We had hoped to see in the papers the next day, “Claudia III engaged in major drugs find at sea!” No such luck. After that incident Leslie and I were monitoring our navigation charts when Mike shouted “Poor boys on the left”. As we were about to grab the lifebuoys we realised what Mike should have shouted was “Porpoises off the port beam”. He blamed our selective hearing. Our navigation was spot on as we rounded Tuskar Light and followed the Cardinal buoys guiding us away from the dangerous rocks off the south Wexford coast. The approach to Kilmore Quay has caught out many a sailor due to the sand bar between the Saltee Islands and the shallow water south of the harbour. The secret is to go through St Patrick’s Bridge. This an area marked by red and a green buoys where there is always enough water for sailors to avoid going aground. Eyes were peeled to spot the bridge, Mike with his bionic naked eye was first to claim he could see the buoys. Matt and I used binoculars to confirm but could not see a thing. Constant checking and monitoring of the navigation plot ensured we were on the right track. Mike assured us that he could see the buoys. Using binoculars Matt and I thought our sight was becoming defective. Eventually we spotted the buoys and Mike admitted he could not have seen them but had been looking in the right direction! Kilmore Quay is a delightful marina surrounded by fishing trawlers and charter fishing boats. The marina staff are most helpful and facilities at the harbour master’s building are excellent. A weather forecast of strong winds meant we could have a rest day and we planned to visit a famous pub restaurant in Kilmore village in the evening. Throughout the cruise Leslie decided to grow a beard. He arrived a fresh faced spritely young man and ended up looking like the ancient mariner. A selfie to his wife was responded to with “very nice dear but leave it on the boat”. Ivan Sutton the resident artist in Kilmore Quay and friend of Matt visited Claudia and regaled us with how he had a medal cut for himself on his appointment as Commodore of the local sailing club. Later in the day the intrepid Captain John Grace was piped aboard. John is a retired ferry captain. I have learned a lot from John and he has been a great help with Claudia over the years. After a brief reminder on why we should ignore river tides in

“She surfed passed Claudia and then turned in our wake and slowed to inspect the object we had reported. We had hoped to see in the papers the next day, “Claudia III engaged in major drugs find at sea!” No such luck.”

Ireland and always refer to time difference with Dover, John made his way ashore. Special seaman (Leslie) and the head (only) cook (Mike) decided to jump ship for a few hours and visit Wexford, 35 minutes away by bus. Mike showed the driver his English bus pass in the hope of a free ride or at least a reduction for being old, while Leslie prepared to do the same. The driver told them they would have to pay the full fare because the UK was “no longer in Europe”! The road was narrow which added to the illusion of speed and having avoided being sick on the boat Leslie thought how ironic if it happens on the bus. As they swerved round cars pulling out of side turnings, drivers who obviously knew the bus timetable gave it a wide berth. On the return trip there was little drama and now understanding the flexibility of bus stops they got off at the famous Mary Barry’s Restaurant and Bar in Kilmore village where they planned to meet up with Matt and myself for dinner. Waiting outside Mary Barry’s with a drink, they noticed a crowd gathering. Joining in they were told it was the beginning of the Kilmore Spud Fest and the bands and parading villagers in the now closed road were on their way to a celebration in a field which would last the weekend. To prove this was correct the parade was led by a man pushing a wheelbarrow in which was seated a scarecrow with a large potato head. The weekend would include lots of music, a tug-of-war, barbecue and most importantly a Mr Spud Beauty Pageant. Tempting as it was – they opted for the delights of the fresh crab and lobster salad at Mary Barry’s. On Saturday the wind eased and we set sail for Claudia’s home port of New Ross. After a choppy passage to south of Hook light we altered course to due north. Leading seaman Leslie took the helm and following the buoys guided Claudia all the way to the marina in New Ross ending our 320M cruise. Safely moored and secured we bid farewell to Matt who was heading home to Wicklow. On Sunday we returned to Claudia where Mike and Leslie did a terrific job cleaning and tidying up our little ship for next year when we are considering an assault on Belfast. Watch this space. n

Right: Lobster and crab salad at Mary Barry’s, Kilmore.

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CRUISING

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – BAGHEERA’S 2017 CRUISE

With just one

stretch of the UK coastline left to explore – Ramsgate to Inverness – Bagheera’s 2017 cruise challenge was to complete the unfinished loop. David Clements reports.

Above: Bagheera, Lowestoft.

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Left: Fame at last – St Clements Buoy.

E

very other year, I stretch the legs of Bagheera with something a bit more demanding than a trip to Brittany. While thinking about what to do in 2017, it occurred to me that I had covered the entire coastline of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (well, excluding Orkney and Shetland) except for the stretch from Ramsgate to Inverness. It seemed as though the time had come to close the loop; the small problem was that to do this, we had to either leave Bagheera somewhere in Scotland or alternatively complete a circumnavigation in one throw. After some thought, I decided on the latter, with all the challenges entailed. As I thought about it, more intermediate objectives presented themselves: n Going up the River Thames to London and mooring in St Katharine Docks; n Making a pilgrimage to Arthur Ransome’s Secret Water territory on the east coast; n Taking Bagheera to Whitby, her original port of registration; n Going up the Tyne to Newcastle, my home town; n Calling on my Best Man who lives near Amble; n Visiting Peterhead, where I spent five years building a major power station. Planning started before Christmas 2016 and the journey was divided into four main legs – Dartmouth to London, London to Inverness, the transit of the Caledonian Canal and Fort William to Dartmouth. With enough crew coming forward to cover the whole trip, it was game on! The trip from Dartmouth to Ramsgate was unmemorable, with lots of rain and occasional good sails and we left Ramsgate on Friday 19 May to start the real ‘unfinished business’. The coastline was

LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

interesting all the way to North Foreland, with some fine houses up on the chalky cliffs, but at this point the wind deserted us and we motored round the corner into the vast width of the lower Thames estuary. At first we could see nothing of the north shore but as the sun came out and we passed past Margate and Whitstable, things gradually took shape – first the wind farms, next the old anti-aircraft towers and then the outline of the Essex coast. Navigation was interesting up the South Channel and all the way from North Foreland, the depth rarely exceeded 6–8m and it was with relief that we picked off the buoys one by one – SE Margate, S Margate, Reculver, Copperas and Spile before we turned into the Medway, passing close by the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery, still loaded with her cargo of 1,400 tonnes of TNT and surrounded by an array of warning buoys.


CRUISING We turned into the Swale and berthed alongside the pontoon at Queenborough, just downstream from a very old Dutch smack and by contrast, a new steel barge built in Stoke-on-Trent, owned by an American lady. She had bought it with no boating experience and was taking it with friends and a professional skipper (who turned out to be the father of the builder) across the Channel and into the canals of France where she intended to spend the winter. It was deeply luxurious, although rather surprisingly for a boat of some 25 metres in length with only one sleeping cabin. All the gear was clearly of the highest standard and it was intriguing to compare an inland waterways barge with an ocean-going yacht. Queenborough was an interesting place, with a mixture of Georgian terraces and old merchant houses mixed with 20th century tat! Clearly drink is an important leisure activity for its residents, with no less than four pubs and the Yacht Club along its short high street as well as the Admiral’s Arm, a delightful micropub in an old stables which served no food but excellent beer in a great atmosphere. Altogether, Queenborough was very enjoyable and hospitable. At last we woke to sunshine! There was no rush to leave early as the tide would not be right to enter St Katharine Docks until the evening and so it was not until mid-morning that we cast off from the pontoon. The breeze was a brisk WSW 4/5 and we sailed along comfortably at 5–6 knots under yankee alone, watching the rain clouds forming up and wondering which ones would find us – as indeed some did! We reached up the estuary in the inshore passage south of the main channel, ticking off the buoys as we went. There was plenty to keep us interested – Gravesend with its large Hindu temple and fine waterside houses, Tilbury with the London Cruise Terminal complete with cruise liner, St Clements’ Reach (so aptly named!) and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at Dartford. Although the channel through the Thames Barrier to which we were directed seemed narrow, Nigel reminded us that it would take an aircraft carrier ... past the Emirates Cable Car, the O2 Arena and the skipper’s old haunts at Greenwich where he used to live in an old Georgian house on the Ballast Quay, the Naval College and of course an amazing amount of development of any site with river frontage, there was plenty to keep us engaged. Then

round the corner at Cherry Garden Pier we came and straight ahead of us was Tower Bridge – quite a moment and what a trip, exceeding all expectations. After picking up a waiting buoy outside St Katharine Docks, we settled down to wait in the sunshine to enter the entrance lock, eventually following in a Thames sailing barge, the Gladys. It was fascinating and a little chastening to see how two people handled such a large craft with its low manoeuvrability with so little fuss. Soon we were following them into the lock and by 2000 we were moored comfortably in East Dock. Leg 1 and Cruise Objective No. 1 had been achieved. After a week off, I returned to Bagheera to prepare her for the next leg of the cruise. Mike Gill arrived on Sunday 28 May and soon after, Nicola De Quincey dropped by for coffee and the rest of the crew arrived in the afternoon. Thunderstorms with torrential rain during the night together with the thought of an early morning ahead of us kept us wakeful. As we had been advised of an 0600 locking out time, the crew was up early on Monday 29 May but with the tide taking its time to rise (and possibly some misjudgment by the marina staff!) it was not until 0700 that we were called to leave the berth and lock out. It was a grey and gloomy morning but with 3 knots of tide under us, we covered the ground fast. The tide finally turned against us at London Gateway as we fortified ourselves with coffee and the first round of Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers, the old Bagheera staple. As we ran down the sea reach, we passed a flotilla of elegant and beautifully maintained Little Ships coming up the river, all looking very smart. We had decided on the River Colne for the night and after passing through the Wallet Spitway had some interesting pilotage, identifying with some difficulty the cluster of buoys round the Colne Bar. We headed for Pyefleet Creek for the night which turned out to be a great choice and after searching for enough depth to anchor, we enjoyed a perfectly still evening with only the cries of curlews and oyster-catchers to disturb us. The next day we had a good SW force 4 to bowl us along the coast past Frinton (“Harwich for the Continent, Frinton for the incontinent ...”), briefly visiting the Walton Backwaters before enjoying a sunny trip up the Orwell in the late afternoon sunshine to Woolverstone Marina, walking along the

Below left: Bagheera berthed in St Katharine Docks. Below right: Arrival in Queenborough.

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river for a disappointing meal at the Butt and Oyster at Pin Mill. It was a great treat to find Arthur Ransome’s old yacht Nancy Blackett moored in the marina and the skipper had some obligatory photos taken. We enjoyed Woolverstone and the whole area and Cruise Objective No. 2 – visiting Arthur Ransome country – had been well and truly achieved. After fueling up, we dropped down the Orwell and motored up the coast. Southwold had been the destination for the night but we were well past the recommended time for entry and so carried on to Lowestoft, where we moored in the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club basin in the evening sunshine. For a deep-keel cruiser such as Bagheera, after Great Yarmouth, there is no harbour of refuge between Lowestoft and the Humber, with the mouth of The Wash to be crossed. With a decent forecast and nobody showing enthusiasm for going into the Humber, we decided to make the long hop directly to Whitby. We left Lowestoft at 1000 on Thursday morning and made good progress up the coast with a favourable tide. As the evening wore on the wind died and we motored through the night and the wind farms, with plenty of traffic to keep us on our toes, particularly as we crossed the Humber estuary. At 0845 on Friday morning we re-crossed the Greenwich Meridian, with the rest of the cruise being to the west of it. Flamborough Head looked wonderful with sun on it and its huge variety of seabirds that live on its cliffs, especially the gannets from what is one of the few mainland gannet colonies in Britain. After anchoring in Robin Hood’s Bay for a cup of tea while waiting for the tide to rise sufficiently for us to enter Whitby, we entered the harbour at 1930 – Bagheera had arrived in her port of registration and Objective No. 3 had been achieved. It had been a long passage of 33.5 hours and we were all hungry. Sadly, the Magpie Café, famous for its fish and chips, had burnt down and was closed for refurbishment but we found an excellent substitute in Trenchers – very smart, almost art deco, with friendly staff and wonderful fish and chips. After that, sleep... Whitby seemed to be a place of two halves – on the west side of the harbour, the front is all chip shops, LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

Above: Pyefleet Creek

“It was a grey, blustery morning and with the wind gusting SSW 5–6, we tied down two reefs and settled down to a wet sail.”

pinball arcades and pubs, with serious eating and drinking going on all day – we speculated on the tonnage of fish and chips eaten in a day in Whitby and the gallons of beer drunk by the raucous stag parties. The other side of the harbour, with the ruins of the Abbey towering above it, is much quieter with old fishermen’s cottages, little back alleys leading down to the waterfront and odd coffee shops and smokeries. The views from the top were spectacular and the Abbey a source of great interest. We had allowed for three nights in Whitby but two seemed enough and so the next morning we took the 0930 bridge opening, in company with the Sunday Whitby Yacht Club racing fleet. It was a fresh, sparkling day, with the wind with enough west in it to give us the first serious beat of the cruise. As the day went on, the weather became more unstable and we were hit by heavy rain and 30 knot squalls, causing some hurried reefing. We entered the lock at Hartlepool Marina followed by a D Class lifeboat towing in a broken-down fishing boat. As the lock opened, a most extraordinary incident happened; as I was down below taking an important but short phone call, the lifeboat crew, who had been standing around chatting, suddenly announced that they had to go on another shout and even though there was nobody at the helm, cast off Bagheera’s lines! Not very good behaviour for a lifeboat crew. Hartlepool Marina is tidal in the entrance and we had to be out of the harbour by 0600 the following morning. After a cup of tea at 0530, we were in the lock and just scraped over the shallows between the inner pierheads. It was a grey, blustery morning and with the wind gusting SSW 5–6, we tied down two reefs and settled down to a wet sail. Even bacon and egg sandwiches failed to lift the gloomy mood of the crew in the short trip up the coast to the Tyne. Entering the Tyne, my home port, was an emotional moment for me. We passed Tynemouth with its Priory and statue of Admiral Collingwood looking out to sea, past the North Shields fish quays, past the Penny Dodger (the ferry between North and South Shields) and on into the old shipbuilding area. Much is now deserted but it was good to see that the old Swan Hunter Neptune


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Yard was busy again, now making jackets for gas fields and various parts of wind turbines. It was difficult to envisage the old days when great liners and warships were built on the old slipways, now owned by the Shepherd family, once Newcastle scrap merchants but these days owning much of the riverbank. It was a great moment as we came round a corner and there were the Baltic Flour Mill, now a contemporary art gallery, the Sage Concert Hall and all the wonderful bridges of the Tyne – first of all, the Millennium Bridge, the famous ‘winking eye‘. The bridge rose above us and we cruised through to moor just downstream from the great Tyne Bridge in what is called Newcastle City Marina – in fact, a single long pontoon but secure and serviced with electricity and water. There were no other visitors and soon the loquacious Gary, a Geordie with an overlay of an Aussie accent, was welcoming us and giving us lots of information. Objective No. 4 achieved! We had a great stay in Newcastle, enjoying a tour of the bridge machinery as well as many other sights of this vibrant city. After re-provisioning the boat and a crew change with my brother-in-law Patrick joining, we left on the Thursday morning, waving to Tony in the Millennium Bridge control room as we passed under it. The trip down the river was interesting as shipping movements were taking place – a huge car transporter was being manoeuvred alongside by a bevy of tugs while across the river, the Amsterdam ferry was arriving, berthing herself without the need for tugs. We left the Tyne in the rain, much as we had arrived and in addition, the visibility was poor and Newbiggin and Blyth passed almost unseen. Off Lynemouth Power Station, one of the skipper’s old construction sites, we met our first Northumbrian coble out fishing – it is lovely that these iconic craft are still working boats. After passing through the narrow, rock-girt channel between Coquet Island and the oddly-named Podler Ware Spit, we entered the River Coquet as the rain eased off and by the time we moored in Amble Marina, it had stopped altogether and the sun came out, giving us a lovely afternoon. Apart from the fact that it’s an attractive spot, the

Above: Millennium Bridge over the River Tyne. Below: Gary checks us in to Newcastle City Marina.

main reason for visiting Amble Marina was to see the skipper’s best man and his wife, John and Ros. They joined us for dinner on Bagheera and Objective No. 5 had been happily achieved. As the next day we couldn’t get out of Amble Marina until the early afternoon (it has a tidal cill), the crew enjoyed a lazy morning, exploring the town and taking photographs. We left Amble after a good lunch at the Fat Mermaid and found a brisk WSW wind outside, necessitating a single reef in the main. It was a great sail on a sparkling early summer day, past the great castles of Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh and the seaside villages of Beadnell and Seahouses and the wonderful sweeps of unspoilt sandy beaches that are the well-kept secret of the Northumbrian coast. We passed close to the Inner Farne with its seals and seabirds before tackling the complex navigation leading into the anchorage at Holy Island. It was successfully managed and we anchored in 6m below The Heugh and although we were quite safe, the anchorage felt bleak and exposed. With rain falling the next morning and a fresh breeze generating a chop in the anchorage, the crew was reluctant to go ashore. By midday the height of tide was sufficient for us to leave, passing close by Lindisfarne Castle that was shrouded in scaffolding while repairs were being carried out. We made good progress up

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CRUISING

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the coast, passing Berwick-on-Tweed and at 1600 entering Scotland! Soon afterwards the wind deserted us but the sun emerged and we motored the last few miles into Eyemouth, enjoying the dramatic entrance and the complete shelter of the narrow harbour inside. It was a charming place, full of character and interest with two resident harbour seals to keep us amused in the warm evening sunshine. The crew dispersed in various directions to explore and photograph, meeting up at the Contented Sole for an average supper. After a few days of short sails, it was time to put some distance under the keel. We left Eyemouth on the half-ebb and had a roaring sail with the southwesterly breeze varying between force 4 and 6 all day as we passed various landmarks. It would have been good to visit Edinburgh, my Alma Mater, but the distance to a safe harbour was too great a diversion and we ploughed on across the entrance to the Firth. We passed the Isle of May and the Bell Rock with its Stephenson lighthouse and worked our way across the mouth of the Firth of Tay towards Arbroath. There was an awkward swell running outside and it was only possible to drop the mainsail and bundle it very loosely before we entered the harbour, threading our way through a maze of lobster pots – the most we had seen this side of Maine! It is an awkward entrance with little turning room but we were soon berthed safely alongside a friendly Swedish yacht whose crew joined us for drinks. The time for getting out of Arbroath the next morning was interesting – gate opens 0715, gate closes 0728! We had to be up early but our Swedish neighbour had been up even earlier and presented us with a plateful of freshly baked cinnamon buns for breakfast, rather like cinnamon-flavoured Welsh cakes. Once outside, the stiff WSW breeze was still blowing and we had a great sail, with plenty to see. A vast oil platform drifted along the horizon with its attendant tugs and Red Head lived up to its name – fine red cliffs with emerald-green grass graced the coastline. Lovely names came and went – Lunan Bay, Scurdie Ness (the entrance to Montrose), Bervie Brow lighthouse, Dunottar Castle high above Stonehaven and then we reached Girdle Ness and Aberdeen, the oil capital of Scotland. LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

Above: Eyemouth Harbour.

“The clearance between the sterns of the boats in their finger berths and the quay wall was significantly less than Bagheera’s overall length and it was a heart-in-mouth job to berth her...”

Here was plenty of evidence of the lack of offshore oil activity, with at least 25 service vessels anchored in the area and probably plenty more inside, waiting for work – a vast amount of under-utilised capital. This is a coast of fine castles and next up was Old Slains Castle, another ruin (blown up in 1594 by King James VI!) known locally as Dracula’s Castle as it was believed by locals to have inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula. This was closely followed by New Slains Castle which is also a ruin but a more modern one. The Bullers of Buchan are dramatic cliffs that are the nesting site of thousands of fulmars and kittiwakes and then round the corner of Buchan Ness came Peterhead Power Station, where I spent five years of my career on its construction. Fortunately for the town, although the oil industry is quiet, the fishing industry is still buoyant and Peterhead still lands more fish than the whole of the rest of the UK put together – an amazing statistic. We made our way across the bay and moored in Peterhead Marina – not the most scenic place in Scotland but with plenty of space and reasonable facilities. It had been a great sail with a good sailing breeze and little rain (only Pat got wet off Aberdeen!) and Objective No. 6 had been achieved. The morning dawned very still and we left the marina at 0845 to catch the tide round Rattray Head and Kinnaird Head, a major tidal gate marking the point at which one turns west into the Moray Firth but with only a breath of a southerly breeze, we had to motor most of the morning. This was another interesting coastline, with another busy fishing port at Fraserburgh, the attractive old villages of Gardenstown and Pennan and the sea-cliffs of Troup Head, home to thousands of seabirds and another gannet colony. At 1600 we arrived in Whitehills; Bertie Mills, the harbour master, was on the pierhead and warned us that it was a tight entry. We thought he meant the harbour entry – but when we saw the berth he intended us to get into, we realised what he had really meant! The clearance between the sterns of the boats in their finger berths and the quay wall was significantly less than Bagheera’s overall length and it was a heart-inmouth job to berth her successfully and without damaging adjacent boats.


CRUISING

There had a been a space on the pontoon in the outer harbour but Bertie explained that he had kept the berth available for a boat from the Ellen McArthur Trust which was also doing a circumnavigation. The Trust exists to help children who have suffered from cancer recover their confidence – a very worthwhile cause. Many of the population of Whitehills turned out to welcome the boat as it docked. The only thing that disturbed my sleep was this; having got into this berth, how on earth am I going to get out of it? I needn’t have worried – Bertie had seen it all before and had it all worked out. For the first time on the whole cruise, after a nice lie-in it was warm enough for breakfast in the cockpit and even the shorts got the mould dusted off them! We summoned Bertie from his office to help us extricate ourselves but in the end it was no drama; he threw us a line from the dock wall so that we could keep the bow up to the wind and as we slid out of the berth, he gave the bow a good shove round so that we cleared the quay wall with at least an inch to spare – well, maybe a foot – or two. Outside, we set off on a broad reach in warm sunshine but by lunchtime we were motoring again. As we arrived outside Lossiemouth we tried to raise the harbour on the radio but it seems that they go home at 1630! The visitors’ area was crowded and we selected a Finnish yacht to go alongside which turned out not to be a great idea as although friendly, a lot of drink was in evidence. It turned out that they were in the middle of an epic voyage which had taken them up through Russia and round the North Cape to Norway and across to Lossiemouth where they had laid up for the winter, the boat in fact having only been launched that morning. Soon after we arrived, they repaired to the pub. A text came to say that the Finns were intending to leave at 2330 and we decided to move, not liking the idea of a well-oiled skipper trying to get out from under us at low water – or even having to stay alongside them. At 2200, they returned, jumped on to the boat and although it was a shambles of loose gear, they set off for Inverness; we couldn’t believe it as they had been drinking solidly for about five hours by then. Anyway, we had a peaceful night.

Above left: Crew in Clachnaharry. Above: Bagheera comes home.

“... things got serious as we were hit by a severe squall which caused us to roll the yankee away in a hurry but not before it had caught on something and ripped the corner of the clew.”

There was a frisson of excitement about the next morning as this was the day on which we should make the Caledonian Canal. We needed to make sure that we would be in the sea lock before it closed for the night and so left early, with bacon sandwiches for breakfast under way. The wind again proved fickle and we were alternately on our ear and over-canvassed and then motoring with not enough wind to sail. By the South Sutor at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth, it was evident that we would need to motor-sail if we were not to miss the tide at the narrows off Fort George and the entrance to the Inverness Firth. It became quite a slog but was made up for by the wonderful display of dolphins as we arrived at Chanonry Point, with the beach crowded with onlookers, among whom was the skipper’s older sister Ann, part of the crew for the next leg. Once through the narrows, we had a beat across to Alturlie Point on the Inverness shore but after we shot the Kessock Bridge things got serious as we were hit by a severe squall which caused us to roll the yankee away in a hurry but not before it had caught on something and ripped the corner of the clew. After entering the sea-lock of the Caledonian Canal, we had to wait at Corpach for half-an-hour while completing all the paperwork for the canal transit, including paying the transit fee of £439! The lock keeper was wonderfully helpful, truly in the long tradition of the Caledonian Canal and a mine of useful information. Soon we were allowed through the rail ridge and moored up at Seaport Marina in the Muirton Basin, finding frequent crewmate Charlie and his wife Barrington on the pontoon to welcome us. They stayed for a cup of tea before heading back to Skye and the process began of tidying and packing for the crew’s departure. It was decided on several recommendations to have a crew supper at the Clachnaharry Inn but oh dear! It summed up all that is awful about Scottish catering. Mike was outraged to find that the wine he had chosen was only a few degrees below boiling point (microwaved to warm it up?) and the food was stodgy and unimaginative. Still, the venue was pleasant, looking out over the firth to the Black Isle and the ‘unfinished business’ had been completed! n LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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RNLI FUNDRAISER

ALEX’S 9,500-MILE JOURNEY RAISES £70,000 FOR RNLI Alex Ellis-Roswell, RNLI fundraiser, dropped everything to walk round the British and Irish coastlines to raise money for the Lifeboats. Judy Brown the Club’s social media champion, shares how she discovered and followed Alex’s inspiring story on social media and how he came to stay in a Little Ship Club cabin! Photos Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

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t its worst, social media can be a cynical, narcissistic, self-promoting echo chamber of egos and opinions, hijacked by mercenary marketing men to advertise and PR firms to make politicians look ‘cool’. At its best, however, it can connect people with shared interests from all over the globe, create communities of like-minded individuals, allow us to discover fascinating events, stories and people and help people share their adventures. The social media strategy at Little Ship Club is fairly simple – we ‘follow’ and ‘like’ sailors, boat builders, marina teams, and all sorts of people in the maritime world. Some of our members are avid Twitterers, sharing pictures from out on the water. There’s also the City of London type folk; our neighbours, the livery companies, local businesses. It’s a great way to see what’s going on in the maritime world. In August, one of the RNLI crews we follow re-tweeted a cry for help from someone leaving their station and heading down the east coast. Always looking for interesting goings-on to share with our own followers, I clicked on the story to find out more. This was when I first read about Alex. Alex lost his father at Christmas in 2013; before ill health, Sir Raymond Ellis had spent much of his life dedicated to charity work and fundraising. Inspired by his parents’ dedication to charity work and their unswerving devotion to helping those in need, Alex decided to channel his grief into something that benefitted others. He set off on a remarkable journey: LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018


RNLI FUNDRAISER

a walk of 9,500 miles round the British and Irish coastlines. He set a target of £10,000, left his job, gave notice on his flat, and walked out with only what he carried on his back. At first, he was alone; he had a tent and slept in church doorways, but when he reached each lifeboat station, he was met by the crew, fed and given a bed for the night. Word was then passed on along the coast; RNLI crews and their families kept a weather eye open for him as he approached each coastal town and village. The kindness of strangers came to the fore, and as word spread on Facebook and Twitter, he amassed a small following. He also amassed a large amount of money, and quickly smashed his £10,000 target. He raised the amount he wanted to raise and kept walking. By 3 August 2017 he had been chased by bulls, walked through hurricane-force winds, met Princess Anne, got over chicken pox, visited over 200 lifeboat stations and, now he had reached Northumberland, walked c. 8,500 miles. In those three years he had gone through seven pairs of boots, and the eighth pair was now almost worn through. Struggling to get a replacement, he put a shout-out on Twitter and this was shared by his online friends, one of which Little Ship Club ‘knows’ online. I followed the link to read more and scrolled through his page, reading about his adventures over the last few years. There were pictures of beautiful sunrises from isolated cliff tops, taken early before setting off on a long day’s hike; of myriad

Above: Alex, RNLI fundraiser, with lifeboat crew. Above: RNLI rescue map shows Alex’s coastal route. Below: Alex walking through Fife, with the Forth Bridge behind him.

beaches in every type of weather; of a bag of frozen peas helping an over-worked and swollen knee; of woolly socks knitted for him by kind supporters; of kids from all over the country putting money in his RNLI bucket. There were lifeboats of every size and their crew, working hard or having fun or cooking or walking alongside him. There were beaming faces from the families that had put him up for the night, or met him on the coastal road, or bought him a pint of Guinness and joined him after a hard day’s walk. He had seen almost every inch of the coastlines of UK and Ireland, plus the Isle of Wight, Channel Islands, Isles of Scilly, Isle of Man, Islay, Barra, Skye, Harris, Mull, Shetland, Orkney, and every other island which has a lifeboat station. This extraordinary journey had been walked by Alex on his own, but the support of the

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RNLI FUNDRAISER

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LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

Top: Alex at the finish line in Minniss Bay near his home. Above: Alex in Shetland. Below: Shot taken by Alex as he passes the Little Ship Club.

Alex Ellis-Roswell

thousands he had met along the way was visible in both the pictures and the updates he posted online. These were all beautifully written, by turn funny and poignant, capturing the highs and lows of his journey and recounting just a few of the many exchanges and experiences he had. I looked at the little map with a red line around the coast at the top of his page; it was nearly complete. In August he was in Blyth, Northumberland, and after the east coast he just had the thousand miles down to his home in Kent to complete. Those thousand miles took him up the Thames, across after Teddington, and then back down the south bank, round the corner and back home to Margate. I realised this meant he would be walking right past the riverside door of the Little Ship Club, and, after contemplating the practicalities of camping on the Thames path, sent him a message offering a cabin for the night while he passed through Central London. A few messages and a month and a half later a bearded figure in an oddly familiar-looking yellow oilskin rang the door bell. It was a total delight to put Alex up; to hand over a key to a cabin with a small but comfy bed and a hot shower and let him rest for a few days before continuing on. While he was at the Club he stayed for one of our Club Nights – including Ian Stewart’s fascinating lecture on the Coriolis Force – and spoke

to lots of members about his journey so far. The bucket stayed on the bar the whole time he was here, and members were hugely generous when it was passed round after dinner. Every time Alex got to a station he emptied the bucket there, so money given stayed in the area where it was donated. Between the bucket and the online donations he had, by this time, raised nearly £60,000. The team at the RNLI used the time in London as an opportunity to do some media work and promotion, and even though Tower is the busiest lifeboat station he was able to get up to see them, raise some money and even take a trip out on the Thames. For his walk to Teddington and back he knew he had places to stay, so left his big backpack here in the Club office. The weight was considerable; to know he had carried this nearly 9,000 miles when it was an effort to merely drag across the office was a sobering thought. A week or so later he popped in on his way back down river for one more night in the cabin, and to collect his bag. After a week of sunshine and the city looking her very finest, the morning was grey and drizzly. The autumn cold was biting and the miles ahead seemed unthinkable to me. Alex, with his characteristic good humour simply chuckled and said it was nothing on the south west coast in December. A few weeks later he crossed the finish line in Minniss Bay near his home. His mum Jackie, friends, family, RNLI crew and supporters, along with representatives from the local council, were there to greet him and to celebrate his amazing achievement, while members of the Whitstable Sea Cadets Corps of Drums accompanied him along the last few miles. He had walked 9,500 miles and raised over £70,000 for the lifeboats. 200 people stood in the cold to cheer him over the finish line, and over 50,000 people watched the final leg of Alex’s journey live on his Facebook page; followers and friends from all round the country witnessed his emotional homecoming. It was great to play a tiny part in such a story; we very much hope that Alex will return to the Little Ship Club to give a talk on his journey, once he has finished his book. n


CLUB WEDDING AFTER WHIRLWIND ROMANCE

A love of sailing helped bring Heather and Nigel Rogers

together despite living thousands of miles apart. Here they recount their story to kick off our new series ‘the Club abroad’.

Above and right: Heather and Nigel on their wedding day at the LSC, Saturday 7 July 2012. Below: A yacht from the Royal Perth Yacht Club in the River Swan with the city of Perth in the background.

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first met Heather in October 2011 over dinner in Edinburgh. I was a widower living in the city, and had been invited out by mutual friends, who had known Heather when they had all lived in New York. Heather, an Australian, had since moved back to Perth after her husband had died, and was on a flying visit, catching up with friends and relatives in Europe and the US. Over dinner, we shared stories of our common interests, our hobbies, travels, etc, and I was overjoyed to hear that Heather was a keen sailor. She had been a member of the Royal Perth Yacht Club (RPYC) for nearly 30 years where she had also worked in its Media Centre, taking photographers and journalists out during major sailing events, including the America’s Cup in 1987. She had sailed with her late husband up the eastern seaboard of America, and raced with The American Yacht Club in Rye, NY, and the New York Yacht Club, winning many trophies in their Alerion 38 called Waltzing Matilda. I’ve sailed around the Swedish Archipelago and the Ionian Sea in Greece, as well as across the English Channel to France. I’ve been a member of the Little Ship Club for about 10 years, and helped launch a yacht club while working at Citibank. But it was not just the common interest in sailing which sparked my interest, but also that Heather was going to participate in a week-long study trip called: Walking in the Footsteps of Sir Winston Churchill. Here was someone who also enjoyed my interest for military history. So when I discovered Heather would be in London at the same time I would be in the city for work I said I would like to take her out for dinner if she ‘’had a loose end”. After the third time of asking, Heather replied that she would make a loose end! So we met at the Savoy, and the next day for a coffee. Heather then continued on her travels to Germany and Italy, before flying

THE CLUB ABROAD

back to Perth in Western Australia. We kept in touch, and then in January 2012, I decided I would like see Heather again. A month later I flew to Perth, having never been to Australia before. On the third day, after crewing with Heather at the Royal Perth Yacht Club on a Bavaria 36 in 15–20 knot winds on the River Swan, I had made up my mind. I asked Heather to marry me, and she said “yes!” We were both in our 60s and we had been richly blessed to find a kindred spirit for our sunset years. Heather locked up her house for eight months, came to live in Edinburgh, and we decided to get married on July 7, 2012 at the Little Ship Club; first and foremost because of our sailing connections, secondly because the Club is perfectly located on the River Thames, and thirdly because it would be easier for our 70 guests to come to London from nine different countries. I had seen photos of weddings on the Club’s website, and showed them to Heather. Didier helped us with the planning. The food was delicious, and all our guests said they had thoroughly enjoyed the wedding. Our day was so very special: unusual and memorable. Although Heather was the only person I knew in Perth, I then decided to retire after 40 years in the corporate world, and sell my home in Edinburgh. Heather sponsored me for an Immigration Visa, and I emigrated in December 2012. I gained permanent residency after two years, and I had the honour of becoming an Australian citizen in April this year. We still sail the Bavaria. From March 2018, Qantas, the Australian Airline, will offer direct non-stop flights to Perth from London, some 16 hours in the air! The first time that the UK and Australia will have been linked by a non-stop flight. So, for those interested in exploring Australia, the beautiful city of Perth and the city’s Swan River that offers outstanding sailing, there is no excuse now not to give it a try! Although we live a long distance from the LSC in London, I have remained a member as we really enjoy our visits back to the Club and occasionally to stay overnight and reminisce. We visit about once a year, and marked our fifth wedding anniversary with lunch at the Club. n LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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AT THE CLUB

MEMBERS GET TOGETHER

Social functions are a key part of the Little Ship Club; here Commodore Anne Billard shares images of the events she has had the pleasure to host in recent months.

TRAFALGAR NIGHT DINNER

Members enjoyed great company, fine food and entertaining speeches at our Trafalgar Night Dinner on 17 October. A direct descendant of Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton, Mary Arthur entertained the company with a romantic after-dinner speech telling the story of her great great great great grand-parents.

Details of all Club events and activities are available on the website: http://littleshipclub.co.uk/events/all 40

LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018


AT THE CLUB LITTLE SHIP CLUB AND CITY LIVERY CLUB LUNCH Little Ship Club Commodore and outgoing President of the City Livery Club co-hosted the Joint Lunch on 19 September. Extremely well attended again this year, the lunch is the perfect occasion for members of both clubs who share our premises to get to know each other better.

Above: (from left to right) John Garbutt (CLC President), Christine Rigden, Sheriff-Elect and Past President Neil Redcliffe, Anne Billard (LSC Commodore).

WHISKY TASTING Great fun and discerning colour coordinating at our Whisky Tasting evening on 24 October. The event was organised by Michael Forbes Smith.

SHANTIES EVENING Mark Turvey organised the eighth edition of the ever-popular Shanties Evening, for which the orders were “you don’t sing, you don’t eat!”

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AT THE CLUB LAYING UP SUPPER AND PRIZE GIVING Our Laying Up Supper and prize giving took place on 7 November. Commodore, Anne Billard had the pleasure of presenting members with trophies to mark their achievements during 2017.

Jack Orr Trophy for the restoration of Lady Golem, awarded to Targ and Teraza Patience. .

David Williams Alderney Tankard for the best write-up of a cross channel rally, Calais/Ouessant, awarded to Graham Broadway.

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LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

Baton for Little Ship Club unsung heroes and heroines, awarded to John Strode for his clubhouse work.

Wilson Haffenden Cup for the winner of the 2016–17 Fast Cruise series, awarded to Avril Ormsby on behalf of Andy Ormsby on Shearwater.

Alexander Catering Rose Bowl for the member who has been most meritorious in promoting any aspect of yachting within the Club, awarded to Charlie Quayle for organising Fast Cruises.

Royal Oak Cup for the best log of a short cruise of 10 to 21 days duration, awarded to Hunter Peace for his article ‘We should have turned Left’, Little Ship summer 2017.

Orfordness Light Trophy for the rally organiser who has organised the most illuminating rally of the season awarded to Graham Pinner – Frostbite.


AT THE CLUB

Scott Trophy (pictured) for the most meritorious sailing achievement, awarded to Charles Whittam – Fastnet. Anthony Powell Memorial Trophy for the first LSC yacht in the Round the Island Race, on corrected time, in Groups 1 to 4 of the IRC handicap classes, awarded to Charles Whittam, Juno – 326th.

Norman Hummerstone, our first Commodore, cutting his birthday cake.

Dr Anne Riches Bowl for outstanding sailing achievement during the year, awarded to Colin Abdey for 20 years dedicated to training. RWJ Gibbons Ladies Cup for the lady member who has done most for the furtherance of yachting in or out of the Club, awarded to Jill Moffatt, Fast Cruises.

Eldridge Cup for the skipper or member making the longest non-stop passage, with respect to the waterline length to the Holland Rally, awarded to John de Witt, Pim, Shotley to Breskens.

TROPHIES ALSO AWARDED TO:

Bone of Contention (The Slade Trophy) for the LSC skipper or member who finished in the best place, according to handicap, in the Royal Escape Race: 2004 onwards for racing success at Cowes Week. Awarded to Richard Strong for the North Sea Race, Solid Air, 16th in Cruiser Division A.

Conrad Tapster (Gaff Yacht) Trophy for a small boat race (one design) with a gentleman skipper, awarded to Iain Pickard for Classic Channel Regatta.

Peggy Wise Bowl for the best article in Little Ship, awarded to Claire Allcard for her account of her husband Edward Allcard’s life and his obituary (Little Ship spring and summer 2017). Goldie Trophy (pictured) for the highest placed LSC boat in Thames Trafalgar Race, awarded to Richard Keen, Greenwitch. Liège Cup to the LSC skipper making the longest non-stop passage, with respect to waterline length, to attend the London rally at St Katharine Haven. Awarded to Richard Keen, Greenwitch – Queenborough to Limehouse.

Mercer Shield for the yacht making the longest non-stop passage in relation to the length of the waterline to attend the Calais Rally, awarded to Mark Turvey, Blustery Day. Motor Cruiser Award for the best log of a motor cruise in inland waters and canals throughout the world, awarded to Colin Davies for video log of London Canal Cruise.

Vertue Cup for a member’s log describing a cruise of at least one week’s duration made under the Club burgee during the year preceding the award Awarded to David Clements for Round Britain. LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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BOOKS The Club library receives books from publishers who specialise in marine and yachting. Some of our recent arrivals are reviewed on these pages, more reviews are on the Club website and some books are in our library awaiting a review.

Sea Charts of the British Isles – A Voyage of Discovery Around Britain and Ireland’s Coastline The Sea Chart – The Illustrated History of Nautical Maps and Navigational Charts (second edition) John Blake Adlard Coles Nautical ISBN: 9781844860241 ISBN: 9780851779454 Some years ago, a Russian tanker hit a rock, somewhere near Scandinavia, spilling crude oil over the adjoining coastline. In the ensuing litigation, in which the Russian tanker captain was being sued for the recovery of the costs of a clean up, it emerged that the rock had been misplaced on the modern charts. It had, however, been correctly placed on the charts of the 19th Century. That incident said a lot about the quality of 19th century hydrography, and the failures of modern methods, or at least, of those who use them. The cause of the error on the modern charts was the production of so much digital information about objects in the area, that a mistake was made in feeding the relevant information into the chart production, now a digital process. Until the invention of the echo sounder in the early 20th Century, hydrography and the production of sea charts relied on methods hardly changed for hundreds of years. Lead lines, logs, sextants and compass bearings, served hydrographers well. The results of these old methods are the subject of these two books, both by the same author, John Blake.

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These two books will satisfy any mariner’s interest in the history of sea charts. ‘The Sea Charts of the British Isles’, subtitled ‘A Voyage of Discovery Around Britain’, explores, through a series of historic charts, the multitude of seaports, fishing and commercial harbours, naval bases, dockyards and seaside havens, said by the author to have supported local life, and defended and imported for the nation. After an introductory chapter, setting out a general description of Great Britain as an island, and providing a brief history of the work of the hydrographic office during the 19th Century, Sea Charts

LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

of the British Isles takes a circular tour, clockwise from London and the Thames Estuary around the coast of Great Britain. Each chapter is fully illustrated with charts from, broadly, the 16th to the 19th Centuries. This is a softback packed with fascinating information of many familiar ports and coastlines. Although there is an introductory text to each chapter, covering substantial sections of the coastline, the greatest interest lies in the charts themselves and the associated explanations. ‘The Sea Chart’, also by Blake, is a much more substantial work, in a different sense. Even its subtitle, ‘The Illustrated History of Nautical Maps and Navigational Charts’, fails to do justice to the scope of the works. This is a review of a number of charts from across the world. This book has as its theme a worldwide survey of sea charts. As Blake notes in his introduction, the French were the first to set up a hydrographic office in 1720, and the British, with much Admiralty vacillation, but spurred on by the American War of Independence, followed much later in 1795. Indeed, as Blake explains, Denmark had set up such an office in 1784, Spain in 1800 and Russia in 1827. Officers and sailing masters often prepared their own charts before these dates and, with a hydrographic office in several countries, these and other charts were submitted to the central authority. In this work, Blake first explores the British coasts and Northern Europe, before proceeding to the Arctic to find the North East and North West Passages, then on to Africa, India, Ceylon and the Persian Gulf, before moving further east to the Pacific and the East Indies. He then has chapters covering the Caribbean and northwards along the east coast of North America before concluding chapters deal with the west coast of America and Australia, New Zealand and the Antarctic. Blake provides more information in his textual description of the history of chart making in the respective regions of the world. Both of these books are fascinating, especially for those who take an interest in chart making. Some of the earlier charts are beautiful productions. Of the two books, I think I would prefer to take the ‘Sea Charts of the British Isles’ with me when cruising around the British coastline, simply for comparison and discussion. The second book, ‘The Sea Chart’, is far more academic and

comprehensive in its approach to the practice of hydrography across the world; it is really a book for the reference library.

Knot Craft & Rope Mats Des Pawson Adlard Coles Nautical, 2016 ISBN: 9781472922786

Barry Denyer-Green

All sailors are familiar with the knots used in the course of sailing and handling boats. But how many sailors can make a Monkey Fist, as a weight at the end of a heaving line, or a rope ladder, to hang over the side? This book covers both knot craft, from bell ropes to fenders, and from rope handrails to turks heads. It also covers the making of rope mats. A bell rope worked with sennit knots, with the addition of one or more turks heads, is not only a satisfying thing to create, but adds some style to the bell, and with it your boat. For those with traditional wooden boats or similar, this book describes how you can make fenders of all types, from bow and ring, to the RNLI style bow pudding fender. And if you are not satisfied with that list, why not try a button fender. The book also describes more mundane things such as simple lanyards, to secure knives or whistles, a bosun’s chair and the making of grommets of all types.

Heavy Weather Sailing Peter Bruce Adlard Coles Nautical, 2016, £35 ISBN: 9781472923196 (hardback)

Adlard Coles’ classic work first appeared 50 years ago and this is the seventh edition. It remains probably the best overall account of heavy weather conditions, although Tom Cunliffe’s ‘Heavy Weather Sailing’, published by Fernhurst, concentrates on the practical issues and is excellent value. As before, it is divided into two main sections covering “Expert Advice” and “Storm Experiences”. Subjects covered in the first part include design and stability; spars, rigging, sails and drag devices; preparation, handling and seeking refuge; meteorology, seasickness; powerboat handling and multi-hull tactics. The second part mainly covers storm experiences over the last 30 years. Compared with early editions, this benefits from the use of colour and more explanatory diagrams, while older readers will regret the omission of Captain de Lange’s terrifying photographs of hurricane conditions. The meteorology chapter dwells too long on elementary theory and is unduly negative about the resources of the individual sailor (a common problem remedied by the Club’s Practical Weather Forecasting course). The chapter on seasickness is good but curiously omits discussion of the role of antacid preparations, a matter raised many years ago by Des Sleightholme. These, however, are minor quibbles about an iconic work: expensive but worth it. Ian Stewart Hon Librarian’s note We also have the original version written by Karl Adlard Coles, a former member of the Club.

Of course, you may wish to make a baggy wrinkle, to protect your sails, or a bowsprit net, to access the foresails. Rope mats are not really my thing, but there are numerous designs and styles to choose from. The instructions and explanations are simple and easy to follow, and great fun can be gained from the added knowledge and expertise with ropes and knots. Barry Denyer-Green

Reeds Knot Handbook Jim Whippy Fernhurst Books ISBN: 9781909911505 This is a pocket-sized book that illustrates knots and whipping using traditional sailing terms, clear stepby-step guides to tying and clear explanations for the origins and purpose of the knots. Handy, practical and fascinating. For example, the snuggle hitch (invented in 1987) takes lengthways or right-angled pull and can be tied at the ends or in the bight, and is easy to release. Excellent. NDQ


BOOKS

Last Voyages Nicholas Gray Fernhurst Books ISBN: 9781909911550

This compilation of sailors last voyages, naturally finishes with sad and tragic events; however it does capture the pioneering spirit in an era of few navigation aids, the use of new materials in boat construction, especially in catamarans, and scant regard for individual safety. We are all beneficiaries, today, of lessons learnt in boat development, in particular in ocean and global racing. The author took to sailing at an early age and whilst racing became acquainted with a number of the well-known yachtsmen whose endeavours gained the public’s attention. The loss of Eric Tabarly and Rob James, whose wife Naomi achieved around the world fame are included. MJG This presents as soft-back book of five by seven inches and with its eye-catching cover of Philip Walwyn’s beautiful gaff cutter Katie under full sail, is a book that just begs to be picked up for a quick read. However, it is difficult to assign this book to a particular genre for Nicholas Gray does not tell us a story in the sense that there is a beginning, middle and end but in only 236 pages and 11 chapters Gray sets out breath-taking accounts of events that led to the tragic seafaring deaths of 17 people – and Nicholas Gray is absolutely qualified to write such a unique book. An experienced sailor himself with thousands of sea-miles behind him, Gray has variously owned, sailed, crewed in and raced many yachts and he had either met some of the subjects revealed in his book or he has known people who knew them. It is clear that the eventually tragic subjects and their histories have been diligently researched and Gray’s legal mind has objectively examined the evidence. He sets out a series of difficult subjects in a captivating easy to read style, each page crammed with information and insights. So who would benefit from reading this book? Well this is a ‘must read’ for sailors and of course for anyone contemplating a serious sea voyage or off-shore race. The hidden theme in this book however, is the insight that Nicholas Gray brings to bear on the psychological weaknesses and almost blind strengths of those

personalities and the inward struggles that led inevitably to those last and fatal voyages. This is a book that should be read by everyone who is fascinated by human behaviour or who is studying psychology – Psycho-analysts will love it. My only criticism relates to the print quality of some of the monochrome plates, but having said that, I look forward with anticipation to the next book by Nicholas Gray. Dr Rodney Pell

The Wild Call Martyn Murray Fernhurst Books ISBN: 9781912177028 Martyn Murray’s tale of buying and restoring an old ketch and his subsequent adventures in MOLIO is well written. The slight edge of panic at the cost of each new repair has a very familiar ring. His satisfaction at each challenge overcome is shared. The description of the anchorages and moorings of the Inner and Outer Hebridean Islands is highly evocative and anyone who has been there will enjoy revisiting them. Equally familiar is the skipper’s frustration at dealing with the unpredictability of the Scottish weather, the storms striking when the wind is “decreasing”! The description of his single-handed struggle to reach St Kilda in unpredicted storm-force winds is indeed gripping and one feels the author’s contentment at finally achieving his goal. I did, however, feel that Martyn Murray’s other purpose, to educate the reader about government and commercial encroachment on individual freedoms, whilst worthy, was perhaps somewhat overemphasised. A good read. Sue Lyons

Sea Fishing Jim Whippy Adlard Coles ISBN: 9781408187951 This delightful how to book is brought to you by Adlard Coles. It is not written by a fictitious J R Hartley but by a well known international sea angler who has fished in six World Championships for the England Boat Team, edited three sea angling publications, written two books and appeared on television several times. It is written for Boatties who still believe there

are fish in the sea between Scotland and Gibraltar and would like to catch supper rather than buy it. This useful handbook of 176 pages will show you how (whether on the move, at anchor, or drifting with step by step instructions and photographs) to set up your tackle, bait the hook correctly and work the tide to catch fish. It even has a chapter devoted to preparing and cooking your catch. It has many excellent photos and useful top tips, such as wetting the monofilament before tightening the blood, uni or leader knot to prevent line burn. This is probably why so many whoppers get away! It is not a good fishing guide that tells you that Billy Bass is feeding off the second breakwater along from the pier. You will need the internet for that. It is on the other hand a good source of inspiration and encouragement to get out the boat rod and line and have a go. BM

Ionian 9th Edition Rod and Lucinda Heikell Imray Laurie, Norie & Wilson ISBN: 9781846238680

Rod and Lucinda Heikell have updated their very handy little guide to the Ionian. The usual format remains. The book provides a very useful over view and general advice on what to expect. It covers everything from classical history and myths through some more gossipy recent history to modern mores. It includes advice general advice on mooring styles, menus, road traffic. Everything you could possibly want to know about a country on your first visit. Once in the knitty gritty of actually sailing around, for each harbour they describe the approach, the entry, where and how to moor, (where to avoid), facilities, cafes and shops. They even cover quiet bays nearby for lunchtime stop offs and afternoon swims. All vital information necessary for drafting an itinerary for a relaxed cruise round the Ionian with a crew of mixed interests. This book is the ideal companion for the novice skipper or first time cruiser in the area. It would also serve as a handy aide memoire for anyone doing a potted course in classical history. DW

Yachtmaster for Sail and Power Alison Noice Adlard Coles Nautical ISBN: 9781472925497 This book is an invaluable manual not only for anyone studying for their Yachtmaster exams, but also for qualified and experienced sailors looking to keep abreast of developments. The author, Alison Noice, is a Yachtmaster examiner, and is obviously well qualified to write this book. Now in its fourth edition, the book is up to date on such matters as GMDSS, Solas regulations, weather sources, with useful websites included. New electronic systems are explained alongside the traditional methods. The many illustrations are simple, clear and bright. Question papers appear at the end of each topic (don’t panic – answers at the back of the book!) to help reinforce the subject matter. This is a comprehensive reference book that is refreshingly simple to follow and absorb. RG

Mediterranean France & Corsica Pilot – 6th Edition Rod & Lucinda Heikell Imray Laurie, Norie & Wilson ISBN: 9781846238499

As in previous editions, the book is divided into sections. The southern French Coast divided into five sections plus a sixth for Corsica. The couple have expanded each section. Starting with the preface, they explain the changes to look out for and touch very briefly on how Brexit may affect cruising in the area. Whichever area you plan to cruise along this coast, you should read the introduction, which gives an overall view of what to expect when sailing French Mediterranean waters. As ever, Rod and Lucinda have filled their book with the essential details of how to get in and out of the harbours, plus an indication of the sort of things you are likely to find ashore and some detailed information of the history and places of interest . So not just a useful guide for a sailor, but an interesting read for a tourist. DW

LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

45


HPO NEWS Hurricane Irma, which developed on August 30 near the Cape Verde Islands and persisted until mid September, caused catastrophic damage particularly in parts of the northeastern Caribbean and the Florida Keys. Here, HPO liaison officer Anne Le Verrier Bizzey, reports on our HPOs that were directly affected by Hurricane Irma. Anne also looks forward to the year ahead and introduces our new HPOs in Oban.

2017 – A VERY NASTY YEAR FOR SOME OF OUR HONORARY PORT OFFICERS Left: Jane Harrison, HPO St Maarten (left) with Anne Le Verrier Bizzey at the Southampton Boat Show. Right: Catherine Peat and Gary Adams, new managers of Isle of Kerrera Marina, Oban.

46

By the time you read this article we will be into 2018 and I am sure everyone will be wishing and hoping that the weather improves over the disastrous weather in 2017. Some of our Caribbean Honorary Port Officers (HPOs) were directly in the path of Hurricane Irma and the islands of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) were totally flattened and devastated, causing untold misery and hardship. Brian Gandy, HPO Tortola (who luckily had left for Canada) completely lost his Charter business, yachts, beautiful house and cars – complete devastation of years of hard work building up his charter business and our hearts went out to him. He is hoping to return as soon as possible as it is his home. During the Southampton Boat Show, I met up with Jane Harrison, HPO St Maarten, who was also in the UK visiting her mother when the outside fringe of the hurricane struck the island, not causing quite the devastation as in the BVI, but her home has been very badly damaged and the Mega Yacht Services suffered losses in their fleet. Darryl Currie, HPO Florida, who has moved to Palatka, Florida on the St Johns River, did not evacuate and managed to keep his boat and house safely tucked up throughout extremely strong winds and rain. There is no personal news of David Blackburn HPO Turks and Caicos Islands but they must surely have suffered extreme damage, being such low-lying islands. We trust that all is safe with them. LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

“the British Virgin Islands were totally flattened and devasted, causing untold misery and hardship ...”

On to other HPO news: you will have read about our four new HPOs for Caledonian Canal, Bermuda, Lake Geneva and Singapore in the recent online version of the Little Ship. At the HPO dinner in January, following their appointment as HPOs Isle of Kerrera Marina, Oban, our president presented Catherine Peat and Gary Adams with the new HPO burgee and certificate. As one of the main stopping places for Little Ship Club members visiting the western islands and Hebrides, let us hope they will meet many of you in the coming years. 2018 is the Club’s turn to visit and sail with our cousins, the Corinthians in their Chesapeake Cruise in June and I hope that many of you will have a wonderful time meeting up with old friends. On that happy note, I wish you fair winds and happy sailing, be it in the Caribbean, United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Turkey, South Africa and closer to home, around England, Scotland, Channel Islands, France and Ireland.

GET IN TOUCH

For any information about the Club’s HPOs please contact Anne Le Verrier Bizzey, HPO liaison hpo-officer@littleshipclub.co.uk

Any amendments to personal contact details should be sent directly to Anne and copied to Judy Brown in the Club office, judy@littleshipclub.co.uk in order to keep the database up-to-date.


LITTLE SHIP CLUB HONORARY PORT OFFICERS International country dialling codes follow country name. Home telephone number, (business number in brackets). Last updated 20/12/2017 UNITED KINGDOM +44 SOUTH COAST OF ENGLAND CHICHESTER HARBOUR: Brian Humber, 7 Stockbridge Gardens, Donnington, Chichester PO19 8RL. Mob: 07801 211658 brian_humber@hotmail.com EASTBOURNE: Ewen Summers, Swallows, 6A Denton Road, Eastbourne BN20 7SU. Tel: 01323 735257 Mob: 07785 953734 ewensummers@ hotmail.com SHOREHAM: Gordon Line, 12 Riverside Road, Shoreham By Sea, West Sussex BN43 5RB. Tel: 01273 453629 Mob: 07879 025666 gordon.line@talktalk.net RIVER DART: David Clements, Southernhay, High Street, Hinton St George TA17 8SE. Tel: 01460 77214 Mob: 07802 151538 mail@clemhinton.com FALMOUTH: Rodney Bennett, Cowlands Hill, Cowlands, Truro TR3 6AT Tel: 01872 278950. advice@alexinvest.f9.co.uk

WEST COAST OF ENGLAND BRISTOL: Michael Roberts, 4 Beechcroft, Dundry BS41 8LE. Tel: 0117 964 6667 michael.winroberts@gmail.com

WEST MERSEA AND RIVER BLACKWATER: John Davison, 68 High Street, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex, CO5 8JE. Tel: 01206 621843 jhdavison@hotmail.co.uk

SCOTLAND CALEDONIAL CANAL: Michael Salter, Kingdom, Glassel, Banchory, Aberdeen AB31 4BY. Tel: 01330 824191 Mob: 07802 694812 michael@salterweb.com EAST COAST: Cairns Birrell, The White House, 1 Shore, Anstruther Fife KY10 3DY. Tel: 01333 313492 Mob: 07710 451779 cairns@enpd.co.uk LARGS: Charles Harrigan, 2/7, 23 Blackfriars St Merchant City, Glasgow G1 1BL. Tel: 01475 686638 Mob: 07702 555373 charlieharrigan@aol.com LOCH LOMOND: Angus Annan, Easter Cottage, Blair Logie, Stirling FX9 5PX. Tel: 01259 761281 Mob: 07785 523540 angusannan01@btinternet.com OBAN: Gary Adams and Catherine Peat, Oban Marina, Isle of Kerrera, Oban, Argyll PA34 4SX. Tel: 01631 565333 Mob: 07770 817909 info@obanmarina.com catherinepeat10@gmail.com

NORTH DEVON COAST: Capt David Ganniclifft, The Old School House, Westleigh, Bideford EX39 4NW. Tel: 01271 861439 david@ganniclifft.eclipse.co.uk

ISLE OF MAN

EAST COAST OF ENGLAND

CHANNEL ISLANDS +44

BENFLEET: Terry Pond, Flat 4, Estuary Lodge, 230 Eastern Esplanade, Thorpe Bay, SS1 3AE. Tel: 01702 588910 tpond@btinternet.com

ALDERNEY: Doug White, Clos Carre Cottage, Les Mouriaux Alderney GY9 3UH. Tel: 1481 824149 Mob: 7781 137875 mail@dougwhite.eu

BRIGHTLINGSEA: Pete Hampson, 27 Great Lawn, Chipping Ongar, Essex CM5 0AA. Tel: 01992 614213 Mob:07496 004301 petehampson@ gmail.com

JERSEY: Brian Alderson, 4 Le Clos du Petit Pont, La Rue du Craslin, St Peter JE3 7BU. Tel: 01534 866846 Mob: 07700 866846 brianalderson@mac.com

RIVER CROUCH AND GREECE: Tom Davey, 181 Friern Barnet Lane, London N20 0NN. Tel: 020 8445 2078 pembury@tom davey. reeserve.co.uk RIVER DEBEN: Tony Ratcliffe MBE, Old Bakery Cottage, 29 The Street, Bawdsey, Woodbridge IP12 3AH. Tel: 01394 411461 Mob: 07549 989670 anthonyjratcliffe@hotmail.com CHATHAM: Tracie Lanaghan, Chatham Maritime Marina, Lock Buildings, Leviathan Way, Chatham, ME4 4LP. Tel: 01634 899200 Mob: 07904 546470 t.lanaghan@mdlmarinas.co.uk RIVERS ORWELL, STOUR, ALDE & ORE: Bill Hughes, Timbers, Cliff Rd, Waldringfield, Woodbridge,Suffolk, IP12 4QL. Tel: 01473 736 479 Mob: 07917 797578 bill@livia.org.uk RAMSGATE: Dr Rodney Pell, Minster Court, 23 Tothill Street, Minster, Kent CT12 4AG. Mob: 07771 764169 rodneypell@hotmail.com

Wendy Horn, Dove Cottage, New Road, Laxey IM4 7BQ. Tel: 01624 862000 Mob: 07762 926600 rhinoman@manx.net

GUERNSEY: St Peter Port, David Mitchison, Winchester House, Grand Douit Road, St Sampson, GY2 4WG. Tel: 01481 254478 mitchison@cwgsy.net

GREYSTONES: John Murphy, 34 The Court, Station Road, Killiney, Co. Dublin. Tel: 86 810 1263 Mob: +44(0) 778 740 5675 john.murphy@arkphire.com WATERFORD: Gabbie and Tim Ryan, 3 Priory Street, New Ross, County Wexford. Tel: 51 422543 Mob: 86 163 8601 gabriellecryan@hotmail.com

GREECE +30

Ado Tikerpäe, c/o Kalev Jahtklubi MTÜ (Kalev Yacht Club), Pirita tee 17, Tallinn 11911. Tel: 53 010 450 sadam@kjk.ee

CORFU & IONIAN SEA: Dimitrios Koutsodontis, Gouvia Marina PO Box 60, 49083 Tzavros, Corfu. Tel: 2 661 090786 mimisgouvia@yahoo.gr

FRANCE +33 ANTIBES: David Lakeman, 26 Montee de la Bourgade, Haute de Cages, Cagnes sur Mer, 06800. Tel: 06792 18076 UK mob: 07528 479770 davidtlakeman@gmail.com CHERBOURG: Magali Hamon, Port Chantereyne, 50 100 Cherbourg-Octeville, France. Mob: 687 710 941 magali. hamon@ville-cherbourg.fr NORTH BRITTANY: Keith Martin, Le Logis 35190, Sant Thaul. Tel: 299 668 228 cormoran35@orange.fr ST-QUAY PORT D’ARMOR: Jean-Michel Gaigne, Director, 22410 Saint-Quay-Portrieux. Mob: 0682 112524 jmgaigne@les-perdrix.eu direction@port-armor.com

Egill Kolbeinsson, Hjallabraut 64 Hafnarfjördur, 220 Iceland. Tel: 565 4066 Mob: 898 5181 egill@navi.is

NETHERLANDS +31 AMSTERDAM: Gabe Langerak, Singel 188 – III, 1016 AA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Mob: 645789923 gglangerak@yahoo.co.uk ROTTERDAM–ANTWERP (ALSO BELGIAN PORTS): Hans Buskop, Dr H Colijnlaan 6/167, Rijswijk NL-2283. Tel: 70 394 41 38 hansbuskop@ziggo.nl

TURKEY +90 FETHIYE: Stuart Aikman, 2 Karagozler, 18 Ordu Caddesi, Sok No 40, Fethiye, 48300 Mugla. Tel: 252 612 3996 Mob: 535 599 8538 scaikman@hotmail.com LYCIAN COAST: Hasan Kaçmas, Fener Mahallesi 1964 Sokak No9, Alanya Marina, Antalya 7160. Tel: 90 242 323 66 80 hasan@east-med.com IZMIR: Chris Haire, No 9 Ozel IV 6345 Sokak, Bostanli, Izmir. Tel: 232 334 0944 Mob: 535 339 5501 hairechris@hotmail.com

SOUTHEAST ASIA SINGAPORE AND SOUTHEAST REGION +65 SINGAPORE: Daniel Whittington, 1 Jalan Kembangan, #13-12 The Trump, Singapore 4129134. Tel: 8298 3416 danielwhitters@gmail.com

AFRICA REP OF SOUTH AFRICA +27 KNYSNA: Colin Brown, PO Box 1367, Plettenburg Bay, SA6600. Tel: 44 533 1037 Mob: 84 679 7854 chbbrown@telkomsa.net

SPAIN +34

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND +353

SWITZERLAND +34

DUN LAOGHAIRE: Ronan Beirne, 5 Doonanore Park, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, A96X 4W9. Tel: 0035386 2543866. Mob: 862 543 866 ronanmbeirne16@gmail.com

PAROS: Dr Robin Brown, 10 La Vigne Au Chat, 1220 Sauverny, Divonne Les Bains, France. Tel: +33 450 411717 di-robin@fsmail.net

ICELAND +354

NORTHERN EUROPE

CROSSHAVEN: Wietse Buwalda, Salve Marine, Crosshaven County Cork. Tel: 21 483 709 Mob: 872 601 755 salvemarine@eircom.net

MENORCA: Christopher Collman, Apartado 551, Mahon 07701. Mob: 696 43 47 87 collman@infotelecom.es

ESTONIA +372

LA MANGA: Tony Canham, Treize, Poplar Avenue, Norwich NR4 7LB. Tel: 01603 259813 Mob: 07710 140550 arbitrator@tonycanham.com

BALTIMORE/WEST CORK/ FASTNET: Dominic O’Flynn, Journeys End, The Cove, Baltimore, County Cork. Mob: 86 255 9206 dominic.oflynn@gmail.com

MALLORCA (SOUTH): Mark Grzegorczyk, Boya No.45, Arda.Gabriel Roca 27, 07157, Puerto De Andrax. UK mob: 07774 118804 grzego@aol.com

LAKE GENEVA: Jonathan Le Feuvre, La Grande Vigne, 1183 Bursin, Vaud, Switzerland. Mob: 78 610 7340 jlefeuvre@me.com

MEDITERRANEAN BALEARIC ISLANDS +34 IBIZA: John Cardwell, Apartado 349, San Antoni de Portmany, Ibiza 7820. Tel: 971 34 24 15 johncardwellibiza@yahoo.co.uk MALLORCA (NORTH): Ian Foster, Casa Oceania, c/Alcanada 50, Pto Alcudia 7410. Tel: 971 54 69 98 ianandtessa@gmail.com

MIDDLE EAST YEMEN +967 ADEN: Capt Roy Facey, 8 Main Street, St Mary’s Island, Chatham, Kent ME4 3SF. Mob: 7549 344293 royafacey@yahoo.co.uk

AUSTRALASIA AUSTRALIA +61 MELBOURNE: Graham Cunningham, 2501/26 Southgate Avenue, Southbank, Victoria 3006. Tel: 3 9696 7645 Mob: 412 151 944 graham@paradigmadvisory.com SYDNEY: Michael Wynter, 23 Gale St, Woolwich Sydney 2110. Mob: 409 833 350 mwynter@mccullough.com.au

FIJI +679 Bruce Phillips, PO Box 70, Denarau, Fiji. Tel: 6751 222 Mob: 9998 332 brucewhewell phillips@yahoo.com

NEW ZEALAND +64 AUCKLAND: Steve Burrett, PO Box 712 Warkworth, Auckland 941. Tel: 9425 9191 Mob: 21 942 732 jsteveburrett@gmail.com BAY OF ISLANDS: Sarah Fountain, PO Box 292, Mangonui 557. Tel: 9 406 7766 watchman@xtra.co.nz

AMERICAS CANADA +1 TORONTO: David W Brisco, 2551 Flannery Drive, Ottawa K1V 9R5. Tel: 613 521 0741 reiver1542@icloud.com VANCOUVER: Michael D Trundle, #902 Villa Maris, 2222 Bellevue Avenue, West Vancouver, BC V7V 1C7. Tel: 604 926 2925 miketrundle1@gmail.com

USA +1 (EAST COAST) ANNAPOLIS: Larry Blount, 317 Quail Run Drive, Centreville, Maryland, 216172302, USA. Tel: 410 758 3502 Mob: 410 490 4412 larryblount@verizon.net BOSTON TO CAPE ANN: Ernest Hardy, 47 Bartlett Parkway, Winthrop, Massachusetts MA 02152. Tel: 617 846 6320 eehardy@comcast.net

PHILADELPHIA: Bill Thomas, 31 West Old Gulph Road, Gladwyne Clovelly Falls, Pennsylvania PA 19035 3324. Tel: 610 668 1177 Mob: 610 416 0548 wmpthomas@aol.com

BERMUDA +1 441 BERMUDA: Galen Brislane, 18 Astwood Road, Paget, DV04, BERMUDA. Mob: 595 0033 galenbrislane@gmail.com

TURKS & CAICOS Islands +1 649 David Blackburn, C/o Micky Shoulak, PO Box 274, Providenciales, T&C Isles. Mob: 231 4479 mickys@tciway.tc

USA +1 (WEST COAST) SAN DIEGO: Simon Clark, 22256 Baxter Canyon Road, Vista, CA 92081. Mob: 760 415 2345 simon@sdfinancial.com SAN FRANCISCO BAY: John C Colver, 250 Beach Road, Belvedere, CA 94920. Tel: 415 435 4024 Mob: 415 730 6462 rjcyc@aol.com WEST COAST: Capt Robert G Moore USCG (Retd), 27703 94th Ave SW, Vashon, Washington, 980708609. Tel: 206 463 2109 coastwatch@comcast.net

ATLANTIC

FLORIDA & BAHAMAS: David Blackburn c/o C Banack, Banyan Manor, 1001 South Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce FL 34950. mickys@tciway.tc FLORIDA (JACKSONVILLE): Darryl Currie, 4277 St Francis Circle, Jacksonville FL 32210 7305. Tel: 904 777 1972 Mob: 904 735 4639 wildebeest3@yahoo.com GULF OF MAINE: Clint Springer, 98 Cranfield Street, Box 288, New Castle, NH. 03854-0288. Tel: 603 436 8458 clint_springer@alum.mit.edu NEW JERSEY (SANDY HOOK TO CAPE MAY): Steve Tyler, 54 Bayside Drive, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716. Tel: 732 291 0963 Mob: 732 673 8631 sat5065@gmail.com NEW YORK (PORT): George Milne, 110 Summit Street, Englewood, NJ 07631. Tel: 201 567 0579 Mob: 201 960 4491 ghfm26@aol.com NORTH CAROLINA: James Smart, 153 Riverboat Drive, Washington, N Carolina 27889. Tel: 252 975 1014 Mob: 252 402 5955 jorob2@suddenlink.net

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS +1 284 Brian Gandey, PO Box 920, Road Town, Tortola, BVI. Tel:+1 284 494 48 brian@conchcharters.com

CARIBBEAN +1 649 Don Street, Rock Cottage, Glandore, Ireland. Tel: 353 028 33143 streetiolaire@hotmail.com

ST MAARTEN +1 721 Jane Harrison, Mega Yacht Services, Plaza Del Lago, Airport Rd, Simpson Bay, St Maarten. Tel: 544 4440 harrison@megayachtservice.com

Trinidad & Tobago +1 868 Reg Potter, 50 The Park Glencoe, Port of Spain. Tel: 649 1160 Mob: 775 0285 rgpotter@tstt.net.tt

CUBA +53 HAVANA: Comm José Escrich, Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba, 5ta Ave y 248, Santa Fé, Playa, Cuidad de La Habana. Tel: 7 204 1689 yachtclub@cnih.mh.tur.cu

HPO liaison officer, Anne Le Verrier Bizzey: hpo-officer@littleshipclub.co.uk. Little Ship Club and Honorary Port Officers on the web: www.littleshipclub.co.uk

LITTLE SHIP JANUARY 2018

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Little Ship Club Magazine January 2018  
Little Ship Club Magazine January 2018  
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