I took part in the 2014 Thames Trafalgar race as a member of Michael Forbes Smith's crew on board a chartered Hanse 342 from Britannia Sailing School at Shotley marina.
Route de Rhum, St Malo
Three weeks sailing in May from close to Mandelieu S France to Calvi, Corsica. This took 22 hours, we sailed all the way, overnight, with farirly good SW winds. Sailed around the north part of the island, anchoring and enjoying some idylic bays, Mortela for one and Tamerone for another. We had to go into Macinaggio for 3 nights owing to a storm, and then from there to Erbalunga just north of Bastia, where we anchored.
Can recommend this as being a very pretty harbour. Then back sighting Capria and also Elba to south to Baie Tamerone, before heading back to Rivierra. Took 28 hours, sailing close to wind towards Menton, and when about 5 miles off then headed west back to home port. This trip was a prelude to longer trips that shall inlcude the whole of Corsica, the Tuscan Islands and Sardinia, and beyond.
A couple of hours into our journey down the long and majestic river Colne, Micha asked me how we were doing against the schedule. Now, for any south coast sailors who don’t know the river Colne, I should explain that that was irony. It’s just that an inconvenient southerly F5, a flood tide, and a very steep east coast chop were combining to make progress more than a little slow. The chop would stop Silver Pearl dead in her tracks continually until her ten mighty horses could coax her forwards once again.
Silver Tide (Keith Irons and Ron Gardner) and Greenwitch (Richard Keen and Sue Cossell) will be meandering along the French coast after the Calais Rally, stopping at Boulogne, Dieppe, Fecamp, Honfleur and Ouistreham, before travelling along the Orne Canal into the centre of Caen for a three-day stay during the 70th anniversary of D-Day celebrations.
We will welcome any other boats who wish to join us for the whol
Every so often March has days like this. Days that make you think that summer has arrived, that your thermals, mid-layers and fleeces can be cast aside and that it is time to bask in the sun, open a chilled bottle of something suitably refreshing and to be careful not to fall asleep in the full glare of the sun to avoid serious sunburn. For this fast cruise, we had two such days in succession.
Avril and I were joined by Jill Moffatt and Ian Middleton at short notice, their original berths on Ronhilda sadly unavailable due to Brian Humber's indisposition. Friday evening in Haslar saw a sizeble contingent of LSC folk including the crew of Day at the Races and elements from Musyk and Solid Air enjoying a dinner at Hardy's.
It is with great regret that I have to mention that we have lost our HPO for West Mersea. David Curry, HPO for 7 years has resigned from the Club and also as our HPO for West Mersea.
Should there by any member of the Club who would like to take on this hat for West Mersea, please contact me direct.
The weather for this FC had been giving cause for concern since the predicted Low Pressure had appeared on the weather charts on the Monday beforehand. Saturday appeared OK but Sunday was looking bad with strong to gale force Southerlies predicted with gusts to 50kts. Then Midweek a) the new Chichester Harbour News arrived to confirm the bar had shoaled significanlty and in Sept was only 0.7m below CD and users should allow for further variations and b) Graham announced the start for this FC was to be in the badlands of the Wild West otherwise known as the central Solent west of Wotton Creek - grim news for we immates residing in the remote Gulag of the East.
Ronhilda's patron, Saint Graham, had set a start off Portsmouth this month so with a Neap ebb tide and forecast ( in the morning at least!) of light winds those of us berthed in Chichester Gulag, Siberia had some extra beauty sleep and set a lock exit time of 0730am. On the morning we slipped and waking up several hundred crows perching on mastheads in the marina we informed the lockkeeper we woud be back later in the day and set off down the harbour.
The sea was flat with a low swell from the south as we turned for the Submarine barrier and the start next to Spithead fort. After Bacon butties, we stayed on the east of the channel to let an exiting gas tanker pass and then started before the inbound Delmonte ship arrived. We saw Oxygen run back with Delmonte and wondered if they were asking for some free fruit.
With light winds forecast the Ronhilda Immates of Gulag Chichesterstan gathered on the Friday evening to have a 0430 Saturday morning bunk call. After getting everybody awake, up and through the Marina Lock, the Spring ebb was in full spate and we were taken down to Chichester Harbour entrance to get across with about 0.8m over the two humps on the bar.