September 2019

Hello Shipmates

Apologies in advance for a rather wordy blog, but things are getting a little sloppy around here.

The dinghies.   If the spinnaker is not in the chute, it’s not down! Un-cleat it and physically push it down the chute for storing.  If the furling gear is not properly furled, the sail is not furled. We have had particularly strong winds lately and letting a sail flap really does not do it any good.  If you launch a Club boat, put the trailer back in its space to keep the trailer park clear for other boats. Always put the trailer retaining pin back so you know where it is when you have finished.  I am amazed how many we lose.

Your personal stuff … rather than dump it right in the middle of the terrace in everyone’s way, can you please put it in the changing room or down by the tables. Boats are manoeuvring and your bags the just get in the way ... And remember to take it home afterwards – I am still amazed at the amount of gear left after the weekend. (Sadly none of it fits me else I would be the smartest bosun for yards around.)

The sail store … Please don’t just chuck stuff in there. The rudder box can be orderly with just a little care.  Same with the dagger boards and sails. All the anchor buckets to be stored on the floor all the way along under the sailing rigs, not just dumped around the entrance. Lazy!

Escort's Trailer is stored between the two RIBs for a reason: there is nowhere else to store it.  It has been moved several times and why I just cannot fathom.  Please DO NOT MOVE it. It lives in the space between both blue RIBs. 

The  orange rescue boats:  the fuel lines stay with the fuel tank! Only for these boats.  Please remove the bungs when finished or they will just fill up with water. Make sure that they are on the trailer properly – If they are not up to the bow stop then they are not on the trailer.  You can easily lift them with two people and sit them correctly.  People are forgetting to lock them properly or even at all.  Come on team … focus!

The hose by the fuel store.  This was broken.  I mean that more than normal external force had been applied, tearing the bracket from the wall.  It’s a hose pipe and there for your convenience.  Please coil the hoses after use. The one at the end automatically coils itself for you but you have to release the brake just by giving it a gentle pull and then guide the hose back so that it coils nicely.  Quite simple and easy to operate.

Please do not remove the hose pipe ends even to fill up your water pistols. There is a tap for that near the changing rooms.

Trailers. When you have launched your boat, please put your trailer towards the wooden decking end of the terrace.  This keeps the terrace clear for others to rig and launch their boats.  Please don’t leave trailers in the hatched areas where people walk.  I have a nasty gash on my shin from tripping over a trailer that was left in the wrong place.  Admittedly I was not looking where I was going at the time.  The Club trailers for dinghies and rescue boats go back to their original spot while the boats are out – this keeps the terrace clear for you to rig and launch.

The paddle boards. Often I find these not locked, with the skegs still in place.  There are two locks, both labelled, one for a 10’6” board and the other for a 12’6” board … There are two boards, a 10’6” and a 12’6” ... why am I having to explain this?  I don’t know either. Lock them up as labelled and properly, please. The keys live in the outer office.

Bicycles … Not in the Club, please, and certainly not under the lean-to outside my shed. It’s a sailing club and not Halfords.

OK, ranting over …

We have two brand new Teras for Club use.

And, if any of you are interested, I completed the 2019 Fastnet; 40 years on from the 1979 disaster that at least one member here took part in.  That was quite a challenge. Not so much the sailing, but 10 crew one toilet and 3 hour watches can take its toll on a man.  The Irish Sea is quite uncomfortable to sail in. The sea state is confused and if you imagine being in an aeroplane with constant turbulence, that’s how it feels.  At one point we had 38kts of wind across the deck.  I nearly went overboard which was quite alarming. I had hooked on and just unhooked to clip on somewhere else and that’s when it happened. Yes I have a 3 point harness and no I didn’t do what you were supposed to do. I do now.  

Some of the faster boats were reaching speeds of 35 knots and rounding the Fastnet Rock at midnight 12 hours after the start and back home in time for breakfast.  Did you know they live on coffee and Mars bars (other chocolate is available) while they race?  We however took considerably  longer and sailed into Plymouth after 4.5 days at sea.  The very next morning we had to get the boat from Plymouth back to Haslar before the storms forecast for Saturday.  We flew across Lyme Bay with two reefs and a #4 genoa with the boat rattling along very nicely at nearly 8kts: she was humming. Probably the most memorable bit if the whole week for me.  


Nigel Willis


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