With little on the sailing calendar in December OXO members have been tradionally getting together for a nautical day out and usually a long lunch. Excursions in the past have included the Island Sailing Club on the Isle of White and the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Mayfair which Founded in 1775 is the oldest continuously operating yacht club in the world.
This December the plan is to visit Greenwich and take a Guided Tour around the National Maritime Museum followed by Lunch at the aptly named Trafalgar Tavern which is situated next to the River Thames.
The schedule is to be confirmed but will likely be as follows:
09:20 Depart Oxted on Southern Train and Arrive London Bridge: 09:53 10:07 Thames Clipper to Greenwich 10:35 11:00 Guided Tour of the National Maritime Museum 13:00 Lunch at the Trafalgar Tavern
I’ve spoken with the Museum and they have confirmed entry is free but you are advised to pre-book a free ticket on their website before arriving. Guided tours cost £6.40 per person and are limited to 25 people, however there is nothing to stop us arranging for two guides if we have a larger group.
The Trafalgar Tavern have offered us use of one of their private upstairs dining rooms which have great views across Greenwich and the River Thames however there is a minimum spend of £1000 for the group. I don’t see this as an issue as long as we can get the numbers and based on previous experience this has not been a problem. They will be sending me example menus shortly.
At this stage I need to know who is interested so if you could drop me an email to register your interest I would appreciate it.
I took a wander over to the dark side earlier this month and joined three other OXO members on a four day RYA Day Skipper Practical Motor Course. Being a yachtman I’ve never shown much interest in motor boats however our club does have an active motor boat section so I though it time to dip my toe.
The course was run by Mendez Marine and our instructor Monty took us through the RYA sylabus from engine checks through to nightime navigation. Based at Swanwick on the Hamble river our time was spent on Fenlad Dancer a Princess 368 fitted with two very large Cummings engines which could power the boat to 20 knots.
As well as covering the standard elements such as man over board, the course was very practical and focused heavily on building skills maneouvering the boat into some very tight spots taking into account the effects of wind a tide. Fortunately with our existing sailing experience we were able to tick off a lot of the RYA sylabus quite quickly and this allowed more time behind the controls.
We all thoroughly enjoyed the course and learned a lot of new skills along the way. My biggest take away was discovering just how maneoverable two engines can make a yacht when applied correctly.
Five boats and four competivive crews got together over the weekend of 21st/22nd of August to compete for the ARTI cup which was last contested in 2019 when it was won by Lesley Brooman on Jumunu.
Starting at 08:15 between MV RipTide, which was acting as the Committee boat, and North Sturbridge Cardinal, all four yachts headed east against the wind and tide. Winds were light but steady at 10 knots gusting 15 until around 12:00 when they dropped, fortuntately the tide around the bottom of the Isle of Wight was favourable and pushed the rally past the St’ Catherines point.
Our final destination was Lymington however after turning the corner around the Bridge Bouy and passing the Needles the tide was against and the yachts slowly made it past the Jack in a Box bouy in front of Lymington. Lutine had a very fast run and completed the course at 15:14 having logged 48 miles.
Commodores cocktails took place on Lutine and Commodore Jeremy Taylor announced the results which saw Lutine take Line Honours, but after taking into account handicap the race was awarded to Stuart Coia on Azanti.
I’m pleased to say everyone enjoyed the race and evening dinner in the Mayflower, Lymington and are looking forward to the next event.
The good news was that with the lack of weekday corporate charters this Covid summer, Lutine was available for a 4-day weekend charter. The bad news was that Storm Alex was forecast for that weekend.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we were limited to a crew of 6. This included the Commodore, Vice Commodore, Rear Commodore and a Past Commodore – Howard, Jeremy, Kevin, Richard, Mark and Paul plus our superb Lutine skipper James.
The storm was due to hit hard early on Friday so we delayed our arrival until midday, by which time the winds had subsided and the rain abated, After a briefing from James, we set off west along the Solent with wind and tide in our favour. Against all predictions, the sun came out and the wind dropped requiring a touch of engine to get past the Needles, where we saw a pod of dolphins in the calm seas.
At last, despite Covid fears of flying and quarantining putting an end to our long-awaited holiday, the Autumn Rally to Kos was a great success. 6 yachts, 26 crew and 7 islands in the Dodecanese, with plenty of wind of the first few days and calm seas on the last. We were pleased to be joined by charter yacht crewed by Ashdown Sailing Club.
Some OOSC members flew out to Kos before the charter started for some land-based relaxation. Some stayed in Kos town, some in beach resorts. Some hired various vehicles – Mad Max beach buggies, quad bike, scooter and taxi – to explore the island and visit the archaeological sites at Pyli and Asklipieion.
Andy and Jane arrived in Kos on Stiletto to meet up with old friends. They had sailed their yacht out from the UK to Andreas’ Greek home island of Ikaria, conveniently close to our cruising area and it proved invaluable to have their local knowledge.
We had always wanted to sail into London and our opportunity came after Gail won a raffle at the 2019 Southampton Boat Show for up to 3 months’ free berthing at St Katharine’s Dock Marina just next to Tower Bridge.
Given that staying there with “Nicknack” would normally cost around £90 per night this was a prize of considerable value and we spent a deal of time over the winter planning how we might combine an extended stay with having friends to stay on board, taking in theatres, restaurants, exhibitions, days out, etc.
January 2020 is already behind us and we are thinking ahead to where next for Musyk. It is also a time to look back at the end of our sailing season last year.
Our departure from Dartmouth in late August was memorable. Rather than trail across Lyme Bay and round Portland Bill we thought it would be more fun to head home via Guernsey and Cherbourg. So an early rise and confrontation with thick fog, partly expected and forecast as land fog. OK fine – it will burn off quickly in the forecast sunshine. Indeed, as we readied Musyk for the passage, visibility improved so that we could see the other side of the harbour. We motored slowly out of the entrance, noting several vessels outside the harbour entrance on AIS. Emerging from the fog we were startled to come across what looked like the bow of a cruise ship anchored in front of us.
We have done so much since our last update – including some sailing! The themes have been the sociability of sailing, the wonderful locations available from being on the water and the lack of settled weather.
We were lucky enough to book Lutine for the weekend at the end of Cowes Week, with Paul May as skipper and a crew of 8 Oxted Offshore members. Lutine was carrying her full racing sail wardrobe, so an exciting weekend beckoned, especially when a low developed off the Scottish coast on Friday and delivered lively winds all weekend! Peter Puttock takes up the story: