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.
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:
After the rain and variable weather of our Round Britain trip in 2017 – 2018 we determined to go south for the sunshine in 2019, leaving Port Solent on Sunday 2 June.
After a very short “night” in Cowes, we battled into a fresh south westerly breeze at 4am towards the Needles bearing away for Cherbourg, which we reached 15 hours later. We were delayed there by storms for 3 days but eventually made it to St Peter Port, Guernsey (another 42 miles) with enough wind and not too much rain, arriving in time to take wine on board another boat we knew. However, our berth inside Victoria Marina exposed our stern to both wind and waves as soon as the tide allowed water over the sill and we spent an uncomfortable 48 hours there.
Bill and Anne Lewis cast off from Lymington Yacht Haven in their Oyster Heritage “Musyk” in early June to cruise down to the West Country with the main aim of being in Falmouth by the end of the month for various commitments and then heading off to the Isles of Scilly for an extended stay, before deciding where next?
Update on 30 June 2019
We moved on board Musyk in the second week of June as planned. We wanted a suitable wind to move us in the direction of the West Country to arrive in good time for Anne’s family gathering in Truro on 29 June. Good weather windows were hard to come by, with plenty of unsettled weather forecast for a prolonged period. So we took the first opportunity to head out of the Solent, departing at 4.50 am on a lovely sunny Sunday morning. We hoped to make Dartmouth by 10 pm, knowing that we would have to motor all the way in the light westerly winds. A clean bottom (Musyk’s) and a strong spring tide used to best advantage got us to Dartmouth in record time so we were tied up and enjoying our arrival beer by 6.10 pm. Two minutes later the harbour master arrived to collect his dues – prompt as ever! Interestingly a yacht which left the Solent just ahead of us and took a more inshore route arrived just minutes behind us.
Musyk on the deepwater mid river pontoon near the Dart higher car ferry
Kevin Ludbrook sails with a regular crew on a Contessa 32, ‘Minstrel Boy’ normally racing round the cans in the Solent or down to Poole and so forth but as she was built in 1972 she is eligible for the Classic Channel Regatta. This is his report on the Classic Channel Regatta in July 2019..
This series of races is normally reserved for venerable wooden craft with a proper sense of history but in fact many of these are no more than ten years older than the Contessa. The regatta has always been a mixed French and British event albeit with a smattering of Dutch, Belgian and German boats too and that helps to create a great atmosphere. Around seventy-five boats took part which also helps to make it a very sociable event.
The regatta lasts a week, starting with races in Dartmouth, a race to St Helier, then finally a race over to Paimpol followed by a day of races there.
Nick and Gail Leaver cast off on 11 May 2017 to sail their Dufour 325 ‘Nick Nack’ around Britain in leisurely style. They will be cruising up the east coast and then down the Caledonian Canal before meandering back to Port Solent later in the year.
Gail has been sending regular e-postcards logging their journey and their escapades on and off the water. Read on …. !
Postcard from Gail on Friday 24 August
Newlyn harbour was a good shelter from the worst of the stormy weather, rain and high winds and we ended up we staying for 4 days. The harbour wall at low water has an arrow marking cut into the stone indicating the Ordnance Survey (Newlyn Datum), used as the Zero level on all OS maps.
We only mustered enough interest in the autumn rally weekend to charter one boat, so the planned ‘Points Makes Prizes’ challenge was postposed until next year. But the nine on board were up for a last sail of the season and we met up at Hamble Point marina on the evening of Friday 6 October and boarded Reunion, a very spacious 46ft Bavaria cruiser. Our crew comprised Jeremy and Catherine, Stuart and Mags, Richard Aust, Kevin Ludbrook, Jeanne Frazer plus Fran and myself.
Andy Giles and Jane Paulson on their Bavaria 33 Cruiser ‘Stiletto’ are making a leisurely cruise to island of Ikaria in the Eastern Aegean – Andy’s roots. Jane posted this tribute on her blog at the end of May.
Four yachts and 17 club members joined the Oxted Offshore Spring Rally to Poole over the weekend of Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April. The weather was kind with plenty of sunshine and no rain, but fickle winds of just F2 or F3 set the scene for an interesting Rose Bowl Challenge! Continue reading →