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Club members John Birtwistle, Norman Beeston and Jim Palmer are taking a cruise on Tir nan Nog through the French canal system.

 John has sent us these photos of their trip so far.

toe_in_the_water_group_shotFollowing Steve White's visit to the club for the cruiser class dinner, he offered members the chance to experience the thrill and the hardship of sailing an Open 60.

Five keen boys and one keen girl met at The Boat That Rocked early one Saturday morning recently to take on the Open 60 and pop over to Cherbourg.

The Boat:  Holly : Hallberg Rassy 26ft circa 1979 The Crew: Mick Keen ‘Skipper’ or ‘Skip’ (Where’s my crew), Tony Heathershaw‘Navigator’or‘Nav’ (Where the hell are we), Roger Greet – ‘Bosun’ or ‘Bos’ (Where’s my Teddy), Ted E Bear – ‘Teddy’ or ‘Ted’  (Where’s my Quells)  

Suburbs of Weymouth Cussing and swearing in darkened bedrooms as the crew drag themselves from their pits and stuff last minute items into already bulging bags..........rush to cars, drive through darkened streets to Weymouth Town... holly 

Weymouth Harbour Crew attired in nautical gear and with a jaunty swagger, launch dinghy......board ship, going up the side like pirates...(or something like that..) 


To read the continuing story of Holly's trip download this file 


Another Three Men in a Boat

honfleur_cornerFor our last couple of cruises we have started with a long sail and then idled our way home. Normandy was to be our cruising ground this year and Neville Featherstone recommends Dieppe, so that’s where we planned to start. In the event an initial deviation into Fécamp was required because of head winds. If you think our stone pier is an anglers’ sanctuary, try Dieppe; despite being well out into the middle of the entrance, a weight with hooks whistled round Michael’s head and tangled on the backstay, a nice welcome indeed. The visitors’ pontoon is as far from loos as it gets, it took 50 minutes (yes five – zero) to buy two train tickets and the marina clerk, sitting with a copier next to her chair, flatly refused to make one photocopy of a passport (left over legal matters to sort). Apart from that, Dieppe is ok; the castle museum well worth a visit for the ivory ship models alone and there was much else including charming paintings.

Class Captain's Cruising News - Sunday 2nd August

Arrived in the sunshine at l'Aber Wrac'h yesterday evening after two days from Guernsey, with a stop overnight on a buoy at Perros Guirec. A rough but sunny crossing last Friday saw me in Cherbourg, and it's been a bit uphill since then, though the passage to Guernsey via Alderney was quite pleasant. A long sail/motor to Perros was followed on Saturday by a beat in what started out as murky drizzle and became a brisk 4 NW on the veer, which carried me quickly down the coast, though the effect of a faint but noticeable flood meant that I had to tack out to sea again at Ile Vierge, which luckily didn't affect the bread dough!
A very low tidal coefficient (36%) helps a lot on this coast..

The wind was forecast to stay in overnight, but by the time I got here it was quite feeble. so I decided to spend an idyllic evening in one of my favourite Breton harbours, cooking the bread and making supper after a stroll ashore, and the first glass in Brittany this year in this excellent bar with great music and free internet!

 This afternoon I'm going on to Camaret, where I might be lucky enough to see the arrival of Pascal Bidegorry in the rade de Brest, back from his and Franck Cammas' record_breaking attempt on the Atlantic.

More as we have it...

Steve Fraser

richard_norris_1Axmouth is a small drying harbour on the East Devon coast near Beer Head; it appears difficult but with good weather and a little planning there are no real problems and once safely tied up the pleasant town of Seaton with its shops, promenade, cafes and famous tramway is easy to get to on foot. In unfavourable conditions Beer Roads nearby offers much more shelter than you might expect except from the SE quadrant.  

With light northerly winds forecast and settled warm weather I left my Weymouth Sailing Club mooring at 2000 hr and motored across Weymouth Bay in a flat calm.  I was sailing singlehanded and timing was important: in order to catch a fair tide it was essential to round Portland Bill about 4 hours after H.W. Weymouth. In addition I wanted to enter Axmouth in daylight at high tide - there is only an hour or so of slack water so I chose a night passage. With my new 5HP outboard I made good time and had to wait for the tide off Church Ope Cove on the East side of Portland. Having been up all day I was glad to doze for an hour in the cockpit as night fell. 

richard_norris_3I got under way again at 2230 hr which turned out a bit early with a spring tide under me. It is best to keep close inshore rounding the Bill and in the dark I found it tricky to judge distance off  - finding myself in disturbed water and anxious to avoid the Race I motored directly inshore to find calm water, passing the darkened Lobster Pot café, the daymark at Portland Bill and Pulpit Rock half an hour early at 2330 hr but on such a calm night it didn‘t matter. The strong tide rushed me into Lyme Bay and I steered for the lights of  West Bay, Lyme Regis and Beer which I could see faintly in the distance.  About 0100 hr a light Northerly filled in and I was glad to stow the motor and make sail at last. The breeze gradually strengthened and I had a wonderful fetch in bright moonlight, arriving off Haven Cliff at the eastern end of Seaton about 0430 hr, I even needed a reef for the last half hour. Rounding up and dropping the sails I motored slowly past a dredger at anchor and dropped my own anchor 100 yd off the beach near the entrance to Axmouth, settling down for a short sleep while I waited for the tide.

dsc03166In a brief window between SW and Easterly gales, I hopped off to Cherbourg in Pippa for essential supplies - flat calm on the way over, having met with about 8 dolphins at dusk just before the shipping lanes, and, after a busy evening negotiating these, arriving at 1 am to find a very empty marina! One day ashore and an early night on New Year's Eve. to be woken by sirens (not that kind) at 11pm, and then left at 0330 to be up with the shipping at first light - a pleasant if slightly chilly day motor-sailing home in time for Kay and Kevin's New Year Party.

Photo: Pippa crosses the shipping lanes.
Steve Fraser

dsc02528It’s a big adventure, especially if it’s your first trip – Marquesa to Brixham, Pippa round the islands in Poole Harbour – and you wonder what you might be able to achieve next time. With the average cruiser these days well equipped to cross the Channel, and lots more, what’s to stop you?  Following last winter’s ‘Brittany Evening’ the crew of Phoebe decided to head that way in company with Pippa., and are here seen arriving at le Taureau in the mouth of the Jaudy river, on the way up to Tréguier, having visited Cherbourg and Guernsey.  In spite of the discouraging weather, a number of Brittany trips were made this year, with the J fleet well represented by Saskia VI and Mojo; we also met up with Tom Thumb in St Peter Port – Peter Rayner is a regular visitor on his way down through the canals. Excalibur and Pippa made their way down to the Golfe of Morbihan and found some reasonable weather, French friends and very drinkable wine!  We met David and Lorna Price in Port-Haliguen, Quiberon, on their way back from Spain – as was Feanor when she met up with Kay and Kevin Stibbs in Camaret., with Jeremy Parkinson as ever leading the way over the far horizon!  

Don’t miss Jeremy’s talk on cruising to Spain, or the Brittany evening, in this year’s winter Calendar…