If last month’s Newsletter made it past your junk folder you will remember that the “Beast from the East” dropped a fall of snow on our fitting out and relaunching plans for Osprey. Since then another week of cottage rental has seen us finish replacing seacocks and toilet hoses, polish the hull, refit the propeller and have a couple of coats of antifouling applied by daughter, Laura, as a Mothers Day present - only to find that the earliest booking we could get for relaunching was early May! However, an informal chat with the lads of the lifting team led to us being able to help out with the boatyard’s shortage of hard standing space and saw us back in the water (and mercifully leak free after my amateur plumbing efforts) before the week was out. The first day afloat was greeted with sunny skies and work resumed on replacing Osprey’s instruments. This of course was the signal for the “Beast” to return and for the snow cover and cold temperature to lead to a hand punching through one of the sprayhood windows – don’t ask! Another little job for Margaret’s much abused sewing machine.
For those of you waiting for the weather to improve for fitting out - good call.
Fair winds and blues skies – we can but dream.
Forth coming events
All guest events at UTMYC are 1930 for 2000
Monday 30th April
My Favourite (Sailing) Website and Smartphone Apps
Do you know the difference between Phishing and Fishing,
a Firewall and a Fire Blanket
or even ‘a’ cloud and ‘The’ Cloud?
Whether you do or don’t - it doesn’t matter! Come along to hear useful tips and stories from other members on how they use technology to make their sailing lives easier and more fun! Most of us use the internet either at home or when out and about and there is a huge range of sites relevant to sailing – some more useful than others but how do you know which are useful or whether you are missing a trick?
The evening might not make you a technology guru but hopefully you will pick up a couple of useful ‘nuggets’ to make your sailing experiences even better!
Join us to be Educated, Inspired and Entertained!
If you are interested in contributing to the evening either by providing us with a couple of websites or Apps that you find useful or if you would be prepared to stand up and provide a short presentation of how you use technology then please contact any member of the Committee telling us the sites or apps you really like and find useful.
19:30 for 20:00 at UTMYC, Sonning
Reports of events
Sailing Down East – American style Report by Margaret Haines
ROSC’s March talk by Damian and Joyce Greene gave us a fascinating and very professional presentation of their summer 2017 voyage along the coast of New England from Essex in Connecticut to their home port of Bass Harbor, Maine. This was the delivery trip for their new boat Free Fall a Sabre 38. This was a sailing destination ‘outside the ken’ of everyone in the club except Damian and Joyce and it was fascinating to hear about and to see something of this very interesting coastline with its many famous names -Newport, Rhode Island, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod - and to hear about the variety of harbours along the way, all of which look delightful with excellent restaurants!
It was equally interesting to hear how sailing on the Eastern seaboard of the USA differs from Europe. Damian and Joyce explained the different buoyage system. Tides are not strong so on the whole can be ignored – ‘just steer from A to B’. The Coastguard service does not operate in the same way – so no simple rescues if you are stranded at sea, but important to have a good insurance policy in place so that you can be towed in, if need be, by a private operator – at vast expense!
The audience could not believe the number of lobster pots in evidence in Maine – we thought there were a lot on the Cotentin and Brittany coasts, but the Maine conglomerate of pots has to be seen to be believed – Joyce was very upbeat about picking her way through the maze of pot markers. The inevitable consequence of the wonderful seafood available to eat in the restaurants?
Joyce and Damian’s base at Bass Harbor, both on the water and ashore, look enchanting and we could all well understand why they love their summers over in Maine. It is a short season out there – a couple of months – which was a surprise to the rest of us.
All in all, a wonderful presentation – thank you Damian and Joyce!
National Maritime Operations Centre - Rally at Fareham 24th March
Report by Linda Scottern
Ed and Bernie organised a visit to the new National Maritime Operations Centre in Fareham. After being taken through stringent security measures (at a time of “heightened security”) we were escorted to the conference room which overlooks the impressive new operations room. The presenter clearly described the different areas of their operations. The “resilience” of the new centre was emphasised which means how continuity of communication can be maintained should any major incident occur in any of the six regions of the UK.
For example, if there should be a power or communication outage in Dover then Humber could take over the Dover operations, there is flexibility built into the system as well. For example, if Stornaway should have a tanker collision to manage then Stornaway’s other responsibilities can be split between Belfast and Aberdeen. The NMOC works closely with the Air Search and Rescue and have a large desk devoted to only air support. After the complete description and presentation was completed, the blinds in the conference room were lifted revealing the entire operations room. The presenter then explained the ranks of the operators and the support they are given by the more senior members of staff. There is a Director of Operations (highest rank) who manages the overall operations. He has three assistants who manage the less senior members of staff.
Following the presentation, we drove to Haslar marina where we had tea and cakes aboard Ed and Bernie’s boat, Skipper’s Rhapsody. We then enjoyed a wonderful meal at Hardy’s restaurant across from Haslar marina. Many thanks to Ed and Bernie for organising this terrific day out.
Our trip to the Arctic and back
by Kate Gilbert
The Weather: from calm seas and bright skies to Force 9’s!
The ship; MS Finnmarken one of the largest in their fleet of 11.
Built 2002 in Norway and registered in the Port of Tromso
15,690 Gross Tonnage
138m in length and 21.5m beam
7 passenger decks carrying a maximum of 1000 passengers in 224 cabins/suites.
The ships vary in size from 10 to 224 cabins and facilities accordingly. We called at about 35 ports. I would imagine that you would be able to embark and disembark at any of the ports should you wish. They pick up and drop off passengers (and cars) and cargo at each stop.
The scenery is dramatic with snow covered granite mountains sheer to the waters edge and, where there was room, a few houses or summer cabins a lot of which had boat houses and pontoons. A number of the towns were built around a Fjiord and the fishing and pleasure boats moor right in the town. The ship navigates between the Fjiords some of which are huge, some very narrow and there are screens around the ship showing you the route or you can take your own charts! His boat handling skills were impressive even with stern and bow thrusters!
The crew are efficient, polite, informative and helpful and their command of the English language puts us, once again, to shame. A daily programme is issued – of where the ship is stopping, for how long, if you choose to go ashore what is worth seeing and, of course, the highly expensive excursions. I mistook one of the dining staff as English as his accent and command of the English language was so good. When, I asked him if he had English parentage or has spent time in the UK his answer was that his heritage was entirely Norwegian so far back when they ‘pillaged our villages’ and had never visited the UK.
What it is not, is a ‘Cruise’ as most people know them, it’s a ferry, a delivery boat or at best a coastal cruiser. There’s no entertainment and no activities other than paid off-shore excursions. What this is, (and Norway) is expensive. You will have a very large bar bill! Beer £10.00 a pint and a glass of wine £12.00 and a bottle about £40.00! The excursions are very expensive too (£300.00 for the 2.5 hour snow mobile). Food is exceptional. Dinner was a set meal with an explanation of the courses and the locality where they were sourced from and very sustainable. They pride themselves on being very ‘green’ and having some of the best fish in the world.
The highlight was, of course, the Northern Lights. We had the joy and luck of experiencing them four nights in succession. What I learned was that if you did not hurry out to see them, you might miss them, they are that elusive, but once started the chances are that if you are patient (and the sky is clear,) they will return. They are eerie, exciting, awesome, fascinating, fantastic, supernatural and you can’t take your eyes off them even though your hands are freezing with holding the camera!
Golden Globe news
MERCY film wins worldwide acclaim
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, winner of the 1968/9 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, shared the Red Carpet with Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz at the world premier of the film MERCY on February 9.
Sir Robin says of this portrayal of the Crowhurst tragedy set during the 1968/9: “I was blown over by the film. I know I knew the story inside out, but the way they had written up the drama, whilst keeping to the facts was really good and the acting was brilliant. Yes the story is inevitably sad, but I thought the producers handled it very well and were sympathetic to the Crowhurst family.
4 months to Start Entries now stands at 20 representing 13 Nations
Plans for the Race Village are well advanced and the GGR Race HQ will open in Les Sables d’Olonne on May 7. The Race yachts will be berthed in the central marina and open for public display for two weeks from June 16 when the Race Village opens, until the start on Sunday July 1.
Also on public display will be four iconic solo circumnavigation yachts: Suhaili, the yacht that carried Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to victory in the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, together with Bernard Moitessier’s rival entry Joshua, and the two yachts that pioneered this solo circumnavigation record with one-stop, Sir Francis Chichester’s Gipsy Moth IV (1966/7), and Lively Lady, sailed by Sir Alec Rose in 1967/8
If you wanted to watch a 24 minute video of the Donald Crowhurst story with original video taken by him click here.. I found it fascinating.
The little-known moiré effect is the basis of this marker that helps mariners navigate hazards in port or close to shore. In this video, the host explains this effect and poses the question: why, in the case of Southampton, is a moiré effect beacon, aka an inogon leading mark, used to mark an undersea cable to be avoided instead of guiding people home?
We have regular meetings the first Monday of the month at the Upper Thames Motor & Yacht Club (UTMYC) in Sonning. If you would like more information on any aspect head to our website or if you would like to discuss any point with a committee member about our sailing club or visiting us on a Monday to say hello, click here to email Linda, our publicity officer, who will be happy to answer any questions.
ROSC was established in 1971and continues with regular meetings. You don't have to own a boat as many rallies are available by land, meals in a local hostillery are arranged with pre-meal drinks often on one of the attending boats.
Our website is
The mailing address for any articles
You are receiving this as a member of Reading Offshore Sailing Club
or have shown interest
Want to change how you receive these emails? unsubscribe from this list