A New Boat Joins our Fleet - Inaugural Sail - 18 April

Gerald acquired a new boat this year, a Drascombe Dabber. This will supplement his small cruising yacht that I think he intends to keep as well, at least for the time being. Gerald sent me a note about why he chose the Drascombe and the work that he needed to do to get it into good order. I am including this as a SEPARATE PAGE HERE.

On 18th April, Frank and Richard met up with Gerald for an inaugural sail in the new boat; Richard reports as follows:

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Setting off from Paglesham Hard

Leaving Paglesham hard, there was at first almost flat calm, but a mid-day easterly breeze sprang up and we set off down the Roach. We circumnavigated Potton Island, stopping at the bridge which is manned by John, an RSA member. Before he opened the bridge, we had to wait for a lady on a horse to cross over: the first time I can recall giving way to a horse in a boat! By arrangement we went ashore and John kindly offered us a cup of tea. He seemed very pleased to have someone to talk to, as it must be a lonely and at times tedious job.

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Frank at the helm

Although Potton is part of the MOD’s Foulness site, the bridge is operated by a sub-contractor. I had not realised that the bridge opens 2 hours either side of high water, even during hours of darkness, unlike Havengore Bridge, which only operates in daylight hours. (Note: those navigating these waters need to check the current availability of the lifting bridges with the MOD/Qinetic - Ed.)

We bid John good-bye, and set off again about half an hour before high water. This time we sailed downwind under jib and mizen to see how she performed. We had a gentle sail before the wind through the Violet, and a rather slow beat into the Roach again.  We tried to tack up to the pontoon, but found coming alongside difficult, as the boat seemed determined to attack the side of the pontoon with the end of the bowsprit head on, and it was too far to jump. I think H used an oar to nudge us round, but eventually we managed to moor up and fetch the tender. H and I sailed ‘Susie’ down to her mooring [currently marked by a large plastic container] while Frank rowed the tender to take us off.

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Susie - Interior

Fitting out - 15 May

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Meander being lovingly prepared for Seafair Milford Haven

Richard F. reports that we got Merganser afloat at lunch time and some people went sailing in the afternoon. Meander, our other Wayfarer, remains on shore and the intention is to road trail her to Seafair Milford Haven at end of June. This event does tend to be a beauty contest for boats - at least she got a bit of a wash down. Some minor repairs were also carried out on Meander, e.g. the hinges on the legs that support the side benches were patched up and some cleaning was done. The actual fitting out supper was from an Indian takeaway, followed by puddings supplied by Mark T.  and Essin.

Social Evening in London - 29 May

A large part of the HSC membership gathered at Esin's place in London's west end and we all enjoyed the delightfull multi-course meal that Essin prepared for us. Many thanks to Essin for her hospitality. We chatted until late and we even managed to include a committee meeting during the evening.

Open Boat Race - Sunday 6 June

Herman reports that there was a good turnout for the race - eight boats in total. Line honours went to 'Nemo', an Albacore sailing dinghy. These RSA open boat races are steadily growing in support - see the Roach Sailing Association website for information.

Herman took part with his recently acquired Drascombe Dabber, he reported:-
"Susie was doing well till I muffed a tack round the Turn point, regained my 3rd place on the beat back, but managed to run aground just after the Yokesfleet, lost 2 places whilst found myself going backwards before I made way again!  Not a bad result since this is the first time I had sailed 'Susie' solo. I need to find  solution to sheeting problems for the jib and maybe repostion the mainsheet for single handing. With crew she may have been competitive, also taking the engine off so that there was no drag from the prop. would have helped."

Seafair Festival - 2 to 10 July

Six HSC members attended the Seafair event on the Cleddau estuary in Pembrokeshire. We took three boats and had a great time - I have added an account under the SAILING FESTIVALS SECTION OF THIS WEBSITE

The Egret Cup and the Lifeboat Cup - RSA Races for open boats

The RSA organise increasingly popular informal races for open boats, generally starting near the hard at Paglesham.

HSC member Herman T. entered with Susie, he reported:

Oh dear, poor end of term report for 'Susie', tho I must point out both race starts were late for me on Sunday, if I were not chasing the bunch to catch up I may have been at the front. Off the wind 'Susie ' had the legs to catch up ,but lack of downhaul tension meant i had to stop racing to pull it on again, I never really got the main to set right in both races. did better going round the island catching second  placed boat 'Memory' having a tacking duel up to the bridge, but got backwinded going through, so lost there , then possibly grounded on the saltings ,it was a hightide( 5 and a bit meters), letting a Tideway through to overtake , but romped away on a starboard qtr wind back to the finish.    The speed is there ,but just need to find it ! better luck next year.

HSC Summer Cruise - 28 August to 3 September

The HSC summer was a rather scaled down event this year, several of the usual participants being unable to attend. However, Mark T. made a last minute booking of camping facilities at the 'Broad Horizons' sailing centre run by Simon and Sheila Fishwick at Barton Broard in Norfolk.

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I believe this was the first launching of Richard's new boat

On the first Saturday of the chosen week HSC members went to the Paglesham show and assisted with the RSA stand at the show, as we have done for the last few years. After the show, members drove to Norfolk with Herman's Drascombe 'Susie' and Richard's Tideway dinghy, the latter an even more recent addition to our fleet than Susie. A few days were spent sailing and walking in the area of Barton Broad, also some cycling on hired bicycles. Simon and Shiela's hospitality was much appreciated.

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'Susie' and a traditional Broads yacht

Club Barbecue - 25 September

Report from Richard


HSC members preparing for the Barbeque on 'Gordons patch', Paglesham

Five of us gathered at Paglesham on Saturday lunchtime. The weather was sunny, but a Force 5 northerly wind was blowing, making the day feel distinctly chilly. We decided against sailing, so Frank, Esin, Mark S and Richard went for a walk along the seawall by Paglesham Pool, and on to Churchend where we met Herman in the Punchbowl pub. We stopped for a drink and then got a lift back to the boatyard in H’s car. We lit the barbecue on the saltings by the new wooden ramp at ‘Gordon’s Patch’. A section of old boat has been erected as a windbreak shelter on the decking, and it was here that Esin prepared some lamb kebabs for us to cook. As the sun got lower we began to feel the autumnal chill, and so we packed up about 5.30pm. Thanks to Esin and Mark for buying the food. It was thought that we should barbecue some food for the Laying Up Supper as a change from the usual takeaway: to be eaten inside if the weather dictates.

Laying up Supper - 31 October

Our club boats were tidied up and put away for the winter. After that there was a heroic effort by Mark Smith and Esin that produced a BBQ meal, so fullfilling the wish expressed in the paragraph above. However, another time it might be easier to do outdoors cooking in daylight, not after dark!

AGM weekend - Stow on the Wold - 11/12 Dec

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Stow-on-the-Wold-YHA - (picture taken during previous HSC visit in 2006)

Nine HSC members met for lunch at Lower Swell then did a short afternoon stroll prior to our Annual General Meeting at Stow hostel. On the way we passed an interesting small building near Eyford Park, photo below. I am not sure what it was used for, someone suggested that it might have been a buttery, Google didnt seem to help on this occasion. We had a nice meal in a pub in Stow that evening, the picturesque town centre looked very pretty with its Christmas lighting and the seasonal displays in the tourist shops.

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Near Eyford park

We had another straightforward AGM, with no major issues for our club. We continue to loose money, this being entirely due to under use of our club owned boats. At some point in the future we may need to correct that situation by no longer keeping a club owned boat available at Paglesham, however we haven't yet reached a point at which we are forced to make that decision. The fact is that most of our sailing membership now have their own boats, or in one case is planning to build their own boat, so we have less of a need for club owned boats. Having said that, we did this summer road trail a club boat to the Seafair festival and the boat was fully utilised on that occasion. A half way move might be to keep just one of our two boats and to keep it on shore for use with a road trailer rather than keeping it afloat.

We did a walk of about 10 miles on Sunday, starting from near the church at the village of Naunton a few miles south west of Stow-on-the-Wold. The first part of our walk followed the valley of the River Windrush, passing by the embankments and remnants of the railway that I think used to terminate at Bourton-on-the-Water. We looked for lunch at the picturesque village of Lower Slaughter but it all looked too smart for our state of dress to be appropriate, so we went on to an alternative pub at the edge of Bourton-on-the-Water. We then returned to Lower Slaugter and then on to Naunton by a route to the north of our outward track.


Leaving Naunton Village

Cold weather has came early this year, we have already had quite a lot of snow in the east of the country. The snow had melted from the Cotswolds and we had a clear blue sky for our walk, but it was still cold. We passed a lake frozen with ice thick enough to walk on, as demonstrated by the more foolhardy members of our party. (no one got wet)