The trouble with crossing the Channel in a north-westerly is that once you've left, coming back is going to be very hard work, especially once you're a few miles off. Thus it was that, having wrapped the jib round itself and then snapped the spinnaker pole, all before 7am, I looked back up towards Portland at a sea being whipped up by 20 knots and decided to continue on towards Cherbourg!
The WSC Christmas Party 2013 is now sold out.
Bookings are now closed.
Novembers YOBs meeting was spent on a different type of boat than the cadets are used to, The Condor.
Keith Howorth our Harbour Master arranged an "access all areas" tour conducted by Captain Steve and Chief Engineer Paul.
The cadets were given a tour of the boat from the Bridge to the engine room with all and any question answered. Did you know it uses
1 litre of fuel a second?
For those of you who have been following our progress down towards the Canaries in Athena this is the last update. Following the significant blow through off Finisterre and resulting short stop in Portosin in Ria De Muros, it became clear that completing the whole trip and getting back on the 21st (which had always been my backstop date) wasn't practicable and that I was going to hand over to another skipper in Cascais. The remaining run was completed in fabulous weather with some great views of the Spanish and Portuguese coast. Progress was rapid with NNE winds pushing us on, varying from 20 - 30 mph, all the way down to coast and rather large waves. We passed inside Isla Berlenga at Peniche, to add some variety to the scenery.
At last a window for going across the Channel and back appeared last week, so Thursday night found me aboard 'Aliya' at anchor off Greenhill in the usual way to avoid the 'curse of Condor'. The wind having been northerly for some days meant flat water and about the best night's sleep I've had at anchor there. A motor out to Chequers at dawn brought me into the wind, and I was then blown across in the sunshine by a chilly 20-knot nor' nor' easterly. The deceptively summery drone of the planes from Bournemouth to the Channel Islands and some warmth in the sun did not quite disguise that it was November...
I remember seeing the BBC Spotlight interview last week with the crew of the Class40 “Concise8”, before they set out for the Transat race (Le Havre to Brazil). Both Kathy and I thought they had a plucky positivism given that Concise8 is a brand new boat. They moored alongside Athena this morning in Ria de Muros (just round Finisterre) having suffered failure to both rudders last night, which sounds a little challenging given the huge following seas and 30 knot wind.
Please find below an amendment to the sailing instructions for WSC open autumn and winter series.
No, this is not a photo of 'Athena', wrecked by a stormy channel crossing. This is the forgotten fishing fleet of Camaret-sur-Mer. After a false start last week we have now sailed as far as Brittany where we are drinking Armagnac and waiting for conditions in Biscay to improve. We have solicited the services of Steve “Michael Fish” Dadd to relay forecasts to us over the satellite phone and are armed with the latest GRIB files which predict fair winds from tomorrow morning. See you in La Coruña.
With a plethora of ordnance being released as usual into the skies all over Britain on November 5th, a practice with nearly out of date flares seemed like a good idea. After watching the town's firework display from the vantage point of the club, members assembled in Hooker's dock while Portland Coastguard was called and advised of the exercise.
2013 is a special year for the club so we’d like to collect as many of your best photos and videos from this year as possible, before they get erased from your camera. To send in your photos and videos please use one of the following methods:
• Copy them onto a CD, DVD or USB memory stick, place in an envelope labelled “Chris Hogg – Photos” and deliver them to the club office. If you include a note with your name I will be able to return your memory stick or CD.