Beale Park Boat Show - 12 June

Three members of the HSC paid a visit to the Beale Park Boat Show which is takes place on the shores of a lake set in attractive parkland close by the River Thames a little upstream of Pangbourne. This is a boat show with the emphasis on smaller, more eco-friendly boats than the larger boat shows and there are also a number of stands related to the home building of small boats. I think there were fewer exhibitors this year, the Dinghy Cruising Association being one of the missing stands. I understand that the DCA does plan to be back in force next year.


This picture shows the launching of a large model of a World War I battleship, steered by a human operator lying down inside. It took part in mock battles with a couple of other similar size model warships. The photo shows the informal style of the show, with stands dotted around the lake and boats taking prospective customers for test sails. The yellow catamaran to the right was about the largest boat on display.


This is Frank and Margaret Dye with their tent equiped Wayfarer at Beale Park. Frank was about the first person to have the idea of using a Wayfarer dinghy for long distance cruising and over the years has made amazing trips to Norway and Iceland and also in Canada. Margaret is also a keen sailor and has made done some adventurous dinghy cruising on her own account.

Barbeque - 2 July

Report from Richard

Thanks to Eric and Esin for organising the excellent food and drink on Saturday.

Numbers were a little down on last year due to some members being on summer holidays. Frank successfully navigated Meander to Wallasea with new members Carol and Sue. Bill brought Ernie along to the feast, though we missed Geoff and Mark S who are currently sailing in France. Barbara, the YHA Local Groups Coordinator came along with her husband.

Mark T and Richard sailed Meander back to Paglesham on Sunday, though we were not able to get the boat back onto the mooring as the tide had ebbed too far by 3pm. We went for a walk and finally put her on the mooring at 7.45pm. We have put the yellow buoy on the riser, and left the white fender in the stern locker.

The birds nesting in the gents toilet block at the boatyard are swallows. The adults flew in to feed the 3 nestlings while I stood watching!


Dinghy Cruising Association 50th Anniversary Celebrations - 16 to 22 July

A number of the HSC membership are also members of the DCA and five HSC members attended the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the DCA. For this event the DCA had exclusive use of a campsite and boat launching facility at Cobnor, alongside the creek which leads from Chichester Harbour up to Bosham village in Sussex UK. The main celebrations were held over the weekend of 16/17th July and some of the party stayed on to do more sailing during the following week. The event was very well organised and we were lucky to have superb weather for the first weekend, after that the weather did get a bit windy for a few days but it improved again towards the end of our stay.

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A few of the boats at Cobnor, Aiden's elegant 'Jady Lane' in foreground

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Some of the more unusual boats - Outrigger boat (white), 'Paradox' mini cabin boat(Green), Welsford Houdini (Black)

The first sailing event was a waterborne treasure hunt to look for clues marked on a treasure map of Chichester Harbour. There was no set order for finding the clues and since it was a perfect day with hot sunshine many of the boats decided to make their first clue the one at the sandy beach at East Head. Having arrived at this beautiful beach some people went to search for the clue which was a slip of paper tied to a post somewhere in the sand dunes, others just went swimming or sunbathing and I think quite a few were content to stay on that beach for the rest of the day. Josephine and myself went in search of some more clues and after some miles of sailing and landing on various beaches we got a couple but we did not find them easy to locate. HSC member Mark S., sailing singlehanded in his 'Comet' dinghy did brilliantly and found a total of 9 clues, almost the entire set, I would be surprised if anyone did better than that. Of course, as one might expect of the DCA, no one was actually counting up the scores, it was just a way to add some extra interest to the days sailing.

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Presidential Address after dinner in the Marquee at Cobnor (photo from Richard F.)

That evening appoximately 110 DCA members attended a dinner in a marquee on the campsite and the after dinner speeches included various peoples recollections of the early years of the DCA. As president Roger Barnes remarked, accounts of the founding of the DCA are a bit like the gospels, there being a number of different versions of the same thing. One person who was involved at the start was Eric Coleman, who was also involved in the formation of the HSC at a slightly earlier date.

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Some of the party gathered on the beach at East Head

The second days sailing started with a 'Fleet Review'. President Roger Barnes anchored his 'Ilur' sailing dinghy and we all sailed past him at least once, flying all the flags we could find, exchanging greetings, taking photos and in some cases squirting water pistols. After that we all met on East Head beach again for group photos, picnics and swimming. Another perfect day.

Many people set off home after the weekend but on the Monday morning there was still a sizeable fleet preparing for a planned clockwise circumnavigation of Hayling Island. Some people seemed a little slow to realise that the weather had changed and a few boats were leaving Cobnor under full sail but once we left the shelter of the trees around the launch site I think we all found that we needed to take in reefs and on my boat we also decided to change into our dry suits. The fleet landed to gather together at East Head beach then Roger and Helen set sail for the harbour entrance, to be followed by a few of the other boats, the rest of the fleet staying on the beach wondering about the weather. Later I heard that the windspeed at the harbour entrance, as recorded by automatic instruments and relayed on the Internet, gusted to 30 knots at one point, although I dont think it was that windy most of the time.  After a while Josphine and myself decided to head out and see what Roger thought of it. We tacked out of the harbour and a few hundred yards to seaward of the Chichester bar beacon we luffed up close to Rogers boat and after exchanging a few words a decision was made to head back in.  The other boats which were on their way out to sea turned round when they saw us coming in. I did not have a chart and I had no batteries in my GPS, having been intending to follow other boats and I thought we had something like 10 miles to sail to windward to reach Langstone Harbour entrance. On studying a chart back at base camp I realised the distance was not quite as far as I had thought but it would certainly have been a hard sail and I expect the right decision was made, espeicially since the fleet included some of the smaller and frailer craft.

The weather remained quite windy for the next two days and Josephine and I left our boat on shore and went sightseeing to the Roman Palace at Fishbourne and the open air museum at Singleton. Both of these were well worth a visit. I particularly liked the open air museum which has a collection of old buildings which have been relocated from various sites where they would have otherwise needed to be demolished. Others sailed from Cobnor but stayed within Chichester Harbour. The big marquee which had been used for the anniversary dinner remained in place until Thursday and so each evening most of us gathered there for socialising and barbeque meals.

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Rafted together off the Isle of Wight

On Thursday morning, those who had stayed through the windy weather were rewarded with a return to sunchine and a gentle breeze. A number of boats set out for a cruise to the Isle of Wight. Some chose to head for Bembridge, others to Wooton Creek and destinations westwards. The fleet heading for Bembridge comprised Josephine and myself in our 15 foot boat, Peter and Elsbet from Holland with Graham in their Norfolk Oyster, George Strubshaw in his pretty green boat and Clive in his Mirror dinghy. These four boats crossed the solent on a close reach then rafted together for lunch off the Isle of Wight shore (see above), then sailed into Bembridge landing on the sandy shore just inside the entrance on the south side. We then took a walk right round Bembridge harbour to visit a recommended restaurant only to find that it was fully booked, but we were able to find an alternative good eating place in St Helens village.

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Alongside the quay near Langstone Bridge

On Friday morning Peter started his engine and towed the other three boats out of Bembridge against the flood tide, that certainly saved us a struggle. We released the tow a bit prematurely because Josephine's hat fell in the sea so we needed to pick it up.  The wind was very light at first but picked up as we neared the mainland shore. We decided to return to Cobnor via Langstone harbour, so belatedly completing the circumnavigation of Hayling island which we had started on Monday. After lowering our masts to get under Langstone bridge we came alongside the quay to the East of the bridge where we set up our masts then called at the Royal Oak, the more distant of the two pubs visible in the picture above. By use of mobile phones we were also able to meet up with Liz Baker and crew who had been sailing in Chichester harbour. After lunch we sailed back to Cobnor, stopping at Ichenor to use the showers there, then we said our goodbyes and exchanged emails, some of us promising that we would try to meet up at future events such as the Morbihan sailing festival in Brittainy.

Summer Cruise - 28 August to 3 September

We had a really good summer cruise this year, sailing north from Paglesham to reach the head of the river Alde in Suffolk. The weather was remarkable, not only was it warm and sunney throughout but we were broard reaching for almost the whole trip.

An illustrated account of this cruise is located in the 'Cruise Logs' section of this website, CLICK HERE TO VIEW.


The Lifeboat Cup - 18 September

Although the HSC is not a racing club we occasionally take part in the openboat races run from Paglesham by the Roach Sailing Association, the Lifeboat Cup being one such race. The following report was received from Mark S.

The state of Meander's bottom hopefully explains the results of the Lifeboat Cup given below. This is after the handicapper had his say! The race was a beat up tide to near Stambridge Mill and then a run back. But not much wind! (which didn't much help Frank and Herman sailing Meander either)

Merganser got to the up-river mark about 5 mins before RSA member Heather sailing her minisail. On the run back (against the tide) Heather overtook Merganser half a mile from the finish line. A wind shift made it a fast(ish) broad reach favouring Merganser for the last 5 minutes and we crossed the line joint first.

Results List, first to last - corrected for handicap - 12 boats finished (perhaps a record for the RSA open boat races)

Memory Lizzie Merganser (HSC) Minisail Makedo Winks Stella Marie Shuki Sarah Edith Tinker Wild Oat Meander (HSC)

AGM Weekend at Streetly -  26/27 November

The main topic for discussion at our AGM this year was, as last year year, finance. Last year we reluctantly increased our full membership subscription without increasing the temporary (one day) membership that we charge visitors to the club to go sailing. Some of us felt that this had created an imbalance between the full and temporary membership subscriptions such that those who don't use our club boats very often could find it cheaper to become 'visitors' and pay by the day. Visitors who are not in a position to become full members are always welcome to pay for a day out sailing, but we would like those who sail with us more often to become full members of the HSC and to be able to take advantage of the full range of activities on offer. Hence an increase in the temporary membership subscription was agreed. Subscription increases in two successive years is unusual for the HSC, I would like to hope that we will not need any further increases for a while. Of course, even a small increase in our active sailing membership would improve our financial situation since our greatest cost is the mooring charge for our club boats which is a fixed cost independent of how often those boats go out sailing.

Our committe for 2006 remains the same as for 2005, this year no committee members were required to stand down under our three year rule (a rule which serves to refresh our club management at regular intervals). We completed our meeting by agreeing outline details of our winter hostelling and rambling program then we adjourned to a pub in the village for a nice meal.


Streatly YHA (taken on a previous visit by the HSC)

Our Sunday ramble took us via tracks and woodland footpaths to Whitchurch-on-Thames, the next village downstream from Streetly then we returned to Streetly mainly following the Thames towpath. It was quite a short ramble but with a leisurely pub stop at Whitchurch it completely filled the period between the customary time for leaving a YHA hostel and the early onset of Winter darkness.  Picture below was taken at the end of the daylight on the towpath where the railway crosses the river downstream of Streetly.