20 January 2021 - Annual General Meeting of the Hostellers Sailing Club
Throughout the period of covid 19 HSC members have been keeping in contact by Zoom on-line meetings on an approximately monthly basis so it was natural that we held our AGM by Zoom this year. As one would expect, 2020 was a year with little club activity so we did not have a lot to talk about at our AGM, we all hope that we will be able to re-start sailing and walking activities soon. The club remains in a healthy state financially so there will be no change to subscriptions for 2021. Sadly, two of our most longstanding members passed away during 2020.
10th April 2021 - Merganser launched
Lauching of Merganser was supervised by Mark S with 5 members helping, including new members Mark and Julie. They had a picnic lunch on the Village jetty - chilly but good views and a chance to point out landmarks to new members.
27th April 2021 - Sailing on the Roach
Mark S with Mark and Julie H had a pleasant sail up to Rochford Mill. They stopped at the “shell beach” and had lunch watching a dredger operating near the mill. After sailing paid a quick visit to the garden of the Shepherd and Dog. Waitress service! (The Plough and Sail is shut Mon & Tues.)
3rd June 2021 - Sail to Burnham
Mark S and Mark H had a nice sail to Burnham. After a welcome pint at the White Hart had sarnies at Royal Corinthian where we met yet another Mark (1V) who said we’d be welcome to join the “Royal Burnham Sailing Club” and/or visit their bar when it reopens….
Observed lots of activity on Foulness – multiple bangs and smoke signals! (It is a MoD site). Reefed mainsail and jib was a good choice with shifting winds.
HSC member Gerald is a member of the Lower Thames Rowing Club and he was out rowing in the dark recently - ,As a fundraising row for the local RNLI they rowed out to a loading wharf in Old Leigh used by local fishermen, here they had a BBQ & a social for club members and the public then they. rowed back in darkness to their base at Two tree island. Gerald sent a couple of pictures:
Meanwhile, over in Devon, HSC members John and Josephine have been out a few times recently with their rowing boat. We have had several trips on the Tamar and Yealm, one trip accross Plymouth sound to Cawsand and back, one to Edgecumbe and back and also a short coastal trip from Fowey in Cornwall. We are cautious about taking our rowing boat out on the sea since it has quite low freeboard and a narrow beam but we had a calm sunney day so we launched our row boat at Fowey and rowed east along the coast to the Lantec Bay beaches. The more easterly of this pair of beaches is only accessible by boat and since the sea was so calm that day we were able to land for a picnic without difficulty.
13 June - First over the line in the Egret Cup Race
Mark S. reports:
Weather was as forecast. (I think that means hot and sunney - Ed.)
Good turnout with 2 Mirrors (Ken & Clem) plus Tideway and several other boats of varying speeds. Shortish race to Yokefleet and back. Merganser and Ken’s Mirror neck and neck running downwind in the shallows. Passing close to a couple of interested looking seals. Managed to slowly draw ahead and finished the race 2 minutes ahead of Ken. (but not so good on handicap!)
19-20 June - Dinghy Cruise to South Woodham Ferrers
HSC Club boat 'Merganser' at South Woodham Ferrers
Mark S. reports:
Mark S. and Gerald sailed our club boat Merganser round to South Woodham Ferrers to join in with a Dinghy Cruising Association rally. Left Paglesham 10.00 Saturday and by 1pm we were in Burnham enjoying a full-english at the Quay Café (Bistro!). Around 3pm we continued up the Crouch to meet the other DCA boats off Creaksea. And from there a gentle run up the Crouch to South Woodham Ferrers where we camped and were able to use the club house facilities. Sunday we set off at 9am just before HW in almost no wind but this filled in and by 12 we were back in Burnham for lunch (aka waiting for the tide to turn) and Paglesham by 4 where we had tea waiting for tide to reach the mooring.
Pleased to report that the thunderstorms, rain, drizzle, etc forecast and much discussed in the clubhouse never materialised.
Thanks to Dave for organising the rally and to Doug for use of the Clubhouse.
31 July/ 1st August 2021 - Dinghy Cruise Round the Isle of Sheppey
Above: Gerald and Mark sailing 'Susie' in the Thames estuary - Red Sand forts in the distance
On our recent DCA jolly to the Medway towns, we meant to sail across in the HSC Wayfarer 'Merganser' but the tides together with activities on the MoD range precluded that, plus it was a tad breezy on the Friday, but easing for the weekend. So on Friday evening I towed 'Susie' for a rare outing to Lower Halstow on the Medway, ready to launch early on Saturday morning. Mark S. travelled by train to meet me the same evening.
On Saturday morning three boats with four crew set off to sail clockwise around Sheppey ,down to the Red Sands forts, then up the Swale, perhaps taking a look at a barge match that would be in progress. ' Susie' antagonized barge 'Blue Mermaid' by trying to get out of the way of another barge - 'Susie', doesn't seem to like barges, she has history with them.
Beached on the south side of the Swale at Harty Ferry - David's 'Roamer' dinghy in the foreground, 'Suzi' behind
We beached at Harty Ferry on the north bank, debated, then opted for the South side, in time to land before a stormy Squall came through. Dave J & Richard W, camped aboard, myself and Mark camped on shore beside a bird hide. There was a fresh water spring across the lane, an unusual feature in a salt marsh. It was surprisingly sweet, not brackish - some natives collected it by car.
Next morning we had to leave before the HW so as to take advantage of the ebb and flood. With little wind we made slow progress and after a 'phone confab. we reversed our plan to try and gain advantage by using the ebb to retrace our course of the day before. Going back the way we came we had a fickle wind. Some squalls came through and allowed us some progress and we landed back at Lower Halstow an hour before HW, in time to get another soaking as we derigged.
All in a bit of an adventure. Now after this shakedown of 'Susie', I have repairs to make to the tiller, the glue failed , and to make good the main halyard and parrel string.
All in time for Susie's next outing.