Flaghoist – Mar 2022

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Description automatically generatedWembury Sailing Club  Web site:                            www.wemburysailingclub.org.uk Contact:                              wemburysailingclub@gmail.com

Dear WSC Sailors, boaters and kayakers 

I am writing this in 40 knots of wind, not in Wembury, but in the central North Sea on a survey ship conducting a Survey to enable an environmental impact assessment to be prepared to allow a subsea pipeline to be trenched below the seabed. Working at sea can have its challenges. Especially in this weather. The ship is in constant movement, with the need to fill a teacup, making sure that everything is stowed so it does not roll off a table and hanging only half onto a rail while having a shower! I can see that folk onboard are becoming slightly fatigued. Having visited the wonderful Mayflower exhibition at our relatively new museum, the “Box”, in Plymouth last month, I cannot moan, as the conditions in those days must have been far more difficult. At 110 ft long (33.5m), the Mayflower sailed with the Pilgrim fathers for more than two months across 3000 miles of open ocean, with one hundred passengers and thirty crew, including three pregnant women and more than a dozen children. Five sadly died during the voyage. They were all squeezed below decks in crowded, cold, and damp conditions, suffering crippling bouts of seasickness and surviving on meagre rations of hardtack biscuits, dried meat, and beer! The food  onboard here is excellent. I am struggling with saying NO to a full English every morning. My New Year Resolution went out of the window some time ago!

This ship is a fine vessel with an excellent crew. We have a multinational crew. Russian, Ukrainian Filipino, Bulgarian, Estonian, Irish, and British. We are still challenged with COVID and we had new crew testing positive on their way to join the ship and with people onboard ready to go home being asked to work another month onboard until the next crew change. One had been onboard for six months! Seafarers around the world continue to face difficult challenges.  Our Russian Captain and Ukrainian Chief officer, watch developments on their joint national borders, concerned about their families but remain firmly and obviously the best of friends. Strange times. When you look out to sea from Wembury beach and see those ships sailing by, please spare a thought for our seafarers. 80% of all goods are transported at sea.

Onboard, we are constantly checking our safety gear. Those of you who are boat owners are considering getting their vessels ready for the summer. I know at WSC we mainly have small kayaks and boats in the boat park, but I know that some of you have larger sailing or fishing boats.  I attended a lecture by Andrew Moll of the UK Marine Accident and Investigation board at an online conference for RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Instructors. Andrew had several key messages from incidents that happened last year. The main one was that there were a couple of Carbon Monoxide poisoning fatalities. Please check that a) you have a CO alarm onboard (or at home or in a caravan) and please regularly check that they work. The other message was the lack of use of kill cords when driving a rib (rigid inflatable boat). A kill cord is normally  attached  to the driver and to an engine cut off device. In case the driver makes a fast turn or hits something and falls out of the boat, this will ensure that the engine is cut off. Some older outboard motors do not have kill cord cut offs. If this is the case for your engine, please consider fitting one or buying a new engine. Electric outboard motors are becoming more popular and have lots of benefits. They are more expensive but the cost of running them is a lot cheaper (no servicing or expensive petrol to buy). It is something that I am looking at. Also, they are very quiet when running and you can hear and talk to each other in the boat! Gone are the days of the good old Seagull Engine!

Donations: The WSC are looking for nominations for the 2022 donations preferring to award to charities or organisations with a local connection and conducting activities on the water in the local area. The decision for any donations is made in November. If you have a charity, organisation or individual that you would like to nominate please email wemburysailingclub@gmail.com.

On Sunday 6th March 2022, we plan to hold our AGM – COVID permitting. Please join us especially if you want a space in the boat park next year. Details will be emailed to members. On Sunday 20th March – All hands to the pumps for the Boat Park clean-up please for the season and on Friday 1st April – The boat park opens again.

Stay safe on the water.           Andy Brown    Editor – WSC FH Wembury Review

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