Flaghoist – Feb 2021

A picture containing text

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

Dear WSC Sailors, boaters and kayakers 

The next sailing, kayaking and fishing season is just around the corner.  On Sunday 7th March 2021, we plan to hold our AGM – COVID permitting. Please join us especially if you want a space in the boat park next year. On Sunday 21st March, again COVID permitting, it will be All hands to the pumps for the Boat park clean-up please for the season and on Wednesday 1st April the boat park opens again.

The   English language is full of hidden words and phrases that originated from those who spent their lives at sea. The following are common terms that you may not be aware connect you to the world of the ancient mariners!

Toe the line: This first emerged as a phrase used on ships when a captain called the crew to gather in a straight line with their toes meeting the edge of one of the planks on the deck. This “toeing the official line” was born.

Son of a Gun: As the story goes, the sailors in the 17th and 18th centuries were a rowdy bunch. So much so that every so often a lady friend of the crew would end up giving birth on the ship. This usually occurred on the gun deck where there was the most space. When the child was not claimed by any of the sailors, which happened all too often, it would be referred to as “the son of a gun”!

Hunky-Dory: This phrase is believed to have been invented by American sailors who used it to describe a particular street in Japan called Honcho-dori. This street was known to lonely sailors for the services it provided.

Turn the Corner: This idiom is believed to have been first used by sailors who had passed the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa and/or Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America.

“Turn a blind eye” This is a phrase commonly associated with Admiral Lord Nelson on the occasion of him having wilfully ignored a signal telling him to withdraw from a naval engagement. However, there is evidence to suggest that this expression was used years earlier by yet another admiral, this being Admiral Sir Hyde Parker at the battle of Copenhagen in 1801.

Feeling Blue The phrase “feeling blue” has been used as a cultural reference for years, ingrained in the language of music and in reference as to how we are feeling. The phrase stems from the event of losing a captain at sea; when arriving back in port, ships would fly a blue flag and the ship’s hull wore a blue band.


Show a leg: Girlfriends could have an extra half hour in bed when the ship was in port – but they had to ‘show a leg’ to stay in the hammock while the sailors got up.

On the fiddle: The fiddle was a raised lip round sailor’s plate. It indicated how much sailor entitled to. If he took too much, food touched lip and sailor was said to be ‘on the fiddle’, which was a flogging offence.

Grog:  Admiral Vernon, who was known as ‘Old Grogram’ from his habit of wearing a grogram coat, he supervised dilution of daily tot of rum (57% proof, 1/2 gill rum to 1 gill of water); and ‘Feeling groggy’meant that the sailor had too much grog!

Slush fund – A slushy slurry of fat was obtained by boiling or scraping the empty salted meat storage barrels. This stuff called “slush” was often sold ashore by the ship’s cook for the benefit of himself or the crew. The money so derived became known as a slush fund.

The WSC are looking for nominations for the 2021 donations preferring to award to a charity or organisation with a local connection. If you have a charity, organisation or individual that you would like to nominate please email wemburysailingclub@gmail.com.

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

Flaghoist – Mar 2021

Dear WSC Sailors, boaters and kayakers,
On Sunday 7th March 2021, we plan to hold our AGM. Please check the web site and
your emails to see if it is being held virtually or in person. Please join us (send us an email to the address below) especially if you want a space in the boat park for this year. On Sunday 21st March, again COVID permitting, it will be all hands to the pumps for the boat park clean-up please for the season and on Wednesday 1 st April the boat park is planned to open up again.
As I write this at the beginning of February, I have just attended my annual sailing
conferences (online this time) which as always inform me of what is upcoming in the
world of sailing. The first was the ASTO (Association of Sail Training Organisations) and the second being the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Yachtmaster Instructors
conference. Seeing the way out of COVID and getting back to sailing was the “thing” this year as expected in addition to the effects of Brexit on the sailing world. Popping over to Europe now requires sailors to arrive in a dedicated port to be cleared in (e.g. Roscoff or Cherbourg), to report all departures and arrivals to the authorities (an online service is being developed in the UK), to fly the Q flag (a yellow flag) which indicates that “our vessel is healthy and that we require free practique”. We then need to wait until we are advised that we are free to come ashore or wait further for a customs officer to visit to check for among other things that the VAT (or in France TVA) has been paid on the boat.
On a brighter side, I was delighted to see that all of the sail training organisations are still in existence and planning on continuing their work hopefully in the near future. Their good work with young, old, and those in need for mental health and other reasons will be desperately needed come the end of the pandemic lockdowns. Here in Wembury hopefully we can continue to enjoy the view of some of these wonderful boats sailing past the Mewstone.

Foiling – the way ahead? If you have been following the Vende Globe (a single handed around the world race) or the Americas Cup racing in New Zealand one thing is sure that “Foiling Boats” are making a big impact on the sailing scene. A “foiling” boat has wing-like foils mounted under the hull. As the craft increases its speed the hydrofoils lift the hull up and out of the water, greatly reducing wetted area, resulting in decreased drag and increased speed. A sailing hydrofoil can achieve speeds, exceeding twice the wind speed. The UK Entry to the Americas cup (led by Ben Ainsley, an Olympian who trained in Falmouth) is doing extremely well. The boats sail at speeds in excess of 45 knots (about 50 mph!). We get excited when our boat goes at 8 knots! A lady “Pip Hare” in the Vende Globe who I have been following avidly during the “4 month race at sea” has shared her adventures using social media. Pip trained for 11 years for this race. Her exploits changing her damaged rudder, climbing to the top of the mast for repairs on her own in large seas and coping with storm force winds has been amazing to watch and has provided a welcome distraction over the winter months. Her inner strength and resilience have been an absolute inspiration. Do google “Pip Hare sailing” or the Vende Globe for more information. There were six women in the race amongst 33 entrants. A large part of the RYA conference was how to encourage more equity and diversity within the sport. With two (grown up) daughters who sail, paddleboard and kayak, I am pleased to see the progress over the last 20 years. We are getting there but still have some way to go. There are some excellent British Women sailors and the RYA are actively encouraging more to the sport. The Tokyo Olympics may still go ahead, and I understand that the British Team is training hard though lockdown to put up a good fight for those medals!
The WSC are looking for nominations for the 2021 donations preferring to award to a
charity or organisation with a local connection. If you have a charity, organisation or
individual that you would like to nominate please email Wemburysailingclub@gmail.com.

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

Flaghoist – Jan 2021

Dear sailors, boaters and kayakers,

Residential Courses in Sail Training and local youth dinghy sailing will hopefully start again in the spring. The lack of ability to conduct residential courses has been hard for Sail Training. Many of us in the Parish will remember those adventure sailing voyages and other outdoor learning courses as major turning points in our personal development. In November a new “All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) formed the “Outdoor Learning APPG”. The new group of MPs will be a vital part of continued effort to persuade Government to enable residential visits when safe to do so. Furthermore, the group will provide valuable long-term political support for the Outdoor Learning sector, driving understanding of the value of outdoor learning and seeking a more formal role for outdoor learning within education. This is a very positive move. Please consider booking your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews with one of our local sailing organisations. These include: Horizons Children’s Sailing Charity, Plymouth Youth Sailing, Sailing Tectona and the Island Trust. A oogle of the name will find you their contact details. All are working extremely hard to keep everything COVID Safe. Please do give them a call.

2020 WSC Donations made: This year WSC has made four donations, one to the RNLI of E 250 and three EIOO grants to local sailing organisations, PYS (Plymouth Youth Sailing), Horizons Children’s Sailing Charity and Sailing Tectona. The following was received from Andrew Eccleston, a trustee of Horizons, along with a letter of thanks:

“For almost 30 years Horizons has been working with disadvantaged young people in Plymouth. This is a great maritime city, but it is also a place where social deprivation affects the everyday lives of many young people. The work of Horizons Plymouth is a direct response to the needs of these young people. We do this by taking the children sailing in Plymouth Sound. Learning to sail is a great way for a young person to develop confidence and skills, but it is often seen as a pastime for well-offfamilies.

We target the most deserving youngsters and offer them this opportunity with no cost barrier. Each year we engage with 10 Primary Schools in the city, targeting those located in the areas of most social deprivation. The children are then invited to join our Sailing Club’ and get afloat with us on a regular basis. Horizons is an RYA recognised Training Centre with two very experienced Instructors, so many of these youngsters also go on to gain RYA qualifications — and this is a great boost to their confidence and selfesteem which feeds through into other parts of their lives.

Every year we deliver more than 200 sailing sessions which involve 1,200+ different children, many of whom also have additional needs. We rely heavily on a small army of volunteers and receive no statutory funding so have to work hard at raising the funds we need to maintain our staff and fleet of boats.”

Thank you to all the WSC members who have made this small donation possible. The WSC are looking for nominations for the 2021 donations preferring to award to a charity or organisation with a local connection. If you have a charity, organisation or individual that you would like to nominate please email wemburysailingclub@gmail.com.

Stay safe on the water, Andy Brown, Editor WSC Flaghoist.


Flaghoist – Dec 2020


Web site:                            www.wemburysailingclub.org.uk

Contact:                              wemburysailingclub@gmail.com

As I write this Flaghoist we have put the kayaks and boat to bed for the winter and am looking out to sea at the most beautiful sunset over Wembury Bay and the Mewstone. 

Rockpool Rambling at night with a blue “UV” light.

One of the delightful things that we have done recently is rockpool rambling at night (in clam conditions) with a full moon to take advantage of the spring tides. We have a small torch with a UV (Blue) light which illuminates the rock pools amazingly well highlighting the vivid colours of the anemones plus other creatures and plants in the pools. Definitely to be recommended.

Seafarers at Sea over Christmas:

During COVID I have worked away at sea and have met many crew men and women of various nationalities, who have been unable to get home to their countries and who wereindeed unsure when they would get a reliefor get home. Some had been at sea for over six months. Please spare a thought for all those seafaring folks working away for the festive season and for their families at home. We have quite a number of seafaring families in the parish and our best wishes go to them too.

A perfect present for Christmas? How about a WSC Burgee. Fly the WSC burgee with pride at your masthead. Please contact WSC by email for details if you would like to buy one (at a very reasonable cost plus a small voluntary donation to the WSC charity fund).

WSC Donations. Each year the WSC provides donations to charities that somehow connect with the water and our activities. Wecontinue to look for nominations for the 2020/21 donations. We prefer to award donations to a charity or organisation with a local connection. If you have a charity, organisation or individual that you would like to nominate please email WSC.

Diary Dates:   The date of the AGM is Sunday 7 March 2021, 19:30.  The Boat Park will open again on April 1st, 2021. 

The following is a traditional Christmas seafarer’s poem. Christmas Eve at Sea by John Masefield: (1878 – 1967), “Christmas Eve at Sea”, appears in“Saltwater ballads” first published 1902

A WIND is rustling ” south and soft, ”
Cooing a quiet country tune,
The calm sea sighs, and far aloft
The sails are ghostly in the moon.

Unquiet ripples lisp and purr,
A block there pipes and chirps i’ the sheave,
The wheel-ropes jar, the reef-points stir
Faintly — and it is Christmas Eve.

The hushed sea seems to hold her breath;
And o’er the giddy, swaying spars,
Silent and excellent as Death,
The dim blue skies are bright with stars.

Dear God — they shone in Palestine
Like this, and yon pale moon serene
Looked down among the lowing kine
On Mary and the Nazarene.

The angels called from deep to deep,
The burning heavens felt the thrill,
Startling the flocks of silly sheep
And lonely shepherds on the hill.

To-night beneath the dripping bows
Where flashing bubbles burst and throng,
The bow-wash murmurs and sighs and soughs
A message from the angels’ song.

The moon goes nodding down the west,
The drowsy helmsman strikes the bell;
Rex Judaeorum natus est,
I charge you, brothers, sing Nowell ,
Rex Judaeorum natus est.

Happy Christmas and I know that we are all looking forward to a much better 2021.

See you on the water soon. Stay Safe.

Andy Brown WSC review editor.

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started