Flaghoist – Jun 2022

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

Dear Reader, WSC Sailors, boaters and kayakers 

Our first kayak of the season was around Church Ledge rocks and in towards the Yealm (pronounced Yam!) with our three-year-old granddaughter. It was one of the very low tides of the year. We found two baby spider crabs in amongst the rocks, various types of seaweed and met up with a “barnacle scientist” who has been recording the 7 different species of barnacles found on Church Ledge rocks since the 1980’s. I think he said his work was voluntary but connected to the MBA (Marine Biological Association) based in Plymouth. He also said that the reporting fed into a global data base used for monitoring climate change. How cool is all of that for a three-year-old! We are extremely lucky to live where we do and to have access to all these wonderful facilities.

I am writing this while we are being gently rocked at our anchorage in St Mawes harbour, Falmouth. The wind is a fresh North Westerly but is expected to moderate overnight and swing around into the Southeast. We plan to sail to Penzance Bay tomorrow via the famous Lizard headland which is best to be navigated around with a favourable tide. We will pick up two other Wembury friends in Penzance who will join us in getting our boat, a Bavaria 36, up to the West Coast of Scotland where we will have several weeks exploring the Western Isles and no doubt visit some distilleries. We are also hoping to see an assortment of wildlife. Some friends last night were on Rathlin Island, just off the Northeast coast of Northern Ireland. They hiked to the western end of the Island to visit a breeding colony of Puffins. That’s another place to add to our plan.

St Mawes, located on the Roseland Peninsula, takes its name from the Celtic saint, St Maudez, who may have come from Ireland but is mainly venerated in Brittany. St Mawes Castle was a fortress, from the time of Henry VIII, built to counter the invasion threat from the continent. It is well worth a visit. Who needs to travel on an aeroplane and go overseas for their summer vacation?

A picture of Greyhound, a Sailing Cargo vessel, visiting Plymouth for the Pirate Weekend in May this year:

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

Flaghoist – May 2022

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

Dear WSC Sailors, boaters and kayakers 

With the boat park open again we are all getting back afloat. One of the areas of focus in the “training” world is skill fade since the beginning of the pandemic. There is a lot of “online” content on “You tube”. The RYA (Royal Yachting Association) is my “go to “ for all things training but do have a look at other web sites. The UK Met office has some tremendous free training videos on the weather and forecasting, all produced in easy to view short programs. Tom Cunliffe is a well-known yachtsman and RYA Yachtmaster examiner. He is a TV broadcaster and has made a series of YouTube videos which cover things such as how to anchor and choose a good anchorage, videos on square sails and topsails, yacht safety equipment and just some good sailors’ yarns sat by his fire with a glass of whiskey! They are worth checking out.

Those of us that head out into Wembury Bay and beyond on our “Sit on Top” kayaks it is good to have a refresher as to how to get back onboard if your boat capsizes. Have a google of “SOT Kayak Capsize recovery” and there is an excellent video of how to get back on your kayak with the video taken in Cawsand Bay on the Cornish side of Plymouth Sound.

It is great to see some of the local sail training vessels back out on the water. One of my favourites is Olga, a Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter operated by “Sailing Tectona”. Olga – almost 56ft long and more than 13ft wide – was built in 1909 at Porthleven, West Cornwall. She is one of only a handful of Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters in the world. When a cargo ship was spotted heading towards a Bristol Channel port such as Swansea, these wooden sail boats would race out to meet her; the first one there got the job of sailing the larger boat in. The vessels were designed for speed and stability. Olga worked as a pilot cutter out of Barry from 1909-17 when she was sold to Swansea and registered as a fishing vessel in 1918. She was then sold as a private yacht and remained as such, before being acquired by the council in 1984. She had been retained as a part of Swansea Museum’s “floating collection” ever since, having regular maintenance and occasionally heading into the channel. Olga was given on loan to Sailing Tectona which was the result of a process, including public consultation, which the council undertook to make tens of millions of pounds worth of savings due to austerity. Several bidders offered thoughtful new plans for Olga and the council felt that Sailing Tectona offered the best deal for the boat, the people of Swansea and the wider public. No money changed hands in the loan deal, but the council will save a five-figure sum every year thanks the Sailing Tectona agreeing to take on maintenance responsibilities.

Johanna Lucretia, another local topsail schooner is often seen in Wembury bay. She measures 96 ft (28.65m) in length, her beam is 18 ft (5.50m), her draught is 8 ft (2.45m) and she has a total sail area of 380 m2.  She was built in 1945 at the Rhoose shipyard in Ghent, Belgium as a fishing vessel, although she was never used for this purpose and laid as a completed hull and deck for several years before being sold in 1952. She was then converted and completed in 1954 for recreational use by her new owner and sailed Dutch waters from her home port of Enkhuizen in the Netherlands. In 1989 she was sold to a British citizen, Mrs Heather Henning, who registered Johanna as a national vessel, with Plymouth as her home port. In 1991/1992 she was refitted at T Nielsen & Co Ltd in Gloucester to her present configuration and was used for sail training and private charter from Gibraltar, the Caribbean and the East coast of the USA.

In 2001 she changed ownership and for reasons unknown lay abandoned in Gloucester Docks. In 2008 she was arrested by British Waterways for non-payment of licenses and mooring dues and was subsequently sold. The new owner carried out a major overhaul and operated her commercially as a charter boat for ten years, sailing mostly in European waters and cruising around the Cornish coast during the summer. She participated in several Tall Ships races, winning overall on two separate years. She was sold to The Island Trust (a Plymouth based charity) in 2018.

Johanna Lucretia has made a few film and television appearances. In 1978 she took the part of the Medusa in British spy thriller The Riddle of the Sands, set in 1901 it follows the efforts of two English yachtsmen to avert a plot by Germany to launch a military seaborne invasion of England. In 2006 she features in the film Amazing Grace, a drama about William Wilberforce’s campaign to end the slave trade. She also starred in the Irish reality TV show Cabin Fever in 2003, where she replaced the original Cabin Fever ship after it ran aground off Tory Island.

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

Flaghoist – April 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 

Hopefully by the time that you read this the boat park will be open (from April 1st) and you have had a chance to get afloat again for the season.

Writing this a week into the horrors of the Ukrainian conflict, I remembered the Ukrainian / Soviet Olympic Champion, Valantin Mankin. He was Jewish and born in Kiev. He scored his first Olympic triumph at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City when he dominated his 35 opponents in the Finn class, finishing first or second in five of the seven races to win the gold medal. At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Mankin switched classes and teamed with Vitaly Dyrdra to win the Tempest class. At the  1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal  he added a silver with a new partner, Valdyslav Akimenko. At the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow at the age of 41 years with Aleksandr Muzychenko, he raced in the Star class. The contest went down to the final race, but Mankin pulled off the victory and won the Gold Medal.

At the end of the eighties he moved to Livorno, Italy, as technical director, and coach of the Italian Sailing Federation, where he trained a top generation of sailors. In Livorno, he also founded the Olympic Training Centre, dedicated to Beppe Croce (Olympic Sailor and President of Italian Sailing Federation).

Valentin Mankin remains the only sailor in Olympic history to win gold medals in three different classes. (Finn, Tempest and Star).

He died on 1 June 2014 in Viareggio, Italy. I wonder what he would make of the current situation?

I often will recommend sailors, to join the RYA (Royal Yachting Association). Currently, RYA membership is offering free third-party windsurfing and stand-up paddleboarding insurance. Bishop Skinner Marine provide members of the RYA with free Worldwide Third Party Only insurance for the use of their windsurfing kit and stand up paddle board (SUP). This insurance covers members for their legal liabilities arising from their ownership of the board, as well as when you are out racing. I think that is one good reason to join.

At a recent WSC committee meeting, a suggestion was made to rebuild the Lido at Langdon beach. This was built in the 1960’s by John Stansell’s grandfather who used to own the foreshore before passing it on to the National Trust.

Lido, an Italian word for “beach”, forms part of the place names of several Italian seaside towns known for their beaches, such as Lido di Venezia, the barrier beach enclosing the Venetian Lagoon. The term may have found its way into English via English visitors returning from the Lido di Venezia, where people have bathed in the sea since the late 19th century.

The golden age of lidos in the United Kingdom was in the 1930s, when outdoor swimming became popular, and 169 were built across the UK as recreational facilities by local councils. Many lidos closed when foreign holidays became less expensive, but those that remain have a dedicated following.

At the height of lido culture, Britain had more than 300 outdoor pools. Today, there are more than 100 lidos in the UK, with more renovation projects in the pipeline.

In 2005 English Heritage published Liquid Assets – the lidos and open-air pools of Britain, by Janet Smith, produced as part of the “Played in Britain” series. The author had spent years researching (and swimming in) lidos around the country and her book explores the past, present and future of open-air pools. It led to two major conferences in 2006: “Reviving Lidos” and “Making a Splash”.

Plymouth is home to the Tinside Lido, a 1935 Art Deco seawater pool built on the limestone shoreline at the base of Plymouth Hoe, The semi-circular lido is Grade II listed, has three fountains and disabled access, and is open from May to September. It also currently features as a leader on the BBC News featuring the city’s “Real Steel Band”. 

Does anyone have the appetite to rebuild “our” Lido?

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

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

Flaghoist – Feb 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 

Writing this as we have 40 knots of wind blowing in Wembury bay we are looking out of the window looking forward to the next sailing, kayaking and fishing season. We are also planning the boat refit and multiple jobs to do before we get afloat again.

A good friend has just sent an email to say that he and his wife have made it sailing from the Canaries to Grenada in the Caribbean. They have experienced particularly strong trade winds this year and made quite a fast passage. Covid permitting, they are planning on sailing through the Panama Canal with the aim of reaching Australia where they hope to meet their grandson for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. Unfortunately following the rather challenging voyage, his wife stepped ashore, falling on the pontoon and broke her wrist. The picture that they sent was of her holding a Pina Colada in one hand with her wrist in plaster on the other!

Pacific Oysters

A newspaper article caught my eye on New Year’s day regarding Pacific Oysters and the River Yealm highlighting how the Oysters have razor sharp shells and have caused quite a number of serious cut injuries.

The report stated that ‘Mrs Christine Wood’ slipped and slashed open her arm on the razor-sharp shell of a Pacific oyster while walking along the banks on the River Yealm.

It was the second time she had been badly injured by the invasive species, which is undergoing a population explosion that threatens to encrust estuaries and harbours in harmful feet-deep reefs. The oysters, reach maturity in a couple of years, can each produce up to 200 million larvae a year. Unless their spread is halted they will significantly alter protected coastal habitats and change the appearance of some of our most popular holiday destinations. Christine Wood’s first injury was when she sliced the palm of her hand open while turning over a boulder. She now wears gloves and there are warning signs along the estuary.

“The increasing presence of Pacific oysters on the shore has definitely made surveying more difficult and dangerous,” she said. The harbourmaster has seen numerous people cutting their feet after jumping from boats, dogs with injured paws, inflatable paddleboards popped, and the hulls of boats damaged by the oyster shells.

The paper article reported a comment from Matt Slater, a marine conservation officer at the Cornwally Wildlife Trust. “The numbers we are seeing now are pretty terrifying. About five years ago there were virtually none in the areas we surveyed and now we’re finding thousands of oysters. There are oysters growing on oysters, forming large reefs. If they’re not kept under control we could end up finding deep beds of oysters, metres thick, encrusting harbour sides, slipways and also encroaching on important protected estuarine habitats.”

For the past two years a volunteer team has been tackling the oyster invasion along the south coast of Cornwall and Devon. The 16 volunteer groups organised by Natural England and local wildlife trusts have killed more than 170,000 Pacific oysters but the non-native species continues to colonise every estuary from St Ives Bay and Newlyn in west Cornwall to the Salcombe and Kingsbridge estuaries in south Devon. The largest numbers were culled in the Fal estuary (85,044), followed by the Fowey estuary (35,835) and the Helford estuary (29,095).

Pacific oysters were brought to the UK from the United States and Canada and farmed during the 1960s and 1970s. They are larger than our native oyster and prefer the inter-tidal zone, which exposes them to the public at low tides.

They grow best in sheltered estuaries and bays on the south coast of Cornwall and Devon but have begun to colonise the rocky shoreline of less sheltered bays like Whitsand Bay and Mounts Bay, and even Carbis Bay on the north coast of Cornwall. Reefs, formed by oysters growing on oysters, can smother mud flats and soft, muddy shores, taking away vital feeding grounds for protected fish and wading birds.

A government report said there was an average population decline of 89 per cent at sites culled by volunteers but warned further action was needed as they were “super-abundant” in some locations and forming reefs along the shore.

The report said most volunteers considered “control necessary to protect native communities and habitats” but the sight of groups using hammers to “smash organisms on the shore can initially appear quite shocking”.

Hotspots have been identified at several locations, with densities of more than 300 oysters per metre squared in parts of the Fal estuary, Fowey estuary, Plymouth Sound and Yealm estuary. Oyster reefs are forming in all these areas, as well as in the Helford estuary and Salcombe estuary, the report said. Friends have reported seeing a huge amount of them living on a breakwater by Torquay harbour.

When the oysters were brought to the UK, scientists believed the waters were too inhospitable for the oysters to breed in significant numbers. Slater said the warmer waters caused by climate change have created an optimum breeding environment for them in the past decade.


Despite the relative success of the cull, Slater said using volunteers wasn’t sustainable in the long run.

“The only way we will get them under control is if their value is realised and they can be harvested for food or other uses,” he said. “My personal feeling is volunteering isn’t sustainable as it takes a lot of hard work, cost and co-ordination, but if you can create an industry using the oysters it’s a more viable long-term solution.”

For oysters to be fit for human consumption they must be caught in a designated shellfish fishery and then depurated to remove the toxins they ingest.

There are trials using oyster shells in the construction industry for cement, replacement of limestone in neoprene manufacturing and as a garden fertiliser.

“There needs to be a market for them,” Slater said. “It will be prohibitively expensive to control them in any other way.”

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

Flaghoist – Jan 2022

 

Wembury

Sailing Club

Web site:                            www.wemburysailingclub.org.uk

Contact:                              wemburysailingclub@gmail.com

Dear WSC Sailors, boaters and kayakers

Happy New Year. We are all really looking forward to the next sailing, kayaking and fishing season.

Winter Training Opportunities. If you are planning on going afloat in 2022, please consider using the winter months to “up skill” and complete some training or courses with our local providers such as Plymouth Sailing School / SeaRegs or any of the organisations below. Now is a good time to complete VHF radio training, a marine engine course (diesel and outboard engine training), Sea survival (liferaft) training, pool kayak capsize training or any other RYA navigation training e.g. Day Skipper Theory courses. If you would like some advice and help, please do not hesitate to email me via the WSC email address above.

2021 WSC Donations made: This year WSC has donated a total of £ 1000, split between seven charities as follows.

 

PDSSA (Plymouth and Devon Schools Sailing Association) – will use the funds to support the PDSSA “Sailability” section by sponsoring sessions afloat for two young disabled sailors.

 

Plymouth Youth Sailing funds as this will enable 2 young people to have Junior stage 2 course and a year’s membership from next Easter.

 

Horizons Children Sailing Charity: Horizons Plymouth exists to create opportunities for disadvantaged and disabled young people to develop skills, confidence and self-esteem through water-based activities. Funds will support two young people to sail this year.

 

Island Trust / Ocean Discoverability project – will support one young person to sail on an “Ocean Discoverability” voyage.  Ocean Discoverability sails support young people from special needs schools and day centres in Plymouth, Devon, and Cornwall. Some with life-limiting conditions.

 

Sailing Tectona monies will sponsor a “block” with WSC marked on ir as part of their latest fund-raising program working with people in recovery from addiction. Tectona is currently at Millbrook and using folk who are in recovery to complete a major refit expecting to sail again next year. They have been also in 2021, using “Olga”, a Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter owned by Swansea Museum for recovery and young people voyages.

 

Ocean Youth Trust funds will support a young person from Dartmouth Academy. They are using voyages for their more disadvantaged students and people who are struggling for various reasons, and they are fundraising hard for a West Country voyage in July.

 

A further donation has been made to the RNLI to support their operations for which we are all extremely grateful for.

The sums that have been donated are simply a gesture to thank each of those organisations working with people in our area for all the wonderful work that they all do. Thank you. Each orgnaisation requires continuous support throughout the year both in terms of funding but also from volunteers to help in numerous ways. If you are able to help financially or as a volunteer, please do so. If you email WSC we can put you in touch.

Thank you so much to all the WSC members who have made these small donations possible. 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

 

 

Sailing with the Island Trust:

Sailing with PDSSA: Plymouth and Devon Schools Sailing Association

 

Servicing one of the many rigging blocks on Tectona:

Sailing with Ocean Youth Trust:

Plymouth Youth Sailing in Jennycliff:

Horizons Sailing:

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