The main event in June has been the South Coast cruise to Eastbourne.
Two boats made the trip, Genista, crewed by Tony & Sharon and Laird Tommy xx crewed by John and Geraldine with John’s cousin Wendy in attendance, fresh from a flight from Chile!
The cruise was due to start on Friday 16th June, but this clashed with a skittles evening at Weybridge Mariners . The clash was resolved by mooring at Shepperton on the Friday evening to allow the two crews to attend the skittles, along with Les and Margaret who attended by car. Weybridge Mariners put on a most enjoyable evening, as usual. The skittles match was actually between them and the Gaylard Skittlers. Albany joined with WMYC but to no avail as the event was won comprehensively by the Gaylard Skittlers.
The two boats cruising the South Coast set off at a civilised hour the next day in order for Laird Tommy to take on fuel at Shepperton Marina, aiming to arrive at Teddington Lock around midday. From there we cruised on to Richmond in time for free flow through the barrier in the early afternoon, followed by the run down through London and on to Chatham. This was a pleasant and unremarkable trip in good weather, arriving at Chatham in the early evening, where Sharon prepared a splendid meal for both crews aboard Ginista.
As John has already written a comprehensive report of the cruise, I refer readers to that for further details. Suffice to say it was a most enjoyable event, with just enough incidents to keep it memorable (Laird Tommy being towed back to Dover by the RNLI after an electrical gremlin stopped both engines and having to delay departure from Dover as sea fog descended and the castle and White Cliffs disappeared from view) The Commodore would like to record his thanks to all involved for their company and hard work. Hopefully we can get more boats involved next year.
The other event in the month was a visit to the Thames Small Boat Club 70th Anniversary celebration held at their clubhouse on Steven’s Ait, just below Kingston Bridge. Ginista and Laird Tommy made the short cruise down from PH on Saturday 8th July, timing our departure to avoid the thunderstorm that was forecast for lunchtime. The river was packed with paddle boarders, wild swimmers and small yachts, not to mention the Kingston Rowing Regatta which was in full swing as we passed through. This meant the trip of approximately 10NM took three and a half hours! We arrived at Steven’s Ait around 6pm where excellent moorings had been reserved for us. The event started at 7pm with a welcome drink (we managed to get a whole bottle of prosecco between the four of us) Tables were arranged beneath open marquees, and there was a large open grassed dance area. Fortunately, the evening weather was dry and balmy. The buffet consisted of a hog roast that had been cooking slowly all day. This was really excellent. We had a good chance to swap tales with officers from TSBC and also spent the evening on the same table as Kelvin, Commodore of MTYC. This proved useful as we were able to discuss details of the upcoming events with MTYC at West India Dock and their annual ball. We even manage a few dances to the DJ’s music whenever he played something we recognised! We departed sharp at 9am the next morning for a much less fraught trip back to PH. Many thanks to TSBC for their great organisation and best wishes to them for the next 70 years!