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Dear fellow Penguins

It amazes me that another year has flashed past; as I write the evenings are still light, and 11 weeks remain to Christmas. However I am aware that by the time you get this, the clocks will have changed, and the night skies will be more lit by fireworks than by the evening sun. But rather than preparing for hibernation, let us briefly celebrate out successful 2011 season and look forwards to the nautical delights that 2012 heralds.

I’m happy to report a settled and successful season with three cruises returning full of smiling faces, happy memories and weathered faces, though whether by sun or wind depends on the trip! Our first cruise, as always, was to Scotland, under the Commodoreship of Simon Walker who ably circumnavigated Skye. One of our most experienced sailors, the tales I have heard of his racing tuition involving running the genoa clue round the foredeck when tacking bring Easter sailing expectations to a new high. Simon Hamilton kindly organised this cruise – my thanks to both.

I organised and Commodored our second cruise, now relabeled ‘The St Kilda Achievement’. Despite a 24 hour motor to St Kilda to get there against a headwind and before a threatening Atlantic front, we managed a fair amount of sailing that included two nights on St Kilda and one anchored in The Shiants, as well as visiting stops both old and new.

Finally Mike Webb organised a two week Aegean cruise Commodored by Lyn Ballard that only ended on the 30th of September. A brief report is that all went well, though I look forwards to hearing all about both this cruise and the others at the AGM. My thanks also go to Mike and Lyn.

You will find in this pack details of the Easter Cruise from Dunstaffnage, a two week cruise in smaller boats to Brittany, a more family orientated visit to the Stockholm Archipelago, and a twin week Western Ireland Cruise at the end of August. My thanks to the four organisers – Ian Rose, Lyn Ballard, Jonathan Walton, and Graham Room – the cruises are all their own ideas, and all sound tempting!

Finally, do please make an effort to come to the AGM and Ceilidh – apart from having much to discuss and many old friends to meet, we are again arranging a barrel of ale, fine food, good (quiet) music and again a sailing ‘forum’!

See you in January!