Penguin Merchandise

    Penguin Goodies

Branded Merchandise


   Proud Penguins

     click here

 Facebook Page


Facebook Group
(Members Only)


RYA Club Affiliation
Number: 008110946

As I sit by my blazing log fire with the heat baking my toes I gaze out of the window at the snow falling gently. They say that the 21st of January is the year’s most miserable month, but I must admit having a glass of Laphroaig in your hand puts a rosier glow on the season. However, the Fickle Finger of Fate (3F) is sure to send a huge cold dump that will shrivel my rosy outlook…

I’m delighted to report another successful AGM and Ceilidh – the formula is still working well, and our thanks go to all who help organise and cater for it. The AGM was very well attended where we heard about all the 2014 cruises before having 2015’s wares spread before us. Easter Scotland is nearly full, though I believe an experienced hand/commodore would not be unwelcome, while Maine is nominally full, though there is no reserve list yet. Between these comes the Channel Islands/N Brittany, and this is the cruise that is not yet replete – for more details see Simon Morton’s piece below. For details on all, follow the link to Cruises 2015


Channel Islands "Gourmet" Cruise – from Simon Morton.

Greetings fellow Penguins. Following valuable feedback from the AGM last Saturday (thanks Peggy!) it appears that some Penguins are holding back from committing to this cruise as the word "gourmet" is usually closely associated with "bl**dy expensive"!

Let me assure you - we are also not made of money and the thinking behind the naming of the cruise as "gourmet" was to appeal those of us that love good food and want to take advantage of the French (and Channel Island) offerings - oh and the wine! - you don't take food to France - you buy it there at the markets and concoct your own gourmet suppers! We plan to victual up the boats with basics for breakfast (although we will visit the boulangeries for the obligatory croissants and French sticks!) and drinks to keep us going until we reach suitable shops/markets to get the really fresh produce for meals onboard.

For those that do want a meal out - I have many recommendations for each of the ports we visit - but it is not obligatory for you to eat out at all - we will  cater in true Penguin fashion on board for most, if not all, nights!

Another obstacle would seem to be the date and length of time - 2 whole weeks away is something of a challenge for many "wage slave" penguins or families - so - we have come up with three options:

1. Come for a week - week 1 - join us at Plymouth on 19th June, cross the channel during the daylight hours (there are a lot at that time of year!) - cruise the Channel Islands, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, Jersey, as time permits and on Friday 26th June - we'll be at St Helier, Jersey, where you can catch a short flight back to Exeter/Birmingham - or catch the Condor ferry back to Poole or Portsmouth.

2. Come for a week - week 2 - either fly over to Jersey from Birmingham/Exeter (or even Bristol there are limited flights) or ferry from Poole or Portsmouth on Friday 26th June, catch the £1.80 bus from Jersey airport to St Helier, and join us for the 2nd week, setting off for the North Brittany "Pink Granite" coast (day sailing!) St Quay Portrieux, Paimpol, Lezardtireux, Treguier, as time permits and on Thursday 2nd July, set off cross channel for Plymouth - a night crossing to be back in Plymouth for Friday 3rd at a sensible time to travel home.

3. Don't fancy the cross channel bit? Flybe from Birmingham/Exeter or Condor fast ferry from Poole to Guernsey for Sunday 21st June - we will meet you there with the flotilla at St Peter Port, then day sailing around the Channel Islands (Jersey for Friday 26th June - see above) and off to the North Brittany coast until Wednesday night/Thursday morning (2nd July) - back at Guernsey for your return flight or ferry to the mainland.

If any of this persuades you to join us - get that application from Cruises 2015 to John Marriott ASAP - we have several spaces to fill!

Tight Halyards - Simon Morton (aka Captain Pugwash)

So, get those applications racing in – the ‘Mor(e)ton the merrier! Groan. Sip of Laphroaig. That’s better.


Other matters of interest from the morning Committee meeting following the Ceilidh included the cruise options for 2016. Julie Ward has yet again offered to organise (and, this time, attend) the Easter Scotland cruise from Armadale. We are investigating a Mediterranean option - ? Levkas, ? Turkey, ? Croatia. Ian Thomas tempted us with a tall ship option for Holland and the Frisian Islands, and there are possible rumblings of trying an inland ‘Narrow Boat’ cruise. I’m going to talk to Pete Evans who is launching his day trip narrow boat ‘Badger’ on Saturday in Gloucester Docks, so will see if I can influence him to arrange a ‘Bearly Afloat’ cruise. For those not in the know, Badger always sails with a harem of Teddy Bears.


The club remains healthy – Jane Fanshawe’s membership toil rolls on, and we have 650 people on the database, though ‘only’ 400 of those are current members. 380 of these pay subs – there are some ‘ordinary non-members’ with whom we are in contact and send an electronic mailing, but who do not pay the fee. We are trying to promote Direct Debit – over 60 are set up with another 20 in progress, while 110 pay by SO and 20 by cash or cheque. These sums do not add up as many subs are for families or group members. Jane’s Spring Clean has found 25 retired Penguins – this is a one-off, and is offset by the 22 new members over the last 2 years. Well done Jane – and keep up the good work.

For your diaries, next year’s AGM will be on Saturday 16th January 2016. Ink it in now!


And finally, Marian sends us this:

You probably know that Will Copestake (son of Paul and Kate and my godson) spent a year (May 2013-14) kayaking around the coast of Scotland followed by climbing all 282 Munros and cycling in between, taking 1 day less than a year.  He has been short-listed in 2 categories of the National Adventure Awards (for Physical Endeavour and for the main Award itself) – these are being decided by a panel of judges.  There is a final award which is decided by public vote – which opened today – link below –and it would be great if Penguins could be encouraged to take a look and hopefully vote for Will.  Dick and I are going with Kate and Paul to the award ceremony in Glasgow in March and will be cheering Will on (in his absence, since he is currently kayak-guiding in Patagonia!)

It only takes a click – go for it and support our very own pint sized superhero! So now, as I look out of my window at the deepening snow and console myself with another sip, it is hard to reflect that the dark days of winter drawing out and that the daffodils will follow the garden’s snowdrops. Look forwards to those sunny days afloat and book your place now!


Wishing you warm toes and a whisky fed inner glow