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Number: 008110946

Time for a newsletter methinks - prompted by your august committee and reports filtering back from our first cruise of 2016.

Some 22 Penguins made the journey up to the wonderful Island of Skye for our customary Easter cruise. Julie had organised some four yachts to charter and coerced commodore, skippers and someone “high up” to provide a truly memorable week in the Hebrides.

The weather was fabulous - champagne sailing - no rain (some hail and snow - as it was April in the far North of Scotland!) - the fleet managed to reach Loch Maddy in the Outer Hebrides as the furthermost point North (North Uist) and enjoyed stunning scenery (Loch Skavaig to name one location). Winds were mainly North-Easterly F4-7.

The yachts managed to raft up in Loch Hourn on the penultimate night for a Burn’s Night supper and virtuoso guitar serenades - courtesy of one of Julie’s sponsored crew - Josh. Last night was spent in windy Mallaig (new marina - whose showers only opened on the day after the Penguins left!) where all crew went to the Chlachain Inn and managed to scoff the pub’s entire supply of scallops!

It was not all “plain sailing” however - one yacht (who shall remain nameless) was known as the plague ship - 4 out of the 5 crew succumbing to a nasty stomach bug that took a good 24 hours to clear . . .

The inevitable challenges of sailing were overcome whilst enjoying some 260 nautical miles of travel: anchor winch failure, throttle controls going faulty, roller reefing of a genoa jamming and a few sundry items “leaping overboard” all by themselves!

Some of the crew’s comments:

“The day out of Canna was the best day of sailing that I have ever had.”

“My first outing to the Western Isles was certainly one to remember.”

"Many thanks for such a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable week aboard with you all, visiting magical places and seemingly always with the majestic backdrop of the Cuillins"

“Just the best adventure! What a fantastic week - so many contrasts and the full majesty of mother nature all in a few days!”

Hopefully, we can post some photos on the web-site - to make you really jealous ...

Whilst on the subject of planned cruises - here are some details of forthcoming adventures:

Holland 2016 (19 Aug to 2 Sep): We have booked two yachts for week 1 and three yachts for week 2. All the available berths are now filled but, with over three months to go, the organiser, Ian Rose, will be happy to hear from anyone who may wish to join the reserves for either or both weeks. Please contact Ian (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 01380 721262; 07779 387006) if you would like more info or wish to discuss.

Shetland 2017: The club proposes a cruise of the Shetland Isles over the two- week period 27 May to 10 June (Saturday - Saturday). We propose to charter two yachts - one from Shetland Yachting ( and one from Sail Orkney ( The latter could be delivered to and returned from Lerwick for us. There are several options for the itinerary some of which could include the Fair Isle and the passage between Shetland and Orkney and some could accommodate a crew change mid-cruise (3 June) in Shetland, not necessarily at Lerwick. A provisional estimate of the cruise fee is that it would be just within £500/berth/week including provisioning. To give us the confidence to book the yachts now, expressions of interest would be much appreciated by 15 May 2016, please, with an indication of whether your interest is for both weeks or just one. Applications for the cruise would follow the normal procedure. Please contact Ian Rose (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 01380 721262; 07779 387006) if interested.

On another note, in response to some prodding after Penguins were represented at an RYA conference last year, contact was made with other cruising clubs and an item of interest came up regarding training. Our colleagues in the Heart of England Offshore Cruising Association came up with a tame RYA Instructor - Keith Harding of “Reach 4 The Wind” is the man - and he is running the following:

1. Boat Handling - Practical weekend course, from Southampton Ocean Village Dates - Friday 6th - Sunday 8th May Cost - £200.00 per person (max 6)

2. Spinnaker Training weekend, from Southampton or Port Solent, to be confirmed Dates - Friday 20th May - Sunday 22nd May Cost £200.00 per person.

Please contact Nina Wilson, to reserve a place or for further information - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 07812 334823.

Keith also runs the formal one day courses on First Aid, Radio Operators Licence and all the Competent Crew/Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper courses - so we will keep Nina in contact to let us know when such courses are available.  

Now, one for all you would-be racers - a not-to-be-repeated offer - 2 places available on a Sunsail (Sunfast 40) yacht entered in this year’s Round the Island race. HOEOCA strike again!

One of their number had a rush of blood to the head and chartered the yacht - with entry and race insurance included - 1st to 3rd July - Indicative cost £385 per person (plus £32.50 for non members of HOEOCA)

Go on - you know you want to . . . based on 10 - 8 on the boat - 2 onshore accommodation INCLUDES Sunsail F40 Charter From 0900 Friday to 1700 Sunday

Accommodation on board, 2 per cabin

Breakfasts and Lunches on Board

Two Nights berthing in Cowes Yacht Haven

Race Entry

Bar-B-Q and Prize giving -

Polo Shirt


Evening Meals, boat kitty

EXCLUDES- Insurance excess liability

The organiser is:

Chris Blackburn

DDI: 0121 332 2121

Tel: 0121 356 1441

Fax: 0121 356 7880

Mob: 07799 343984

E-mail: chris"at"

I’ll try to release newsletters after each cruise this year - also after the committee have met in September and we have details of 2017’s cruises on offer - meanwhile - this is Captain Pugwash signing off - international man of mystery

Best Wishes