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 NEWSLETTER 2018-01 (36)

2018 starts here!

Greetings, fellow Penguins - just recovering from the AGM and Ceilidh and thought it timely to report on findings/developments/scandals . . . . so read on (only 3 pages!)

Firstly, the AGM, once again Colwall Village Hall proved up to the task of accommodating some 65 Penguins - and 100 partaking of the excellent food on offer. As we opened the doors to local friends and the Whiffeldy band “groupies”, this boosted our takings to such an extent that it almost covered the entire cost of putting on the AGM!

Talking of costs - I should point out that the committee had recommended a small increase in annual subscriptions. - it was put to the meeting and carried by a large majority - the subs are going up from £7.50 to £10 (£20 joint / family) as from March 2018. It’s still excellent value and significantly less than other similar cruising organisations . . . (separate email to follow soon)

The AGM also saw the announcement of the retirement of our esteemed Commodore and Vice Commodore, James Raby and Julie Sienesi - who have both served on the committee for many many years and recently at the highest level for the best part of five years. We shall miss them very much as their experience and sympathetic handling of club affairs has stood us in good stead - our heartfelt thanks to them both for all their hard work. Our new Commodore, John Marriott, has managed to persuade James to continue to serve as Vice Commodore (especially with his IT skills). I’m sure we’ll have a seamless transfer of responsibilities!

The new Club Committee are now:
John Marriott - Club Commodore, James Raby - Vice Commodore
Ian Rose - Treasurer, Marian Keall - Secretary
Jane Fanshawe - Membership Secretary, Simon Morton - Newsletter Editor Charles Howell, Andrew Davey and Mark James
Jonty Pearce - Training Officer, Simon Hamilton (cruise organiser)

The 3 Club Awards this year were as follows: the Dodo (for ingenuity especially with knots and ropework) to Andy Davey for expert towing by yacht Palmizana with a piece of string in Croatia to ensure that Katarina safely followed the Commodorial gonads”. The Golden Gaffe goes to Mark James and the galley crew of Jan Mac who ignored a high pressure forecast warning and encountered a sticky cyclonic squall in the cabin (exploding chocolate pudding!). Finally the Spirit of Penguin Award went to Phil Biggin who recently celebrated his 80th birthday and has over 65 Cruises under his belt, travelling over 20,000 penguin nautical miles... a milestone member.

Hope you all enjoyed the presentations of our 2017 cruises - it seems that slides are not enough now - we need videos of our adventures . . . some hope!    

We were also delighted to welcome 15 new Penguins who sailed for the first time in 2017.

The presentation of our planned 2018 cruises explained that Easter - Isle of Skye,
The Azores and Denmark were all well on the way to recruiting sufficient crew to make them viable - the latest information is that there are a few (one or two) places left on the Danish cruise - only singles but James is running a reserve list if any couple wants to sign up . . . . don’t hesitate to enquire of the cruise organisers if there are any last minute vacancies appearing - you never know.

 The themed Burns Night Ceilidh was an inspired idea - thanks to all those that got into the swing  of things and piped the haggis in, addressed the “wee beasties” and dressed the part . . . and speared the haggis! Men in skirts! I spied at least four men in kilts during the evening, and you couldn’t miss John Bain - our MC for the evening - in his full dress attire. The food was traditional Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with plenty for everyone, and even a Scottish pudding - Cranachan for all to enjoy. Well done all for a brave effort at celebrating a (rather early) Burns night - especially the recital of a couple of the bard’s poems by authentic Scots - memorable!


The following day, the new Committee met as planned - but there was this strange white stuff on the roads and drive of Fossil Bluff - our meeting venue. We delayed the start of the meeting as some members had struggled to get there and we needed to clear the Fossil Bluff drive or we would never have been able to get out of the driveway. Ah the joys of winter! At least it was a familiar sight to Carol and Jonty, who returned to Colwall from the Antarctic that day! Eventually, the committee got down to business, and the theming of the AGM was considered a damn good idea - let’s do it again next year! Once we have got rid of some of the more whacky theme ideas, we’ll let you know our choice! We have already set the date - 19th January 2019 - same place same band - if it works - don’t change it ...

Indeed, when we checked our diaries for suitable dates next year - we realised that 2020 is our 50th Anniversary year - so thinking hats on to plan for a memorable year’s celebrations. A 2020 Gold Cruise! Please don’t hesitate to suggest any ideas you have as we need to ensure we mark the occasion appropriately! Our next committee meeting is October 13th - so any ideas or suggestions - most welcome.

However, 2019 cruises still have to be organised, and our initial thoughts were for Easter Scotland, Lake Huron and Ireland. I’m sure you have noted the trend for cruise organisers to be committee members of late - this should not put off any member stepping up to organise a cruise, there is something rather satisfying in being able to say “I organised that” as the presentations at the AGM are made - there is plenty of help available to make this task relatively easy!

 You remember Rosie Creber? She gave the most professional of presentations about this mad idea of joining the Clipper Challenge fleet for two legs - down the western seaboard of the States and back up the other side (via the Panama Canal) to New York, then across the Atlantic to UK. In helping to raise the £10K for this adventure, she ran the raffle at the AGM, making £200, and selling the dry bags is still to be making a profit, so if anybody fancies one (or more!) of these bags  (they’re highly recommended and great for putting wet stuff in - like swimmers or towels etc).

  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The committee agreed to offer “sponsorship” of £400 if she kept and published a blog of her adventure, and carried a Penguin Burgee to be photographed at some interesting ports of call in her circumnavigation of the USA.

Somehow, Pugwash has been roped in to participate in a sub-group to enhance our communications! Ably driven on by Charles Howell and the ladies of the committee and our IT Guru David Newman - we are looking to make the web-site more up to date and attractive - including articles on things like Penguin activities that require help (crew wanted!) or a For Sale and Wanted section - any other ideas that you might want to see c/o Penguins? What prompted the For Sale and Wantedidea was a recent contact from an ex-Penguin with some wet weather gear for sale . . .



Would suit someone who wants to try yacht cruising, but does not want to spend a lot of money on kit until they are sure it is an interest they want to pursue. 

 Hello: I am a former member of the Penguin Club. I no longer   use my oilskins and wondered if it would be 
possible to put an advert in the newsletter. They may suit someone who is new to yacht cruising and wants to try it out without spending a lot of money on oilskins. I have for sale a complete set of sailing gear. Musto Yachting jacket with fluorescent hood, lined zipped pockets for warmth, Velcro fastenings on cuffs. Musto Yachting Salopettes with full length front zip, Velcro fastenings on cuffs. Baltic 150 lifejacket with whistle, gas and manual inflation. XM Yachting Ltd. Safety Line with Carabina clip at each end. Approx 18 years old. Used (marks on seat and knees) but in very good condition. Size Small. Fits women's size 10-12, approx 5ft 5" height. OIRO £75.00.  I will donate 10% of the sale price to the Penguin Club.

Contact Rachel Hickley on 01531 650081 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

So, plenty of goings on and a call for ideas and help from the committee (the membership secretary and secretary both are getting snowed under and would be grateful for some help!) and talking of snowed under, we did escape from Fossil Bluff - but not until nearly 16:00Hrs when the rain had washed away most of the strange white stuff!!

Attention all Day Skippers!
Andy Davey attended a recent RYA Midlands Cruising Clubs meeting this week and an interesting proposal was made - The RYA are putting together a Skipper development programme, to take place this year, possibly as soon as April this year!

There will be 10 places . Each person nominated needs to have day skipper practical and theory, and will be offered a pre-course discussion with an instructor, then two weekends (Fri night - Sunday) in the Solent, with feedback provided and an individual development plan following assessment and discussion.

Funding for each place will be as follows:

£300 the individual

£100 from the club (Commodore thinks this will be OK!)

£800 - £1,000 from RYA

This sounds like a really good opportunity, and each club represented will get at least one place if they nominate.

So Commodore Marriott (commoodore(at) asking for any expressions of interest to be mailed to him toute-suite so we can nominate Penguins in the first instance.

Tight Halyards