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Commodore’s Letter November 2018

Dear Members,


The tragic, sudden passing of our Vice Commodore and past Commodore, James Raby has overshadowed 2018.  James was extremely influential in the running of the Club and leaves a legacy of a well-founded organisation.  However, his loss has left huge gaps, particularly in the IT support.  This has meant that there have been difficulties sending out emails to all members.  Our Communications team are working to rectify this, but I apologise to those who did not receive the mailings promptly.  Most of the key information is on the Club website, so I recommend that you keep a close eye on the postings there so that you don’t miss out.  There will be a Memorial Service for James in the New Year and we will endeavour to keep you informed of the details, once these are known.

The 2018 set of cruises were very successful.  We filled a total of 76 berth weeks and two of the cruises were in areas new to Penguin: Baltic Denmark and The Azores.  The former was expertly organised by James, who even arranged for some superb weather; the sunniest May on record in Denmark!  Over the two week cruise we circumnavigated the large island of Fyn and eventually got the hang of mooring in box berths; the ubiquitous type of mooring in non-tidal Scandinavian waters.  Simon Hamilton organised a magical week’s sailing in the Azores, where, again we were blessed with good weather, fine sailing and glimpses of the spectacular wild life including: whales, dolphins, turtles and sharks.   For the Easter cruise we had two new Penguin Skippers including 19 yr old Wallis James, who is a commercially endorsed yachtmaster, having spent her gap year as watch leader on a 70 ft sloop.  Needless to say she handled the boat exceptionally well and a good time was had by the crew.  Our other young ‘celebrity’ sailor Rosie Creber completed her two legs of the Clipper Round the World Ocean race and will be reporting back on her venture at the AGM.


For 2019, we have an equally exciting set of cruises comprising the usual Easter trip to Skye, a sail across the Irish Sea from Scotland to Northern Island in June, taking in a few distilleries on the way and in September we head West to the North Channel of Lake Huron for two weeks exploring the many islands and hopefully taking in the spectacular fall.


Moving on to 2020, which is Penguin’s 50th year, we plan a celebratory special cruise to Scotland, where we aim to take in some of the traditional Penguin Scottish haunts and experiences.  We are also looking to cruise the Western Canaries.  We have ideas for a third cruise, but if any member is especially keen on a particular venue, please let me have your ideas.


In recognition of the planned cruise to Lake Huron next year, we aim to give the AGM a ‘Western’ theme with line dancing and cowboy cuisine.  So, put on your lumberjack shirt, jeans, cowboy boots and Stetson and be there.  Yeehaw!!


Anchors Aweigh,




John Marriott

Club Commodore