Newsletter of the East Anglian Sailing Trust
This is Issue 20 dated Autumn 2019
This is the text only version for visually impaired users who use a document reader.
There are no pictures in this version
Emergency Exercise with Harwich Lifeboats
For several years, EAST has had an Emergency Training Evening at the end of the season. This usually involves creating an emergency situation and then seeing how a Duty Instructor (with no prior knowledge of the crisis) copes. This has worked well and provides an opportunity for all volunteers to practice EAST’s Emergency Procedure.
2019 was different. After emails, phone calls and a meeting at Harwich with Neal Sandquest, the Harwich Coxswain, a plan was hatched. RNLI lent EAST their man over board dummy which EAST used for some realistic sailing Man Over Board exercises. The dummy was then recovered by the safety boat ‘EAST Support’ and was finally ‘rescued’ by the Harwich lifeboat.
The exercise involved not only the recovery of a casualty. The safety boat had an engine failure (previously planned) close to No1 Buoy. After a few minutes drifting in fading light, the lifeboat arrived accompanied by the RNLI inshore RIB. The casualty was transferred using a stretcher from EAST Support to the Lifeboat and then EAST Support was towed back to Levington.
By the time EAST Support was berthed, torchlight was required to finish off de-rigging.
After the exercise, Harwich Lifeboats emailed to say they had found the exercise very useful and asked if another exercise could be arranged in early 2020 - the answer was ‘Yes’ and EAST are looking forward to it.
A day sail to Harwich
In the summer of 2019 EAST continued its work with disabled and disadvantaged young people by providing sailing opportunities to local schools. In addition to EAST’s regular ‘Discovery’ programme, EAST included a sailing course with Broadlands Hall School which was concluded with a day sail to Harwich.
The day started with some basic planning then some sailing exercises in The Orwell and finally sailing to Ha’penny Pier.
The weather was wonderful and the students were able to enjoy a close up views of Felixstowe Docks, some enormous container ships and the moored lightships in the mouth of The River Stour.
After tying up the boats to mooring buoys in Bathside Bay, the students and staff were ferried across to the pier by EAST’s safety boats. After a picknick lunch on the pier, the return sail was in a convoy and after a debrief the students went home after a very successful day.
Many thanks to Trevor Williams in the VI section for his help and advice about finding available mooring buoys near to Ha’penny Pier.
National Squib East Coast Championships 2019
On Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May, 29 Squibs from at least 8 East coast clubs assembled off Dovercourt for the National Squib East Coast Championships hosted by Haven Ports Yacht Club. There were four races on the first day and three on the second, all started from an anchored committee boat. There were only short breaks between races, so all boats stayed on the water throughout the day.
EAST (who have a fleet of eight Squibs) had been asked to help in the championships and provided not only its two RIBs as support boats but use of the Waterside Centre on Friday afternoon, for competitor registration, and at break-of-day on Saturday and Sunday to provide breakfasts for the bleary eyed competitors.
For the RIBs and their crews, as well as the Squibers, this meant leaving the marina at about 08:00 on both race days. The RIBs escorted the Squibs sailing out to Dovercourt bay (a trip of about an hour under sail) and took out and laid course marks.
The race courses sailed were ‘windward/leeward’ from a start line laid at 90o to the wind direction. Since the wind direction changed from time to time throughout the day, it was necessary to relay the ‘pin’ buoy at the outer end of the start line and manoeuver the windward and leeward marks between races to ensure that the next race lasted an appropriate length of time and with a first leg directly up-wind. This work was carried out mainly by the EAST RIBs.
At the end of each racing day, racing marks had to be lifted and the Squibs escorted back to Suffolk Yacht Harbour. Both of EAST RIBs helped by towing boats up the river.
Many thanks to all from EAST who took part and particularly to Brian Quinton who not only served tea, coffee and cakes on the Friday afternoon but turned out at the crack of dawn to sell life-sustaining breakfast baps – with even an option of vegetarian sausage and bacon fillings!
EAST benefited from helping at the Championships not only by the experience and publicity gained but from the profits made on the sale of food and drink. Fuel for the RIBs was provided by the Championship organisers.
Thanks expressed at EAST AGM
“May I, on behalf of all those who are carers full time or otherwise, say an enormous thank you to all the volunteers, who give up their time and their energy affording disabled sailors the opportunity to enjoy themselves on the water and, for a short time, to forget their disability.
Whilst I can only speak for myself and my husband, these sailing afternoons are very much looked forward to, and whilst you may not be aware of the pleasure that it brings to those less able than yourselves I can assure you that your services are very much valued and appreciated.
I most sincerely thank you all for your kindness, patience and consideration in enabling these sessions to take place.”
Helen Davy (Rev)
I hope you all had plenty of opportunity to get out on the water again this year, both VI Cruising and Keelboat sections have had a busy time. Where did the 2019 Sailing Season go? It only seems a short time since our Spring Newsletter when we were all busy preparing and looking forward to the coming 2019 sailing season.
Both VI Cruising and Keelboat sections have had steady success in attracting new Sailors and Volunteers and have both put on additional sessions during 2019 to satisfy increased demand for our activities. However it is important that we continue to attract new members to ensure the future of our charity and accept that we do loose both Volunteers and Sailors over time due to natural factors such as age, re-location and changes in interest. So an active recruitment programme is a high priority for me and I am encouraged by the current enthusiasm and initiatives of the various groups of both VI Cruising and Keelboat Volunteers to push this agenda.
Details of various activities and events during the year are highlighted in other sections of this newsletter so I will not take up space repeating these, but just say a big Thank You to you all for your input in supporting the charity and bringing pleasure to our members.
As I write these comments, the maintenance season is already underway together with planning for another exciting year in 2020. The Keelboat fleet is out of the water. In addition your Trustees are looking at future longer term development and needs of the charity. One of our constant concerns is ensuring we have the funds available to continue our activities. Traditional sources of funding are now much harder to find due to the general economic situation in the UK, so the Trustees are looking at possible new opportunities such as co-operate sponsorship of events or fleet to assist with future funding.
Changes in the management structure are continuing, and volunteers are being encouraged to become more actively involved in the various responsibilities where appropriate to allow a more evenly spread workload. I am pleased to report that we have recently appointed two new Trustees, John Maxwell and Peter Hudson both existing committed members who bring additional enthusiasm and skills to the trustees.
You do not need me to tell you that Sailing gives a great deal of pleasure to those who participate, but also we recognise that Sailing carries risks and it is incumbent on all of us to ensure those risks are constantly assessed and measures put in place to minimise those risks. So I appeal to you all to consider how you can contribute to minimise the risks and ensure we can continue to operate our activities safely. Issues have recently been highlighted for both VI Cruising and Keelboat Sailing relating to wearing of Lifejackets and use of Seat Restraints, these issues are being investigated to see what changes and recommendations need to be made (if any) in time for the 2020 season.
Finally, just to remind you that this Newsletter is currently published twice each year, however our new Website is dynamic and is constantly updated with new features to provide constant information to members, so do make use of it, a lot of work goes into making the information available and contributions and suggestions are always welcomed.
Meet the new Trustees
Apart from windsurfing and crewing on friends’ boats, EAST was my real introduction to sailing.
After joining in 2008 and signing up to every course available, I became a senior instructor with EAST in 2014. I have been on the Keelboat Committee for the last six years as volunteer representative.
I hope to continue to be active member of the keelboat team and to contribute to fundraising and any other areas where I can help.
I joined EAST in 2011 and have for several years been responsible with Mike Peacey for the maintenance of the Keelboat fleet. I also sail with the Cruising Section, both as a skipper (particularly when I had my own cruising yacht) and as crew.
I have sailed since I was about five years old – dinghies, catamarans and yachts – both cruising and racing. I now own a Squib that I race from Suffolk Yacht Harbour.
My working life background is maritime, initially as a deck officer in the Merchant Navy and then as a marine surveyor investigating shipping casualties around the world. Life is quieter now but boats and sailing still occupy a substantial part of my life.
VIP Summer Cruise to Ramsgate
On Saturday 7th September 10 VIPs (being visually impaired persons as well as very important people) set out for Ramsgate in nine cruising yachts with 30 able bodied crew. The cruise had started with an evening meal on board the boats on the Friday evening followed by a welcome gathering in the Waterside Centre and a pudding feast prepared by Dot Marsden.
Saturday was bright and sunny and, with a wind abaft the beam, the fleet set of for Brightlingsea. As the day progressed, the wind strength built and, by the time of the turn into the wind up the River Colne, 30 knots over the deck was experienced. The wimps downed sails and motored while the usual suspects tacked all the way to the fairway buoy. One boat made the understandable mistake of thinking the starboard hand channel buoy in the inner harbour marked the starboard side of the channel (it doesn’t) and had to be helped off the mud bank by the harbour master’s launch acting as a tug.
Saturday evening involved a ‘Safari Supper’ – with crews being entertained on any boat but their own and changing boats between courses. This is a format enjoyed by all (except possibly the cooks!) as it allows the VIPs to get to know those on the cruise other than on their own boats.
From Brighlingsea – another downwind passage on Sunday in gentle breezes to Queenborough where the fleet moored alongside the all-tide pontoon. The following morning – after a night in the flesh pots of the town for some – dawned grey and miserable with the heavens open and rain pouring down. The original plan had been to leave for Ramsgate, but the weather outlook was such that it was decided to postpone departure until the following day. A few boats decided to brave the rain and went for a day-sail in the River Medway – while others stayed where they were with the crews either taking their ease or travelling by train and bus (a new experience for at least one person) to visit the nearby Chatham Maritime Museum.
Sailing resumed on Tuesday with another mainly downwind passage along the North Kent coast in bright sunshine and light wind to Ramsgate. The more daring took the inshore passage via the Copperas, Gore and South Channels while rest took the longer offshore route via the Queens Channel. All arrived safely in the spacious Ramsgate Harbour by late afternoon – one after a stoppage due to engine cooling alarums.
On Tuesday evening we were entertained to dinner at the historic Royal Temple Yacht Club – located up on the Ramsgate heights with a grand view of the harbour – having the exclusive use of their magnificent dining room and being entertained to a sea shanty recital by our own Trevor and Anne Williams. Much confusion was created by having the male members of the party change seats after the first course but all enjoyed the evening.
Wednesday was an innovation for our late summer cruise – a lay day. This was timed to coincide with some very strong winds although this did not stop one boat with a crew of hardy souls venturing out into the Downs for a short sail in the morning. Others enjoyed exploring the town, experiencing the all-day breakfast at Weatherspoons, exploring the Ramsgate Tunnels and generally chilling out.
Thursday provided an enervating and interesting sail north to Shotley across the sands of the Thames Estuary through Fisherman’s Gat, the SW Sunk Swatchway and Swin Spitway – again with a following wind. Reefs went in, were shaken in and out but the wind remained favourable almost all the way.
During the passage up the Kings Channel (the stretch of water between the Sunk Sand to the East and the Gunfleet Sand to the West, one boat was seen to be getting very close to the Gunfleet – indeed it appeared to those watching on AIS (vessel automatic identification system) that she was on the sands. A rapid alteration of course prevented disaster!
In the end, a fast passage was made by all but one boat that decided to take the long way round outside the Cork Sands(!) All arrived at Shotley in good order and in time for a flute recital in the Shipwreck by Natalie Wright, one of our VIPs, followed by a quiz.
The last day of the cruise was occupied by free sailing in the Orwell/Stour rivers and ended with a grand dinner aboard the Lightship at Suffolk Yacht Harbour where we were entertained to rapturous applause in a sing-song led by the wonderful Woodbridge Cruising Club ukulele band.
100 Club Update
38 members have signed up to join the 100 club, each contributing £5 per month, split half to a prize fund and half to EAST’s coffers. This has raised a total of £850 up to the end of September.
Mind you, there is still plenty of space for new members to give support our efforts and grow this amount even faster! Full details are on the website – or contact by email email@example.com.
Ode to Maintenance
All the boats are now ashore.
The long light evenings start to withdraw.
But if we are to sail away.
Once dawn breaks earlier in the day
Knuckle down we must.
To rid the fleet of dirt and rust.
To varnish wood, to prime and paint.
To check the sails and wash without restraint.
The ropes and lines on which we haul.
When winds are blowing in a squall.
So all you volunteers from EAST.
Take a moment out at least.
Do not sit at home and shirk.
Come and help us do this work.
Come and help us fix that leak.
It’s fun to get together once a week.
Your Feedback Welcomed
This version of Points EAST is produced for visually impaired members who use a document reader. Are you such a user? If so, does the document in this form meet your requirements? Your views are welcomed. You can email me at
Bill Price Editor
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