Newsletter of the East Anglian Sailing Trust
This is Issue 23 dated Spring 2021
This is the text only version for visually impaired users who use a document reader.
There are no pictures in this version
Tempo rises as lockdown eases
It’s been a period of hustle and bustle down at the Waterside Centre as volunteers and maintenance crews get ready for the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in a few weeks’ time.
Both keelboat and VI cruising sections have been busy working out ways to safely return to sailing activities from our Suffolk Yacht Harbour HQ. Initially, a cautious approach is being taken as the virus is still out there and we must ensure that any activity is undertaken in a safe manner and in accordance with Government and RYA guidance.
Both programmes will be limited compared with the previous level of activity but it is hoped that some form of normality can return.
Keelboat sailing is expected to start in early May, four Sonars have been launched and are currently being made ready to accept our disabled sailors. Existing sailors and volunteers are being contacted to make them aware of the new safety procedures being introduced.
The VI cruising committee is planning a reduced programme of short and longer coastal cruises starting
in June, so long as the Covid recovery roadmap date for the total lifting of restrictions takes place on June 21. The committee is discussing with skippers the possibility of running taster sailing sessions for prospective new VI sailors.
Safe procedures will be applied to any use of
our Waterside Community Centre; initially there will be no regular galley service but it is hoped to gradually re- introduce this providing the roadmap proceeds as planned.
Hopefully we are looking forward to a summer of EAST activities on the water and to welcoming all our sailors and volunteers back on the water in a safe and enjoyable way.
Win super prizes in our summer competitions
Calling all you happy snappers
You can win some tip- top prizes in our summer photographic competition. For details of how to enter turn to the back page...
Shout out for the poets
Put pen to paper and let your imagination take off. For details of how to enter our poetry competition
and win prizes, turn to the back page...
What a year, we’d rather forget!
By Mary Raspin, Chairperson Keelboat Committee
Three sonars were put into the water by the marina staff in July. The boats were in excellent condition due to the bosun’s team who had worked all through the winter and spring not only on our original sonars but also on our two new sonars which were purchased late in 2019.
With advice from the RYA and our risk assessments completed we could resume some activities in late July. A plan was formed to use the summer to concentrate on training our volunteers. Saturdays became the official RYA course training day when specific people were invited to complete their Level 2, skipper training and an assistant instructor’s course. On Tuesdays there was a general invitation to all volunteers to sail with an emphasis on improving their sailing skills. Unfortunately, we felt that with the coronavirus restrictions we could not safely invite our disabled sailors to join us on the water.
The maintenance team continued to work all through the summer concentrating on the two new sonars adapting them for our disabled sailors. Maintenance this winter has also been ongoing with restrictions on volunteer numbers. We are hoping to get four sonars in the water for the coming season.
A volunteer working group has been in contact with our sailors and volunteers to discuss the present restrictions and our hopes for the future. There are also plans for this coming summer but as the situation can change suddenly, we may have to delay our sailing or hopefully be ready to go!
We will have restrictions due to social distancing but whatever the problems our intention is to get on the water somehow and we want to have our disabled sailors on the water with us.
VI skippers take optimist view of getting afloat
The EAST cruising committee is planning to run its first VI cruise a week after the government lifts all Covid-19 restrictions on travel and gathering on June 21.
A recent Zoom meeting of participating skippers was told that the originally planned early June cruise had been cancelled but the proposed event from June 25 to June 28 would still go ahead, assuming the government didn’t delay the final stage four lifting of restrictions.
There was considerable discussion among the skippers about the safety levels required to hold the event. Despite a return to total freedom a few days before the cruise, it was generally felt that with the virus now an integral part of life, some form of risk management was required to ensure the safety of all participants. It was generally agreed that where crews (and skippers) had received two jabs they were OK to attend; where they had received only one jab then a negative test prior to arrival would be required.
Several skippers raised concerns over the committee’s proposal to ban crews from different families sleeping in the same cabins. Apart from one three cabin boat which could meet this rule no other boats in the fleet can do so.
The meeting agreed that while VI guests would have single cabins, support crews would have to mix; ventilation throughout the boat would have to be stepped up, even by the introduction of fans if necessary. Masks would have to be worn below. Any social activity would have to be out in the open air and social distancing observed between boat bubbles.
Plans are being laid for the annual long cruise starting on September 4 and finishing on September 11.
The Cruising Committee takes stock
Report by Simon Daws, Chairman VI Cruising Committee
The Cruising Committee has been working hard over the winter months keeping a watchful eye on the evolving pandemic and has tried to make plans for 2021 accordingly.
The goalposts are forever moving with new strains of the virus arising and new lockdowns and restrictions being put on us. We have therefore been attempting to pencil in dates for cruising activities this year, as well as protecting everybody by producing a risk assessment document.
We had initially set aside dates for two cruises in May 2021 and a late Summer cruise for early September 2021 but due to the current strain of the virus being
so prolific and the fact that many of us are awaiting vaccination; the committee has decided to move the proposed May dates into June, to try and provide as big a window as possible for us to get over this COVID spike and for vaccinations to take place.
Our original Taster Cruise starting on June 4 has been cancelled, the following dates are:
Three-day Cruise June 25 – June 28, 2021 (3 nights)
Late Summer Cruise September 3 – September 10 (8 nights) – unchanged.
Both cruises will be subject to Government instruction and restrictions, if applicable, which potentially means cancellation.
Additionally, the Cruising Committee has agreed that any crew member or skipper that has not received at least one COVID-19 vaccination and can evidence it by production of their vaccination record, will not be able to take part. Your vaccination should have been received at least 21 days prior to the commencement of the cruise, so that we can ensure that immunity has been built up.
This has been put in place to protect the health of all participants in VI sailing, skippers, and crew alike, as the nature of the cruising experience means that we are living cheek by jowl with each other. This may mean of course that some members will be unable to join a cruise. For this we are sorry, but the Cruising Committee feels that this requirement should not and cannot be relaxed for public health reasons.
We sincerely hope that we will be able to offer cruising activities in 2021, so fingers crossed!
Fund raising run keeps EAST on track
Despite being a tough year economically, EAST is financially sound. However, the loss of sailing income has made a dent in day-today operating finances especially
as fixed overheads haven’t eased. So, with the easing of lockdown gathering pace, new fundraising efforts are being explored.
Our President’s grandson, Zach Bacon is competing in the Brighton Marathon on September 12, to raise funds for the Charity. He chose EAST as his nominated charity following a visit to the Waterside Centre with his fiancé: “When Pat and Bill gave us a tour of the EAST Centre we realised how impressive the organisation was and how far it had developed from the annual East Coast cruise. So, when it came to deciding my preferred charity to run for, I knew it had to be EAST.”
We wish Zach success and will be following his progress. If you want to see how he’s doing you can follow him on www.strava.com/athetes/39836637 . You can donate via his online fundraising page at https://www. justgiving.com/fundraising/zach-tries-to-run-a-long- distance-in-one-go .
Brendan’s stunning legacy to EAST
Brendan Chandler, one of our most accomplished and popular VI Skippers died in December last year after a short illness. Brendan generously offered to gift his Beneteau 37, Sleepy Shores, to EAST so that she could continue to be used by our visually impaired sailors.
Sadly, it was felt that it was not financially or practically viable to take on the ownership of the boat. Brendan accepted this with great understanding and instead asked that the boat be sold, and the proceeds donated to the Trust. With the help of his executor, Pat Chandler, that is happening.
Brendan was a genuine action man with a passion for life. Born in County Cork in 1947 into a sailing family of four youngsters, his interests were wide and varied.
He loved hillwalking and mountain climbing, canoeing, cycling, skiing, and was a strong swimmer who spent many years scuba diving especially on wrecks; he also had a passion for running, competing in the London marathon in both 1980 and 1981
But his greatest love was always sailing. His purchase of Sleepy Shores, a Beneteau 37 yacht, changed his life. His passages got ever longer; from trips to Scotland, Ireland, the Channel Islands, France, and
the Netherlands to dreams of crossing the Atlantic. He prepared intensively, passed his Ocean Yachtmaster exam, and took an intensive ship captain’s medical course.
He was always calm, well prepared, and never made a drama of anything, including his painful illness.
Brendan’s varied working life matched his activities, starting as a Lloyds insurance broker/manager, he became a self-employed software designer for insurance clients, a yacht delivery skipper and finally a Buddhist chaplain with a passion for painting; mainly seascapes and waves – all with great flair. His beloved German Shepherd, Alfie, was pressed into service as a pet therapy dog, accompanying Brendan to St. Elizabeth’s Hospice where he was a Buddhist chaplain.
Brendan’s last voyage took place on March 20 this year on Sleepy Shores from Suffolk Yacht Harbour to Ipswich during which passage his ashes were scattered by his friends on the waters he loved.
Judith goes upskilling on the Sonars
Covid well and truly got the better of us in 2020 but we are fighting back big time in 2021, writes Judith Hedges.
It was sad beyond words that we had to cancel all the usual keelboat sessions and the VI cruises. It was agreed though that there was an opportunity to organise some keel boat volunteer training sessions in the interval between the lockdowns.
With just two volunteers in each Sonar instead of the normal five or six people we could keep to the government guidelines, do some serious training and upskilling, and of course have a lot of fun.
It seemed all wrong to be out on the water without all EAST sailors, but social distancing would have been impossible with more than two people in a Sonar.
Sessions composed of rigging the boats, tacking, gybing, sailing upwind and downwind, reaching, sailing triangular courses, sailing backwards, sail trimming, picking up a buoy, picking up a man over board, learning the rules for avoiding collisions, going alongside the rib, reefing on the water, heaving to, rudderless sailing, playing follow my leader behind the rib and of course we practised sailing in and out of the marina entrance.
One of the highlights for me was the mini race training, competition was stiff between Dorsal, Echo and Mirage. We were instructed in the basics of choosing the favourable end of the start line, counting down the time to the start, how to make sure we did not go over the line before the start and of course the all-important rule of ‘starboard’.
With the possibility of having more Sonars on the water in 2021 any racing could be very exciting but still with fun being the overall focus.
News in Brief
Peter’s got a brand new video
EAST’s volunteer co-ordinator, Peter Hudson has produced a new promo-video which is a must see for
all volunteers and clients. You can view it via the EAST website at https://www.east-anglian-sailing-trust.org.uk/ post/new-east-promo-video-online-now or on You Tube. The four minute video introduces us to a number of key characters who help run EAST, the roles they play and what is on offer to help disabled people get afloat.
EAST 100 CLUB
Winners of the March draw of the EAST 100 Club were: First, Simon Daws. Second, Colin Williamson. Third, Ian Jewry. Congratulations.
Garth Cooper is the new editor of PointsEAST and the Trust’s publicity officer. A long-time member of EAST, he has sailed with the VI Cruising section as both crew and skipper. He recently sold his well-known classic yacht Ngaire and replaced her with a Contest 33, Morven (Gaelic for high peak), as being better suited to helping get blind and visually-impaired people afloat. His association with disabled sailing goes back to 2000 when he joined the RYA’s Eastern Region as publicity officer. He writes pilot books, gives talks and farms in Norfolk, he was editor of Anglia Afloat, worked on Sailing Today and spent a lifetime broadcasting for the BBC.
Anne’s tied up in knots
Poetry competition judge, Anne Williams penned this witty ditty about preparing to go sailing with the VI Cruise:
Lockdown is ending,
We soon will be free. I’m dreaming of sailing Again on the sea.
Of crewing once more On an EAST skipper’s yacht, Of meeting my mates - That wonderful lot!
One thing concerns me - I want to do well, But after two years I’m as rusty as hell!
I’m dreaming, I’m dreaming, I’m dreaming of knots, The ones we all need When crewing on yachts.
There is no controllin’ My muddled old bowline, My reef knot has Turned to a Granny! My tangled clove hitch Is truly bewitched.
It really is very uncanny!
My figure of eight
Has met the same fate.
The ropes are all over the deck! My round turn is square,
My sheep shank’s not there, And the skipper’s a gibbering wreck!
So now as this lockdown Comes to an end,
I’m practising knots day and night, So when I set foot
Aboard an EAST yacht
My skipper will smile with delight!
Come on get rhyming! Great prizes to be won in our new poetry competition. See page 6 on how to enter.
It’s competition time
Send us your pictures and poems to win some super prizes
To enter our grand summer photographic competition simply send your pictures to Points EAST Editor Garth Cooper by email to firstname.lastname@example.org . You can take your pictures on a camera, a smart ‘phone or tablet.
Pictures should ideally have a connection to the water and activity on it or near it. Waterside wildlife, sunsets, sunrises, groups of happy EASTies having fun.
Send in your pictures at as high a resolution as possible (300 dpi is best). Closing date for entries is October 1, 2021.
The very best picture chosen by the judges will win £50; the second prize is £30 and the third prize £20.
Are you a poet, but don’t know it? Why not have a crack at penning a few verses to share with us. They could be on any subject that tickles your fancy.
Our resident poet Anne Williams penned a few verses to express her frustration with forgetting how to tie the knots so essential to the safe running of a yacht (see page 3). Anne regularly writes a verse or two to have us in stitches at the final dinner of our VI Cruises; and she’s agreed to act as chief judge in our poetry competition.
The winner will receive £50 and the runner-up £25 to spend on whatever they like.
Closing date for entries is October 1, 2021. In both competitions the judge’s decision is final.
You have reached the end of this edition. We hope you enjoyed it and found informative.