Royal Welsh Yacht Club Bulletin – February 2014

What’s on in February


You can be sure of a warm welcome at Porth yr Aur

  • Monday 3 Acoustic music night – another of Neil and Meg’s informal jamming sessions. Come and play or just enjoy.
  • Friday 7 Quiz night – will Malcolm’s questions be any easier this time? Perhaps not, but expect some lively discussion when he delivers the answers.
  • Saturday 8 Ireland vs Wales on the Big Screen at 1400. Can Wales repeat last week’s success? Bacon butties at half time.
  • Thai Dinner – £10.00 per head. Details to follow
  • Friday 21 Porth Dinllaen Lifeboat – an account by an RNLI lifeboatman of some of his more hairy shouts.
  • Saturday 22 Quiz night
  • Friday 28 Talk – subject to confirmation, details to follow. If it goes ahead, it will be no less than the sixth presentation of 2014.

Keep an eye on the social noticeboard and Andrea’s Hon. Secretary’s Monday emails for further details of these and other events.

Recent events

Capture2Our Steward, Les, has been unwell for some time now, and I am sure you will join me in wishing him a speedy recovery. The bar has been manned (to use that well-known gender-neutral term) by a team of volunteers under the keen eye of our Rear Commodore Sarah Roberts. In the circumstances, you might think that January would have been an, er, quiet month in the Club, but you would be wrong. Under the stern and energetic leadership of Commodore Brian Roberts the Clubhouse at Porth yr Aur has earned its keep and kept many members entertained, fed and watered!

Borsch à la 911S

Borsch à la 911S

Sarah Roberts writes: The Home cooked Food miles evening was a hard fought competition between two contestants. Where to source ingredients sourced as locally as possible proved a challenge when the onion Brian picked up in Hootons [a fresh produce farm shop on Anglesey, barely three miles as the crow flies] was identified as Dutch. Although his brie came from Camarthen the milk I used was Welsh but bottled in Tewksbury. By leaving out the offending onion he won with the Borsch (141 food miles). SR!

Toastmaster Graeme “Braw Bricht” Messenger addresses the haggis

Toastmaster Graeme “Braw Bricht” Messenger addresses the haggis

The Club’s first recorded Burns night inspired a number of members to turn out in some curious garments, including kilts of uncertain authenticity and dubious security.

Friday evening talks throughout the month kept members abreast of the achievements of past members of the Club, the history of Victoria Dock and “world-famous author” Trevor Wilson’s single-handed transatlantic crossing.

Sarah Roberts again: Hot off the press are these photos from Trawsfynydd lake taken today [Sunday 2 February] between squalls. We joined with Porthmadog Club in one of the rowing in company sessions which they hold regularly usually on Llanberis lake. Choppy waters and high winds made for a chilly time but very enjoyable. Malcolm couldn’t feel his legs when we got out to view the dam. Porthmadog showed their metal and after completing the row headed off on bikes around the lake. Hardcore. SR

Capture8 Capture7 Capture9

It’s February, so it must be Mexico

Charles Williams on Nomad’s thirty-fifth country, and counting

Hi all, from La Paz in the Sea of Cortez on the Pacific coast of Mexico. My boat, Nomad, is back in the water at last, shining like new and all systems go, after weeks in a local boatyard, doing a variety of maintenance jobs, plus wet sanding the bottom to remove fourteen years of accumulated antifouling and that is the same horrible job no matter where is the boatyard! Labour is quite cheap here, so after realising the scale of the work, I asked the yard to do it. Well, they finished it – eventually – but maybe no-one would turn up one day, then the next day a man might wander over and put in a couple of hours before wandering off again. Then, no-one for a further couple of days before perhaps a couple of men put in a few hours before retiring to something more comfortable. I’ve really learning the full Mexican meaning of manaña.

I arrived here almost direct after clearing from San Diego, 1,200nm down the Pacific side of the Baja peninsula, pausing in Ensenada just south of the border only long enough to clear Mexican customs and immigration. From La Paz I’ll continue north in a few days, cruising the many anchorages and few small villages in the Sea of Cortez before eventually turning south, down the mainland side. The area is semi-desert, very bare and rocky, almost the only vegetation cacti, but it has a stark beauty with a beautiful pink granite everywhere. There are very few cruising boats in the area, mostly live-aboards in a marina, rather than active cruising boats, so I understand that most anchorages are deserted. Otherwise there are only a few small and very friendly fishing villages, mostly without road access. There are almost no large scale charts of the area and the Pilot book contains warnings of uncharted shoals and rocks, so constant attention is needed, particularly sailing single-handed.

After I have ‘done’ Mexico, I’ll continue on south, probably Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicarague and Costa Rica. And then it is decision time;- back into the Pacific and French Polynesia again and perhaps on to New Zealand? Then again, I didn’t see nearly enough of Alaska before winter chased me south and I would certainly enjoy another summer there. Or maybe South America, Colombia again, Ecuador, Peru? Decisions! But, other than planning around hurricane seasons etc, I never plan too far ahead, so those thoughts are for the future.

Meanwhile, the good ship “Nomad” is holding up remarkably well, better than her skipper, I sometimes think! I often receive compliments on her, which is very nice. To date, we – Nomad and I – have visited thirty-five countries – and there are plenty more to enjoy! My best wishes to all, Charles Williams!

Capture10Capture11And finally, here are two photos sent in by Gwyn Williams showing kids in boats off Porth yr Aur in times gone by. As Gwyn says, if you don’t pad them out with life jackets, you can get more of them into the boat!

Fair winds

Mark Walker