Notes from the Cruising Secretary

 

It is not my intention to be the sole contributor to this – there are many a fine and proven wordsmiths amongst you with tales to tell of journeys, adventures, crises – all manner of stuff. All you need to do is email something to me and I’ll get the rest done and hopefully we can create a virtual clubhouse for cruising members of Blackpool and Fleetwood Yacht Club.

I’ll start the ball rolling

Old Logs and New Resolutions

Before the recent cold snap, we went up to the Shire of Argyll to check Claymore lying idly under her wraps for the winter.

Progress was steady – we removed various tins of beans and other standbys that were lurking in the far corners of Galley Lockers. The drinks locker was duly emptied and some of the contents handed out to the lads working in the boatyard – they’re a deeply religious band and one has to step with trepidation in case offence is caused but they happily accepted the remains of an Old Pulteney, a Ledaig and some Jura Superstition. Clearly it may be cold in Ardfern this winter and I shall sleep easier knowing I’ve replenished the odd Highland Medicine chest.

Progress began to falter when I decided to remove my library of old Logbooks. In the days of old you could get a decent read in every Chippy, each time I light our Woodburner, using old newspaper, a similar thing happens as I find something I’d not read.  I began to turn the pages and recall the things we’ve done and the places we’ve been. The short days are upon us and particularly so up on the West Coast, so I parcelled them up, bundled them into the car and brought them home and now I have them laid out before me.

What first strikes me is that 25 years ago I was more diligent in my log keeping – true, I make an entry each day we are out on the boat. I always record engine hours and fuel and drinking water levels, but this is done so the kettle won’t run dry or the engine won’t conk for lack of diesel.

 Sometimes that is little more than “Dorus Mor Opens 05:15”

 “07:30 Engine on - Leaving Ardfern.

“16:50 Alongside Tobermory Pontoons (£23.00)”

Other days, clearly when I’ve felt moved to do a bit of navigation, the entries are there for each hour along with information about the distance travelled, course, distance to next waypoint, sea state, barometer and cloud cover. These days tend to be when we are off on a trip to the Outer Islands or somewhere new or the weather isn’t wonderful or I just think I’d better!

Looking back over the passages recorded – it bothers me that I have skimped on some days whilst others are full of detail – down to how much drink we got through or what we had for the evening meal, where we walked, the bird life, the sea life. If my memory fails in later years, perhaps it might be good for me to read fuller accounts of the things we did along the way? Perhaps I’d better resolve to mend my ways and apply myself more diligently.  What do you think? Which bracket do you slot into – are you a full confessional sort of skipper or a skimper? 

John Swannie, Crusing Secretary

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