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Annual Dinner, 2016.

Here is a collection of photos from this year's annual event, as provided by Richard Olsen

RNVR YC Laying Up Lunch - Sunday, 23 0ctober 2016

Photographs here

On a beautifully sunny Autumn day (just right for sailing), on Sunday, 23 October around 40 members and their guests attended the Club's annual Laying Up Lunch. This was the first Club event to be held at the Cruising Association's clubhouse in Limehouse Creek, East London.

Given the benign weather, Jill and I decided to join the crowd of foreign sightseers making the most of the weak pound to visit London and we cruised to our venue from Embankment pier by River Bus. The ride was as fascinating as ever - the views of the city each side of the river are constantly changing and it was good to see historic sites mixed with London's exciting new architecture. We had a pleasant ten minute walk from Canary Wharf pier to the CA clubhouse.

The CA provided us with an excellent lunch, which we all enjoyed. Given the closeness of the date to Trafalgar Day, Commodore Nigel Collingwood regaled us with interesting anecdotes of his distinguished Admiral forbear's relationship with the younger but more illustrious Admiral Lord Nelson.

Our thanks go to the Cruising Association for their warm hospitality and to Past Commodore David Whitby for organising a most enjoyable event.

Tim Ware

Summer Cruise - Channel Islands 2016

Here is a selection of photos taken from this year's summer cruise around the Channel Islands. As you can see, it involved sea, land and some time in the air!

Five Islands Cruise 20-27th August

Click here to view 93 photos from the cruise.

Strong winds and driving rain marked the start of the Five Islands Cruise- a familiar ring for a RNVRYC Cruise?

Notwithstanding the dire forecast, Bouzy and Enigma took advantage of a brief weather window to scamper to Poole whilst Blue Shadow and Lonk Avel pre-positioned at Yarmouth and Hythe respectively whilst all other boats stayed firmly in their home ports. Blue Shadow then had a very lively passage to join the other two boats in Poole on the Sunday.

Surprisingly all 32 members and guests made our first dinner at the RNLI College private dining room overlooking Poole Harbour but no stunning sunsets this time. Despite the weather, many had also been able to witness some of the Bournemouth Air show at some stage over the weekend.

Monday dawned with slightly better sailing conditions and 10 boats converged on Hythe Marina where Martin Alexander worked his usual magic with a pontoon party which led into the now familiar pattern of a rotating dinner. The following morning the sun eventually put in an appearance in time for a leisurely sail down Southampton Water and across the Solent to Island Harbour. There we enjoyed two days of relaxation with a fine dinner at the Breeze Bistro followed the next evening by a pontoon party marked by particularly fine nibbles-thankyou Ladies and a closely fought Boules competition.

Thursday morning brought an early departure for most boats and a gentle sail via Osbourne Bay to the upper reaches of Portsmouth Harbour and Port Solent whilst Alchemilla departed back home to Hythe. The Boardwalk restaurant was our next dining venue that evening before boats peeled off to act independently.

On the Friday afternoon, Bouzy and Alouette weaved their way through the dinghy championships off Chichester before securing up on the visitors pontoon at Itchenor. That evening, they, and Kiano in the Thorney Channel anchorage were treated to a beautifully still evening and a stunning sunset.

Energetic walks on the Saturday were taken by some and then in the early evening Freya and Blue Rider joined the other two boats on the visitor’s pontoon. The Kiano and Enigma crews joined up with us all at the Itchenor Sailing Club for our final supper together on another lovely evening.

Chichester Bar was a lively place for our Sunday morning departure which marked the final bracing serial of the Five Islands cruise. O yes, what were the Five Islands? Take your pick from Brownsea, Isle of Wight, Portsea, Hayling, Pilsey and Britain of course! Altogether 44 members and guests participated in all or part crewing Alchemilla, Alouette, Blue Rider, Blue Shadow, Bouzy, Enigma, Flying Swan, Freya, Kiano, Lonk Avel, Moody Blue and our club boat Volunteer. Thanks are due to our Port Officers Martin Alexander, Bob Helsby, Peter Bryan and Andy Marshall who coped with every twist and turn of the cruise.

Mike Morgan


To view a selection of photos, see here.

In the wardroom of palatial Royal Naval Headquarters North of England and The Isle of Man, 70 members and guests of our organisations - many members of both - enjoyed a delightful meal and evening. RNSA NW and IOM branch were leading this year. 2017 will be an RNVRYC lead. Members had travelled from as far afield as Wester Ross and Cornwall, with all points in between

Starting with a bubbly reception, the immaculately turned out Mersey Sea Cadets attending to the nibbles we were piped through the “HMS Eagle” wardroom door by our very own piper, Scott Lindsay, who gave an early Burns night flavour to our proceedings. All seventy of us sat around one table, it was a very long one, splendidly decked with many candelabra, a red rose and trinket for all the ladies as a surprise – which gave a ladies’ night feel.

The guest speakers were Naval Regional Commander Gary Doyle and RNSA Rear Commodore Cruising. They held us spellbound with their speeches.

During the reception and in the interval Rosina Hearn played the Welsh harp for us. We are a cultural lot, The said angelic harp player, a serving reservist at HMS Eaglet, is campaigning a RNSA dinghy magnificently whilst working for the RYA Cymru at Plas Menai and running the Nuffield sailing facility at Indefatigable, near Llanfair PG.

The Eaglet Officers Association caterer, Martin Bates provided a sumptuous meal cooked in field conditions as the building was undergoing a phenomenal amount of refurbishment. The galley was in pieces on the drill deck which resembled an elephant’s graveyard. “Is it year end money?” an astute wag was heard to say.

Doug and Carol Smith organised the raffle and it is with regret that after the costs of the hired cooking equipment and associated unforeseen costs at this new venue we only had £45-00 surplus for the local Sea Cadet Association. Lessons have been learned and recorded for next year’s organisers. Thankfully we have been able to support our youngsters in a more fulsome manner, with numerous hundreds of pounds in the previous number of years.

A great night was had by all.

The flag officers have requested that the 2017 Northern Dinner be at the same venue on 18 March 2017, so you now have a pencil diary date.

Cedric Loughran

Granada 2016

Here is a selection of photographs from the Grenada cruise held earlier this year. We hope you enjoy them and that they bring back great memories for all of those taking part.


RNVRYC Bembridge Weekend 28-30th May 2016 aboard Yacht Volunteer

Having sailed on Volunteer in the Fastnet race of 2015, I was delighted when I saw the email saying that berths were available for a slightly more leisurely trip on board Volunteer over to Bembridge. This was also an opportunity for my first club sailing event and my partner’s first trip on board a yacht. Nicola and I having arrived onboard on the Friday evening, the rest of the crew arrived on Saturday, ready to leave by lunchtime once there was enough water for departure out of Port So-lent. Although sadly Susan Ayu had technical issues pre-venting her joining the Meet, it did mean that we gained an extra member of crew in the form of David Whitby. Skippered by David Monks, Volunteer was in good hands.

Having got out into the Solent it was great to get the sails of Volunteer up again. Although fairly light winds from the NE and E, we were able to make good pro-gress across to the Eastern end of the Isle of Wight. After enjoying a warm afternoon of sailing it was time to head into Bembridge.

We made our way up the nar-row channel into the marina, and what a hidden gem Bembridge is. We quickly located the rest of the RNVRYC battle flags and rafted up with the Club Meet fleet. By the time we were secured, the sun was well and truly over the yard arm and it was time for the G & T’s.

After a couple of pre-dinner drinks we headed over by water taxi for dinner at Bembridge Sailing Club . The club balcony provided a perfect venue to watch the sunset across Bembridge harbour. There followed a wonderful dinner, which provided Nicola and me with a great opportunity to meet and chat to other members of our club. A return trip on the water taxi saw us back on board for the night.

As low tide was early on the Sunday, it provided a lei-surely day off the water to enjoy Bembridge and the beach. As mentioned earlier, it really is a hidden gem on a hot bank holiday weekend. Once the crew had re-grouped, the G & T’s flowed again prior to a pontoon party and supper, providing a more informal get-together. Thanks to Alison and Gavin for a great BBQ. It did seem we ate half the island’s cattle herd! Again it was great to be able to chat to other club members, with everyone incredibly welcoming.

Monday morning saw Volunteer leaving early to make the tide out of Bembridge. After some good sailing in the So-lent we finally headed back towards Port Solent in order to hand her over as she was heading out on another charter later that day.

All in all it was a most enjoyable weekend. We thoroughly look forward to the next event and getting out on the water with the club again.

Non-Tidal Thames Cruise 31 July to 4 August 2016

To view a selection of the photographs captured by Laura Armytage, Stuart Ashmore and Martin Alexander, click here.

It all started from a conversation between RNVRYC members Bob Smith and Martin Alexander under their umbrellas in a rain storm at the gangway of HMS Wellington after the Club’s 2015 Annual Dinner. “Let go upstream in the Summer!”. So the seed was sown and over last winter, Gavin Dunbar joined Bob and Martin to form a cruise sub-committee and a cruise plan was developed. The first time the RNVRYC have had an inland yachting event!

Bob Smith, being also the Commodore of the Royal Society of St George Yachting Association (RSSGYA), made the proposal, which was easily agreed, that the Cruise should be a joint event for the two Clubs. The event was announced and a fleet of nine motor yachts was soon established. Four yachts were flying the RNVRYC pennant: Aislinn, Espada, Lady Diana and Spirit of Avalon and four yachts were flying the RSSGYA pennant: Beatrice Rose, Escapade, Gadget and Speedbird. The ninth yacht, Sea Symphony, belonging to Bob Smith was flying the pennants of both Clubs.

By midday on Sunday 31 the fleet was berthed at the marina belonging to the Thames Motor Yacht Club (TMYC) at Hampton Court. We were joined by a shore party of eight RNVRYC members who had found their way that morning to the TMYC despite the many road closures in the area due to the RideLondon cycling races. The officers of the TMYC made us all very welcome and we enjoyed a glass or two of prosecco before a burgee exchange ceremony was performed with the Commodore of TMYC. This was followed by a barbeque. The hospitality given to us by the TMYC was second to none and in particular we really enjoyed their fantastic spread for the lunch.

On Monday we had our longest passage of the Cruise to Egham Quay where all the yachts were used for a rotating dinner. Members of both Clubs were mixed around and quickly got to know each other. The rain caused some discomfort at the start when we were ashore for the “Pontoon Party” and first course buffet, but that was quickly forgotten when back aboard in the dry.

Windsor Theatre was our next event on Tuesday for the opening night of West Side Story. As it was a production taking talent from local theatre schools, the auditorium was very full mainly with the cast’s relations. The performance by the young actress as Maria was memorable – she will become a well-known star before long.

On Wednesday afternoon all yachts had berthed at the Bounty at Bourne End and a large pirate flag was raised for our party. Before long, a piratical dress code was being realised. A bottle of Rum, of course, was awarded to RNVRYC Past-Commodore Mike Elton as being the best dressed pirate and a bottle of bubbly to RSSGYA Jane Ashmore as being the best dressed Pirate’s wench! As the evening temperature dropped we took over a room in The Bounty where the evening’s skulduggery continued with excellent bar food and ale.

Six yachts continued to Henley on Thursday to berth together on the bank of the Henley Royal Regatta Meadow. The other yachts had dispersed, but their crews together with ten other RNVRYC members, including the RNVRYC Commodore – Nigel, joined as a shore party. A bubbly drinks party was held alongside the yachts before a jacket and tie dinner in The Leander Club. Gavin Dunbar was Mr Vice and arranged a large single table with a seating plan to mix the members of both clubs. The meal, as always at Leander, was delicious.

Although managing to break the Leander gavel in the process, Gavin controlled the dinner running order, including a seated port toast to the Queen. The Commodores’ of both the Clubs briefly spoke to close the Cruise. The smiling faces around the table indicated the everyone had had an enjoyable time!

Martin Alexander

SY Volunteer

First 40.7 Racing Cruiser
Club members now have access to a First 40.7 racing cruiser, VOLUNTEER, at special charter rates for enjoyment and training purposes. VOLUNTEER is owned by Volunteer Yachting Limited, a company financed by RNVR Yacht Club.   Learn More