WHAT A WEEKEND OF ACTIVITY ON AND OFF THE WATER!!!
It started on Saturday May 10th with a fantastically well supported, and excellent presentation on "Berthing and Boat Handling Techniques" at the Club, by Alan Barton and Darren Mc Grath of HM Yachts, both of whom are also fully qualified and experienced boat handling trainers.
The theory section was comprehensively covered and followed with great interest by experienced and inexperienced sailors alike. The extensive Q&A session which followed, bore testimony to the extent of interest this subject holds for all of us who "put to sea in boats". Alan & Darren provided great advice both in general and specific terms, to each and every question raised.
All then proceeded to a section of the marina, where first Darren caused us all to turn green with envy, as he walked the magnificent new "O’Leary Family Jeanneau Yacht – Sweet Dreams", effortlessly and calmly sideways, forwards, and any other way he was challenged to do, into and out of a tight berth in a strong ebb. This was not mere showmanship however, as each and every move was explained in a "yOU TOO CAN DO THIS" manner if you simply pay attention and follow up with plenty practice.
Not to be outdone, the Motor members were treated to an equally impressive handling demonstration in the same vein and with equal expertise by Alan, using the very impressive "Jeanneau Prestige 32" twin engine motor cruiser, kindly donated for the event by John Roche (Of our executive) and family.
Both Batt & John are to be thanked for both their generosity (and courage), in making their vessels available, without which this event would not have been as successful as it turned out to be. I have to say we received an unprecedented level of congratulation and support for this new initiative, which is another of the wide ranging "technical presentations", provided by our Cruising Committee section over the last number of years. A special thank you must go to Batt O’Leary and his family for their great support in promoting the events through flyposting every vessel on the marina. Also to our Club Officers and staff, especially Chris Clarke our Marina Manager, who immediately recognised the benefits of elevating our close quarters maneouvering skills in and around the marina.
Most of all, a major vote of gratitude is due on behalf of all club members to Alan, Darren & HM Yacths, for volunteering their saturday to provide us with such technical benefit, in such a friendly professional manner.
While all of this was happening, Batt O’Leary had also organised that John Mathers and his team from the RNLI were on hand to provide a SEACHECK opportunity, which I am happy to say quite a few availed of. Our thanks to Batt once again for his efforts with this which monopolised his entire saturday.
SUNDAY May 11th heralded our Inaugural Motor Boat Cruise-In-Company to Kinsale. Mid-week we were looking at 6-8 boats max. and marina space for this size fleet was agreed with KYC’s Marina Manager Paul Murphy. By friday this had grown to 12 boats,and on saturday morning itself, to my delight and panic in equal measure, it grew further to 18 boats and approx 80 souls.
This was now a whole new ball game in terms of "logistics", but once again Alan & Darren took it all in their stride, briefed the crews, and assembled us all off Roches Point. Alan in our flagship "Prestige 36", donated for the day by HM Yacths, took up a leading position, while Darren rounded up the strays in a Rib, kindly provided for the day by our Club.
It was an impressive sight to see this fleet in company enjoying the flat calm conditions (organised also by the cruising committee for the motor section – our sail colleaques prefer force 8), which one wag on my boat who cannot be named to protect his reputation, described as "what Dunkirk must have looked like", but then of course he is more used to 5-6 knots – no more clues.
Reaching Kinsale in approx. one hour, we were all tied up by 13.00 Hrs, while I tried to explain away my inability to count to a bemused Marina Manager, who still graciously welcomed us. As Kyc had been unable to accommodate us for vittles, we retired to the Trident, who looked after us wonderfully and coped famously with the increased group size.
We had a very social time, many of us visited KYC club bar to sign the visitors book and enjoy a very pleasant drink on their balcony in warm but threathening sun conditions. We were also pleased to be greeted there by our ex- Admiral and current ISA President Peter Crowley, who was providing flag officer facilities there from his very impressive new Motor Vessel.
Our return cruise was equally pleasant and thankfully uneventful, marshalled all the way by Alan & Darren, working us along on channel 6, and who finally accounted for all boats safe return before signing off with me at around 17.00 Hrs.
Once more may I both thank and congratulate Alan & Darren, for providing us with their expertise and support over the entire weekend. Without them we could not have organised what we hope has been an enjoyable and beneficial weekend series of events.
Brendan Cronin, Cruising Committee.