Happy New Year from your Commodore
Our 2016 programme ended with the customary ramble and pub meal on Wednesday 28th December and the weather, although slightly on the cold side, was dry and the sun did eventually break through the mist, resulting in a clear and bright afternoon. It is always a surprise that there are so many waterways and green spaces so close to Reading centre. Many of the people we met on the way had walked there from their homes in Calcot or Southcote and even some of our own members had made it on foot to the start of the walk. Half of the walk was along the Kennet and Avon canal, passing first Burghfield lock and then Southcote lock and mill on the return leg. The other half of the walk took us along the banks of the Holy Brook river, including Calcot mill which has origins dating back to the sixteenth century or even earlier.
The only drawback was that we had to wait a long time to get served in the busy pub - there being some staffing problem on the day.
We now look ahead to 2017, firstly to our next few monthly meetings where we have our usual format of guest speakers until we get to the lighter months when we will start our programme of rallies and social events. 2016 was not as successful in terms of numbers of rallies compared with previous years so we need to think about how to get more boats out on the water in 2017. We still need volunteers to organise some of the proposed rallies which we have provisionally included in the programme. We are going to investigate the possibility of chartering a boat to accompany some of the rallies so that more non boat owners can get out on the water. We have the possibility of using Polly Agatha again in August if someone would like to get a crew together (this is in addition to the Polly Agatha cruises to France which you can read about in this newsletter).
Lastly, I would like to thank Mike Robinson for his work in editing our new-format newsletters. It is certainly keeping us all more informed and is now a much-awaited monthly event as important as the arrival of PBO or Yachting Monthly. Well done Mike!
Happy 2017 to all.
The skittles evening organised by Ian was a great success and as always great fun. As usual we were divided into two teams to compete with drinks from the bar adjacent and the pre-ordered food was a better arrangement than the buffet style in the past.. a chance to chat and catch up between the bowling.
MONDAY 9 JANUARY 2017 1930 for 2000 UTMYC SONNING “Traditional boat building on the river Thames”
Colin Henwood and his wife, Lucie make a great team with Colin’s traditional woodworking skills and Lucie’s business management skills. Together they have formed a business which has grown steadily for 30 years.
Colin’s journey into building and restoring beautiful wooden boats has been a long one. He began with building a Mirror dinghy with his father at home when he was young. By 1982, Colin struck out on his own, renting a lock-up shed on a farm near Henley. His first boat job was to rebuild a Thames skiff. He now employs a team of craftsmen who build and restore everything from skiffs made out of chestnut wood to a 30-foot 1886 teak steam launch.
Colin first became interested in boats as a boy during summer holidays taken in Falmouth. After leaving university he went to work on the south coast building racing yachts, but it was a chance visit to Peter Freebody’s boatyard at Hurley on the River Thames that gave him his first insight into the very best of traditional wooden boatbuilding. Colin joined Freebody’s in 1978 and it was here that he began to learn about the Thames tradition.
In 1981 he left to set up his own business in disused farm buildings at Greenlands Farm, Hambleden. Over the past 34 years many historic, beautiful and extraordinary boats have undergone restoration and maintenance at the yard of Henwood and Dean Boatbuilders. In addition Colin has used the experience gained and lessons learnt from boatbuilders past and present to undertake the building of new and unique craft that bring together the very best of traditional and modern methods of design and craftsmanship.
Today he is recognized and respected both nationally and internationally for his work. His boats have won many prestigious awards and in 2015 he was presented with the first Heritage Craft Association ‘Maker of the Year’ award. His book “Head, heart, hand – a boatbuilder’s story’, is now in its second edition, he encourages and supports young people interested in working with their hands, runs short courses at the Boatbuilding Academy in Lyme Regis, and his passion and knowledge of his craft make him a sought after speaker.
February 6th - Sailing in Galicia NW Spain By our very own John & Linda Scottorn
(A presentation aided by video and photographs.)
a) A brief outline of planning our cruising intentions and preparing for 2015
b) Problems just before we cast off - Portsmouth
c) Biscay - Salcombe to Baiona ( Galicia - NW Spain)
d) Galicia - what can it offer to the cruising sailor
- Its geography, coastline, climate, sailing conditions.
- places of interest, entertainment.
- beaches, anchorages, marinas.
- brief political history
A forthcoming opportunity to sail
I am sailing from Brest to Roscoff starting on 24th June to 1st July. We have skipper and myself and are looking for 3 more crew members. The boat has 2 berths in the forepeak, 2 aft cabins and a berth in the saloon.
She is a Sun Odyssey 409 'Sea Essay of Hamble'. This link will take you there... http://channelsailing.org/seaessay
If you are interested and available please contact me on email@example.com
Also, is anyone interested in a Med charter/flotilla in September 2017?
Please call me if interested on 07990575341
Happy New Year,
AN UPDATE ON GALILEO - the new satelite navigation system
which began service on December 21st 2016
A hydrogen maser atomic clock of the type flown on Galileo, accurate to one second in three million years.
The Galileo satnav system is offering positioning, navigation and timing services to everyone with a receiver. Service availability is based on a minimum of four satellites being visible in the local sky and is set to improve as the number of satellites increases from the current 18 to a planned 24 plus orbital spares.
The Open Service is a free mass-market service for users with enabled chipsets in, for instance, smartphones and car navigation systems. Fully inter-operable with GPS, combined coverage will deliver more accurate and reliable positioning for users.
The importance of measuring time (for the tecci of us)
Determining a precise location depends on accurately measuring the distances between receiver and satellite, and that depends on very accurate measurement of the radio signal’s travel time from the satellite to the receiver. As these signals travel at the speed of light, the journey times are tiny fractions of a second.
The receiver measures travel times by comparing ‘time marks’ imprinted on the satellite signals with the time recorded on the receiver’s clock. The time marks are controlled by a highly accurate atomic clock on board each satellite.
These clocks, however, are too expensive to incorporate into standard receivers, which have to make do with small quartz oscillators like those found in a wristwatch. Quartz oscillators are very accurate when measuring times of less than a few seconds, but rather inaccurate over longer periods. The solution is to re-set the receiver’s time to the satellite’s time continuously. This is done by the receiver’s processor using an approximation method involving signals from at least four satellites.
For this system of measurement to work, all satellites need to be synchronised so that they can start transmitting their signals at precisely the same time. This is achieved by continuously synchronising all on-board atomic clocks with a master clock on the ground. These super-accurate clocks have an accuracy equivalent to one second in three million years.
A technique, which makes use of two positioning signals at two different frequencies, does away with the need for differential satellite navigation. It works on the principle that each frequency will be slowed down by a slightly different amount when traveling through the atmosphere. By sending the two frequencies at the same time and recording the time difference between their arrivals, it is possible to increase positioning accuracy to better than one to two metres and will be the standard for Galileo. There is an encrypted version for special use down to centimeter accuracy.
Here’s hoping you had a great Christmas with your families and friends and are now looking forward to the New Year!
Polly Agatha sits with her mast out, completely stripped and now re-varnished, new standing rigging being made by Spencers on the Island and nearly ready for an exciting 2017 in Brittany!
A video promoting the 2017 regatta is now up on the home page of the regatta website – or you can go direct to it on YouTube at https://youtu.be/f2JSv7WrWFs
Either way you can also see video clips of the 2015 regatta in Paimpol.
This is a fabulous sailing spectacular, racing in Dartmouth, then across to the Channel Islands and then Paimpol followed by a race around the Isle de Brehat and back!
The cost for the 11 day trip is just £995pp (Depart Cowes 5th July arrive back on 16th) and we obviously have limited places so please call now. The other voyage to Paimpol in August is already sold out so please don’t delay.
If you are not following this epic race... it is nail-biting.. Our own Alex Thompson is just 150 miles behind the leader as at publishing time with Armel Le Cléac'h leading and with just 5000 nm to go on this round the world race. This is mainly a French dominated race with 20 entries of the 29 being French but with Alex we have a chance, he has made up the pace from once being 800 nm back and is struggling with a with a broken foil but doing well.
Here is a link http://tracking2016.vendeeglobe.org/hp5ip0/
Despite there being a lot of piracy still going on I read about, I thought this was amusing as they unknowingly attacked a US warship in the dark. - MR
This month a pair of Somali pirates were sentenced to life in prison Monday for their roles in an attack on the USS Ashland in the Gulf of Aden, while a third was given only 33 years because he cooperated with federal prosecutors in another piracy case. At the time it was part of an international flotilla patrolling the area after a surge of piracy raids were launched from the largely lawless country of Somalia. Pirates routinely would attack and board commercial vessels, divert them to Somalia and then ransom the ships and their crews for tens of millions of dollars.
The incident with the Ashland began when seven men started out in a small skiff with the goal of capturing a merchant ship they could ransom. But in the early morning light they mistook the Ashland for a cargo ship and opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle. The Ashland returned fire with its 25 mm gun, killing one of the men and causing the skiff to catch fire.
19-Meter North Atlantic Wave Sets New World Record
December 13, 2016
An expert committee convened by the World Meteorological Organization has established a new world record significant wave height of a massive 19 meters (62.3 feet!) measured by a buoy in the North Atlantic.
The wave was recorded February by an automated buoy in the North Atlantic ocean between Iceland and the United Kingdom. The agency said the wave followed the passage of a very strong cold front, which produced winds of up to 43.8 knots (50.4 miles per hour) over the area.
The Commission for Climatology’s Extremes Evaluation Committee, with scientists from Great Britain, Canada, the United States of America and Spain, classified the new record – 19 meters – as “the highest significant wave height as measured by a buoy”. Keep in mind wave the term “significant wave height” means the average of the highest one-third of waves, so individual waves could be much higher! “This is the first time we have ever measured a wave of 19 meters. It is a remarkable record,” said WMO Assistant Secretary-General.
We have regular meetings the first Monday of the month at the Upper Thames Motor & Yacht Club (UTMYC) in Sonning. If you would like more information on any aspect head to our website or if you would like to discuss any point with a committee member about our sailing club or visiting us on a Monday to say hello, click here to email Linda, our publicity officer, who will be happy to answer any questions.
ROSC was established in 1971and continues with regular meetings. You don't have to own a boat as many rallies are available by land, meals in a local hostillery are arranged with pre-meal drinks often on one of the attending boats.