Commodore’s Blog archive to the end of 2015.
Wednesday 30 December
Another period of gales and wet weather. I checked the yard and the pontoons today and all is well. For members with their boats on the pontoons they can be comforted that they all look OK and their lines are secure. There are also no apparently flapping covers on boats in the yard.
The weather for our visitors from PEYC this Saturday looks interesting. Strong winds from the South East, so they will have a good run back. (Not so sure of the journey down though.)
If you are looking at your diaries for the New Year, do put the Club Quiz Night and Evening Talks into your calendars. See the events on the right of the page.
May I wish you all a very Happy New Year.
Saturday 27 December
Well that is Christmas over for another year. I hope that you had something for the boat and/or a relevant book or magazine to carry you through the winter months. I had a new electric polisher to keep my topsides bright and shiny. (This means a lot if you know my boat.)
Despite the weather there is/are usually one or two hardy souls down at the yard checking their boat or the club boats. In the recent torrential rain members of the Harbour Committee have been down bailing out the Club launches – true dedication. Members with boats wintering on the pontoon have been keeping a close eye on their boats and mooring lines during the storms, whilst those of us ashore with covers on their boats have been doing the same with the covers. Oh the joys of boating.
As we move into the new year we can start thinking of the Winter Talks at the Club and then plans for the summer sailing season. We also have to start planning for lift in.
Thursday 24 December
I hope that members will have noted that on Saturday 2 January, we have our annual visit from the Port Edgar Yacht Club. Whatever the weather (usually) a number of brave and hardy folk man a number of boats and sail down to Granton to visit us. We provide hot food, a busy bar and good cheer to welcome them. So we hope to see a number of our members down to the Club for this excellent social event. Our House Committee have ensured that we have all of the necessary stocks in and will be there early to prepare bacon rolls and hot soup. The bar opens at 12:00. Come and join the fun. Help is also needed with the berthing of what is usually between 8 and a dozen boats alongside the boats winter berthing on the pontoons. Wrap up warmly. I hope to see you there.
I have mentioned the work of volunteers for the coming PEYC visit, what is less visible is some of the effort that is required to maintain the Edinburgh Marina pontoon function. As well as checking the boats on the pontoons on a daily basis to ensure that everybody is logged and paid for (shared between ourselves and the Corinthians) someone not only has to reconcile the receipts an cash and get it paid into the bank, but we also need to list all of the visiting boats and produce a report on all visitors to the Animal and Plant Health Agency. If they are not from the EU, we also need to establish and document their last port of call when leaving the EU. This year, as well as a lot of German boats there were quite a few Dutch boats, one from Brussels, one from the Czech Republic and one from the USA. There were also a number of boats from round Britain as well as local visitors.
Finally I just want to wish all readers of this blog a very Happy Christmas.
Sunday 13 December
The biggest activity at the club this week has been the annual Christmas Lunch and the run up to it. As usual the House Committee, with support from Sandra and other members, put in the effort to prepare for the event and on the day some 67 members and their guests sat down in a sunny club room for a festive repast. (Our web masters should be providing some photos shortly.)
Lunch, supplied again by Haddows, was as usual excellent with the traditional turkey main course followed, for a delightful change, by Christmas trifle. The bar, manned by Laurna returning for the event, did very good business and whilst some members headed off by late afternoon, others were settled in for the evening. A most successful and enjoyable event.
Meanwhile in the yard Storm Desmond paid us a visit without any apparent damage and the frosts have now set in. So this sunny but very cold morning I am down to the yard to do the final winterising task of draining the water tank. It should have been done earlier but was lower down the to do list below winterising the engine, filling the fuel tank to the brim and putting the covers on. Oh the joys of boat ownership. But as Ratty said in Wind in the Willows “… there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
Thursday 3 December
As expected the Club’s AGM was very interesting. There was a good turn out of members and some lively discussion relating to key issues which were raised by the Commodore’s Report and proposed rule changes. All of the motions were approved either unanimously or with a large majority.
I will be sending a message to members in the New Year, once we are clear of the Christmas distractions, and provide a bit more information.
I recently mentioned the Holyrood Cross Party Group for Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism and this week I attended a formal meeting of this group. Although much of the emphasis is on the Marine Tourism issues, where there are ambitious plans to increase it dramatically, there is a good bit related to recreational boating. There are also some good contacts to be made and I will continue to attend these meetings .
On the boat front, the Club yard is now rather quiet, with just about all of the boats out of the water and a number of boats wrapped up to protect them from the elements. Finding a day when it is not blowing a strong cold wind in order to do this has been proving difficult.
Despite the weather, Mark and the Harbour team have been bringing in all of the race marks and getting them out of the water. It’s not an easy task and they are to be congratulated for braving such conditions to secure and preserve the marks.
Thursday 26 November
It’s the Club’s AGM today. It should be interesting.
Saturday 21 November
Yesterday I went along to a Marine Tourism Symposium. It was organised by the Government Cross Party Group on Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism and I felt that the Club should get some exposure to this group. I also had my EML Director’s hat on in relation to the visitors to Edinburgh using our little “marina”.
It was a very interesting morning with some wide ranging topics relating to marine tourism. But one item which I though might interest some of our members, particularly those with a boat on the West Coast, was a new race to St Kilda starting next June. There will also be a cruise-in-company option for anybody who doesn’t want to race. It is planned to run the event annually. For anybody interested, they can find details and follow developments at St Kilda Challenge
Thursday 19 November
I can’t believe that it is 12 days since the last posting.
Last Saturday was the annual prizegiving, when all the efforts of the racing season come into sharp focus. There was a very good turn out of members and their guests, including many who just came for the social event rather than in the expectation of winning prizes. Some people won a prize that they weren’t expecting. The skipper of Hoodlum, Kenny approached me in the yard a week ago wondering why he had had a personal invite to the event. I pointed out that it indicated that he had won a prize. This puzzled him but he told me that he had gone out on a racing day and thought he would just shadow the boats racing for a bit of fun. He was keeping very clear of the line so that he didn’t hamper anybody when the committee boat told him to go ahead and cross it. He covered the course and crossed the line and was rewarded with a second prize in the cruising class for that race. It goes to show that you don’t need a lot of experience, just give it a go. It’s too late for this year, but it is a good mantra for next year. Just give it a go.
I maintain that you get out of the Club what you put in to it. One member has recently moved South and has just sent me this message: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Granton since 1995, and hope that my contributions and support will help to ensure the continued success and well being of the Club. Being in charge of the RIBs, teaching sailing to the youth, helping with powerboat instruction, race team support, Tall Ships event, East Coast Sailing Week(s), Dragon events, naming event of the dredger with HRH, and in the Bosun’s shed chatting with Willie Thompson sort out the world, are all happy memories.” Thanks, Stephen.
The next event is the Club’s AGM. This is an important event in the calendar of the Club, when the major decisions regarding the Club’s management are taken. The elected Council and Club Officers do a thorough and dedicated job of looking after the Club’s affairs over the year, but there are some things which need to be put to the membership as a whole. We usually get a good representative turnout for this event. We trust that this year will be no different.
Saturday 7 November
One of the reasons for this blog is to emphasise how much the club depends on, and is supported by, its members. Today was no exception. With a skip in the yard for just a few days, members turned out in the most awful weather to clear away rubbish and muck to ensure that the yard is kept clean and tidy. I know that sailors don’t mind getting wet, but it is usually when enjoying sailing. Today, the old waterproofs proved themselves and, duly wrapped up against the elements, the members set to, doing what needed doing. Well done and our thanks to all those who participated.
On a less joyful note, we have probably seen the end of our Granton based chandlers, Seaspan, as sadly the owner, John, after a long illness, died this week. Together they were somewhat of an institution and we shall miss both him and it.
Wednesday 4 November
The advantage of a mild October is that work on the boat is much easier to achieve. Particularly if, like me, you want a decent temperature to do things like antifoul which I must admit in October/November rather than March or April does surprise people somewhat. The reason is that my boat is up for sale and I want it to look it’s best over the winter. Although it will be under covers for the worst three months, we have had some very cold Marches recently, preventing antifouling until just before launching. So to look its best both now and in the spring my boat has been done already. It needed an advanced product though, as most of them can only be put on two or three months before immersion. The stuff I am using can be put on up to 12 months in advance. I must admit that the result looks very good.
I often say to new or potential members that acquiring the first boat need not cost a lot. If you look at the Forth Yacht Clubs site you will see a wide selection of boats which can be purchased locally from only £1,250. Keeping it and maintaining it adds to the cost, but the pleasure it gives is immense. Belonging to a club like ours and mixing with other like minded people just adds to the enjoyment. Even over the winter there is plenty going on. So if you are not already a member, why not come down and see us. If you are a member, whether recent or for a long time, do follow the Upcoming Events – see the scroll bar on the right.
Friday 30 October
Members will be pleased to hear the John Spencely has had his hip operation and all is well. The recovery regime means that we probably won’t see him at the club for a couple of months, so will particularly miss the tartan trews at the prizegiving.
It never ceases to amaze me at the expectations of some people. Recently a visitor to the club, who had been enjoying racing as a guest (we do allow people to “try before they buy”), was overheard to say the he was unlikely to join the club as it didn’t offer a “product” that he wanted to buy. The product that he was taking advantage of as a guest was as follows:
- A racing calendar for the year had been created (taking into account tides) and published
- Sailing instructions had been produced for all the racing events
- A Race Officer and Assistant and a driver for the committee boat had been assigned
- The race flags, markers and race buoys were provided
- The Committee boat had been supplied, maintained, serviced and fuelled
- There was the club launch (supplied, maintained, serviced and fuelled) with a paid employee to drive them out to the boat (and return them to the shore at the end of racing)
- The results of the race were calculated and published at the end of the race
- A comfortable club house and bar (with all the administration, maintenance, cleaning and supply costs associated) was available at the end of the race
- Drink and food was available at the bar to wind down at the end of the race and discuss what happened and how to do better next time
- Clean and well equipped toilet facilities were provided
On top of that, his skipper had paid all of the associated costs of keeping and running a boat at the club which is sustained by a mix of volunteers and limited paid staff.
If that is not a product worth paying for, I am not sure what is. Particularly noting that the “guest” had been racing with us more than once so obviously enjoys it.
Sunday 25 October
So far the autumn sailing has been much as the rest of the year. Either flat calm with little or no wind or unpleasant and windy.
The Autumn Series has been no exception. The first two outings were abandoned for no wind, whilst yesterday it was rain easing off but quite gusty. Regardless, there was a decent turn out for each of the events to justify their existence.
Meanwhile elsewhere in the club it was preparing the boat for the winter or preparing for the club’s winter events. The first of these is a gathering on Friday 30 October for the racing folk, as well as the race helpers – committee boat drivers and race officials – and any of the members who wish to attend. Essentially it is a social event, though some racing issues will be discussed and considered.
Shortly after that is the prize giving – on Saturday November 14. Prize giving isn’t just for the racing fraternity to collect silverware, there are prizes for others as well, and it is another opportunity to socialise. To help this along, there is the chance to take a Chilli supper after the event, but we need to know how many people want to take it up to justify the caterers. Let the office know.
Also let the office know if you want to come to the Christmas Lunch, on Friday 11 December. This is usually a sell out event, so get your order in to the office.
Beyond that, there is the annual visit of PEYC in the new year and we are well into planning for the winter talks.
Monday 19 October
It’s been quiet for a week or so as I have been away.
The big event trailed in the last entry was the winter lift-out. Thanks to some thorough planning and preparation and a lot of hard work from many of the members on the day it was a success. We managed to get all of the boats out before the tide ran away again, though there were moments of concern as the last boat, which had a deep keel, presented itself for its lift. However, all was well.
The next day, and for a couple of days afterwards, it was a scramble for the yard hoses to jet-wash off the season’s muck and barnacles. The barnacles seemed particularly prolific this year. One boat came out of the water looking particularly clean and was able to avoid this, but it turned out he had dried on the slip the week before and cleaned the hull whilst it was wet, which is so much easier.
For the boats still in the water, there is still the opportunity to get some sailing in, whether racing in the Saturday Autumn Series or just cruising. The boat taxi service is running till the end of the month, so members and those with season’s passes should take advantage of any opportunity.
A dinghy can also be used to get to and from your boat, of course, but I would remind anybody who is using their dinghy of two things. (1) the pontoons should not be used to launch and recover dinghies and (2) it is as easy to fall off the pontoon as to fall off your boat. When taking the sails off my boat one person (not a member of our club) forget both these things. Whilst dragging his dinghy onto the pontoon, he managed to trip over a mooring line and fell in. Fortunately there was myself and another member to pull him out, as getting out by yourself is nigh on impossible. There are rescue ladders to assist at either end of the pontoon, but these need to be deployed by somebody. If there is nobody close to hand, the cold quickly makes it ever more difficult.
Thursday 8 October
The sails came off today, but not before a last short sail in what was supposed to be F3 gusting 4 in sunshine. It turned out to be F3 dying away to almost nothing, so I spent much of my last sail of the season drifting, which was strangely reminiscent of my first, shake down, sail of the season. Still at least taking the sails off in zero wind and sunshine can’t be a bad result.
Next it’s the mast off ready for next week’s lift out. It is pretty sad to see so many boats in the harbour with no masts, but it has to be done. At least the forecast at the moment for the lift out is good at the moment. Dry with light winds. We can but hope.
Tuesday 6 October
On Sunday morning, there was something new on the Forth to “go round”. It was the cruise liner Norwegian Star, offloading passengers to Newhaven for their Edinburgh visit. Interestingly they hadn’t anchored but just seemed to be stemming the tide with engines and stern thrusters. It was a very pleasant morning on the water as well, with an acceptable breeze although largely overcast and cool.
The liner has gone now, but if you need something to “go round” there is still the drilling platform off Burnt Island.
Friday 2 October
I am sure that I am not alone when heading out sailing to want to get somewhere or go round something. Yes its wonderful just to be out on the water sometimes, with the water gurgling along the side of the boat the breeze in your hair, sun on your shoulders (or not as the case maybe). But there is that urge to get round Inchmickery or Inchcolm or one of the other islands within reach of a couple of hours on the water. This is of course what is celebrated with the Season’s Challenge which is attracting a late flurry of efforts before the boats come out next week.
This week has seen some lovely warm sunny weather for those of us who have not yet started running down the boat for lift out. Not always too much wind, though yesterday was a passable breeze. I was hoping to have another go at getting round Inchmickery, but had to settle for Burnt Island Harbour (at least I got somewhere) before returning. Eriskay and Peak Flow meanwhile had a go at Inchgarvie, being one of the islands with fewer Challenge attempts so far, though the wind was a bit flukey. We wait to see whether either was successful.
Monday 28 September
There is a new post on our pages of the Cockenzie chimneys coming down with members videos and pictures. Link here.
Also this week is one of the lowest tides you will see for a long time. Tomorrow morning, Tuesday, is a 0.0m low water, i.e. chart datum. This is expected to be further depressed by 9″ to 10″ by the high pressure. There will also be a very high water at 6.3m but this won’t be extended by the high pressure.
Saturday 26 September
See the Cockenzie Power Station chimneys come down on the BBC site here.
A flotilla of members motored (one or two motorsailed – one even with a motor sailing cone properly displayed) down to Port Seton in very calm conditions to see the event. Some had overnighted on the pontoon to get a good start whilst others got the first boat ferry out to their moorings. A couple of the pontoon boats were in too much of a hurry and managed to get stuck on the mud by not sticking to the channel. The rising tide soon saw them float off.
With the calm conditions and only 8 miles, there was plenty of time to get down there before the big bang at noon. I estimated that over 100 boats must have converged on the area from all over the Forth. As well as the yachts and power boats, there were RIBs, jet-skis, fishing boats, rowing boats, canoes and even the Kinghorn lifeboat, which covered it as an exercise. The Conserver was there as well as the Forth Logistics boat St Martin as the official Scottish Power boat.
After the chimneys came down in a spectacular cloud of dust, we all waited for the turbine hall to be blown up. What we didn’t realise is that the turbine hall is behind the main building and although it came down immediately after the chimneys we couldn’t see it. (It is apparent and visible on one of the BBC videos on the link). The big main building left standing is the boiler house, which is to be blown up at a later date.
Thursday 24 September
I have indicated before that a Club like the Royal Forth only succeeds due to the input of dedicated members.
This week we have had members volunteering to take over the boatman’s duties whilst Piotr is on holiday for a week. We also have a number of members taking on the planning and logistics of the lift out which is fast approaching. Getting between 20 and 30 boats lifted out and positioned in the yard takes some effort and it is the members who take on the responsibility for this. The Club only deals with some of the mechanics. So this Saturday, with the bookings all in for yard space, the team meets to finalise the details. Meantime, House Committee are sorting out the bacon rolls and refreshments for the lift out day.
The House Committee is also working to get the catering in place for the final Open event of the season, the One Design event this weekend. More volunteers have been putting this event together and will be providing the officials and Committee Boat drivers over the weekend. Without all of this input, nothing much would be happening and we would be a very different club.
Saturday also sees the Cockenzie Power Station demolition. A number of members are sailing down to see the spectacle from the water (and there will be crew spaces for members without boats). Some boats will then take part in the Corinthian’s Bass Rock Tankard race back to Granton. (See the yesterday’s club email for details.)
Sunday 20 September
We often note “what a difference a day makes”. On the water we could say “what a difference an hour makes”. Today was just such a moment. With a forecast of wind for a good 3/4, I headed out this morning in almost flat calm with the slightest of breezes from the South East. The boat was barely making a knot through the water. Engine on and headed for Inchcolm motor sailing (with the motor sailing cone up of course) and enjoying the relative calm. Less than an hour later the wind started to back round to the North West and pick up. Soon it was engine off and I was beating hard towards the western tip of Inchcolm.
It is interesting to observe that we are so used to sailing when the boatman is on duty in a single tide that we sometimes forget how useful it is to be out over a low tide. Although only down to 1.7m at LW, the reefs and rocks running south of Inchmickery and south of Oxcars light can be clearly seen, as can the extent of Cow and Calves. Rounding the western end of Inchcolm it was also apparent how far out that reef goes, so it was that on this occasion I passed very close to the West Cardinal. The rocky outcrops to the north of Inchcolm were very apparent, and inhabited by numerous seals, calling to each other. The location of the Meadulse rocks were also brought sharply into relief.
Then it was a brisk beat ‘full and bye’ back to Granton (as the wind had backed further to the predicted SW).
For any readers of this blog who are not yet members of the Royal Forth Yacht Club, now is a good time to join. For not only do you get the first year’s subscription at a reduced rate, but it lasts till the 2017 renewal, i.e. the end of December 2016. And don’t worry, there are plenty of winter activities to enjoy as well as gearing up for the 2016 sailing season.
Thursday 17 September
It is always gratifying to get feedback on this page as it indicates that people are reading it. Yes I know from the analytics that I get over 300 hits every month but feedback is good nonetheless, particularly when it comes from members on the West Coast at the time.
The latest response was to give more specific information on the Crombie Cup. I quote:
The trophy was presented to the club by ex commodore Stuart Crombie. [Tom] designed the course to reflect his name and it also makes for an interesting race with boats always within sight of each other.
The reason it is not crombie – crombie is that to use c the second time round would have caused a conflict in rounding directions
So now we know. Thanks, Tom.
Monday 14 September
I was wrong about a few more boats on the water on Friday. Although there were some sunny periods, the wind was force 4 gusting 5 and still from the South East. I wanted to try the Inckeith rounding for the Challenge and got off to a good start with just under an hour in an easy beat to the north of Inchkeith. Round the corner was a different matter, a couple of days of easterlies had built up a bit of sea and the swell slowed us right down. Just trying to get enough speed to tack was difficult and I was mindful of the lee shore of Inchkeith nearby. In the end the engine had to go on and we motor-sailed down towards the Little Herwit Green Buoy. It is always a bit of a surprise as to how far from Inchkeith Little Herwit is. It was certainly a surprise to one of the local boats recently (not one of our members) who shredded one of his bilge keels on it. The lifeboat had to rescue him and towed him to Granton onto the EML pontoons. From there he was warped onto the slip and lifted off by a hi-ab.
When we passed close by on this occasion, about an hour before a 5m high water, there was just the sharks fin showing, about a foot above the water. I tried to photograph it, but it doesn’t show up too well in the swell. But you might be interested in these two photos of calmer waters and lower tide:
Having rounded the Little Herwit Green Buoy it was a broad reach home, surfing even though still under reduced sail. So, not a qualifying passage for the Challenge, but a good day out nonetheless.
Saturday saw the Crombie Cup, presumably so called because it goes round the c-r-o-m-b-i-e buoys, as well as the activities afternoon for the Cadets and a BBQ for everybody. We sometimes forget our cadets but it is great to see the youngsters coming into sailing and it is all thanks to the members and parents who run this part of the club activities. Thank you all.
Sunday saw a good turn out for the last planned Cruise in Company and we look forward to a report on this site shortly.
Friday 11 September
My second go at the Seasons Challenge was more successful. Yesterday was sunny and breezy and I had a couple of hours, so I put in a single reef as I was sailing solo and sailed out of the harbour headed for Inchmickery. Though I had a bit of tide against me I was getting over 5 kn over ground so I think the log, giving about 4kn, must be a bit furred up. A fine reach all the way, I rounded the northern end of Inchmickery within half an hour, slowed slightly in the lee and then close hauled at a good rate headed straight for the harbour entrance. The GPS gave an estimated arrival of just over an hour for the passage. Great.
Of course, sailing isn’t like that. First the wind eased slightly and then it veered so that I was pointing at the gasometer frame rather than the harbour entrance. A tack was called for and going through the wind I took a chance and dropped out the single reef. Headed now for Inchkeith till the harbour entrance was just aft of the beam and then tack for home. By now the wind had increased again and the last half mile was well heeled as I raced towards and through the harbour entrance, trying to avoid the trimaran motoring sedately on the same course. The challenge now was to try to get all the sails down without careering into the moored boats. Usually the foresails were wound sedately behind the main before entering harbour. The joys of single handed sailing.
Meanwhile in the Club office it was business as usual. The TV licencing authority was reminding us that we needed a TV licence if any of our members or visitors watched live TV on their smart phones or tablets. They don’t, but we will have to make sure of that with notices and circulars. At the same time HMRC’s computer systems were stopping us paying our small payroll until we changed the code of an ex bar employee to reflect that he had retired. As he was an ex employee we had no access to his details to change the code and an hour was wasted trying to resolve the issue over the phone. And I won’t bother the reader with the tale of our bank branch closing and the club’s cheques trying to be paid into the automated system at the replacement branch. You just couldn’t make it up. Running a yacht club is not straightforward.
Yesterday there were a handful of boats out on the water and I expect a few more today. A number of members are gearing up for the Season’s Challenge and today looks very promising. The weekend of course looks dreadful, so we must feel sorry all the workers.
Sunday 6 September
A lovely weekend for a change with a great opportunity to get in some sailing. Although I was in Fife yesterday, I managed to get away early this morning and decided to have a go at the Season’s Challenge . This is the competition to see who can be the fastest round each of the islands on the Forth. I thought I would have a go at Inchcolm. With a brisk westerly and neap tide It should be possible to get a good passage. Unfortunately the westerly was not kindly set for a clean tack up the Mortimer Deep and I had to give up in order to get back for the boatman. For others, though, with a morning tide and an evening tide it was an opportunity to get out for the day over the low tide.
I will have another go at the Season’s Challenge, and I hope that other cruising sailors will have a go at this self measured “race”. It certainly made a difference to my sail today knowing that I had to get the best out of the boat because it was a competition. So give it a go.
This week we learned that they are about to demolish the chimneys and the turbine hall of the Cockenzie Power Station. They are to be blown up on Saturday 26 September at 12 noon. See the post. I know that a number of our members are planning to get a grandstand view from the water on the day (weather permitting). The boatman is on from 10:00 so there is time to get beyond Leith to get the view. It will be strange to lose this very visible landmark, though it is not the prettiest of buildings.
Tuesday 1 September
Our Cruising Secretary has submitted a report of the Burnt Island Muster during the East Coast Sailing Festival. He also visited the Colombian Navy’s Flagship – the Gloria in Leith Docks. It is a 250ft long tall ship and is spectacular. She was here for 4 days and open to the public and a number of our members were able to take advantage. See the post for details. She had contacted us to see if she could come onto our pontoons, but we had to decline. It is good to see that this piece on our web pages has had a lot of interest. It is thanks to our web team that it is such a readable piece. When it was passed to me for action it was in Spanish, but our clever team sorted our a much more readable English item.
We had a bit of an incident a few days ago when an ambulance had to be called for a head injury to a crew member on on of our members’ boats. He was OK, but it is a timely reminder that an unexpected gybe has consequences.
It’s quite disturbing to realise that lift out is 6 weeks today. Most of us are still trying to get some decent sailing this season. We must hope that we get a bit of an indian summer so that we can make the most of these last few weeks. Of course, the boats that are able to use the club crane onto trailers and the boats planning to winter on the EML pontoon will have the opportunity to sail into the autumn, and take advantage of the occasional cold but sunny day. For the rest of us it is down to doing some maintenance work before settling the boat down for the winter months.