|Promoting Middx Freemasonry|
The day had arrived. It was Thursday 11th July and it was time for months of planning to come into action for The North Harrow Sailing extravaganza . 9 of us were scheduled to arrive at Hamble Point Marina at various times during the afternoon and evening.
|Video of Terry at the Helm|
A large cauldron of Chilli was on the stove simmering in readiness for their arrival along with an enormous tiramisu supplied by Leonardo, our new Italian Brother. Almost half the crew had never sailed before so in the interest of safety Bro.Vaughan, our skipper, went through the relevant procedures and briefings before we slipped lines. The weather forecast for the week-end was high temperatures, so copious amounts of suntan cream was the order of the day, and slight winds, which although not perfect for sailing, was perfect for our virgin sailors to experience the pleasures of the Solent from another perspective and a chance for everyone to take the helm or man the winches during our four days afloat always under the eagle eye of the skipper. We were then ready to sail once we had hoisted our flags,which including the HouseHold Division ensign ,(one of our crew is Ex Guards) RAF YC Burgee (skipper being Ex RAF) and the newly obtained and designed Middlesex Provincial flag, promoting our relationship with Middlesex Freemasonry, which received admiring acknowledgements from passing yachtsmen during our venture..
After a feast of sausage,bacon and eggs (our daily rations) the following morning we slipped lines and entered the Solent before hoisting the Foresail and headed in a westerly direction towards the Needles and Poole Harbour beyond. After six hours of sailing we entered the marina where we managed to moor next to a mega Sunseeker Yacht and were able to go ashore to one of the local pubs for a couple of pints before putting our heads down for a second night. Then before you knew it it was time to get up, set sail and head towards the IoW and Yarmouth for our third night, mooring up on a buoy outside the main marina, which meant we had to take a water taxi to get to shore. A few went to sample the delights of the hostelries and the local brew, whilst the rest of us tucked into the copious amounts of “refreshments” on board. Sunday we returned to the Hamble to drop off a couple of crew members who had other engagements the following day and then sailed to Gunwharf Quay in Portsmouth for the last night, mooring under the famous Spinnaker.
|Our WM & ME|
|The Spinnaker by night|
|Our ME & Skipper|
We set sail on Monday at the unearthly hour of 8am, as our last port of call was to be NewTown Creek on the IoW, which is a beautiful National Trust bay only accessible by water. There we had our lunch, a swim and lazed away a couple of hours before our return to Hamble to hand back the boat. Another great weekend of fun and camaraderie was had by all. I think that next year we will need a bigger boat as more of our members have already expressed a wish to join us. My special thanks must go to our Skipper, Bro Vaughan Coleridge-Matthews for looking after us and returning us back to port safe and sound….. click here to view further Photos and to W.Bro Ian Ferguson for designing and sourcing the Middlesex Provincial flag we proudly flew during our trip.
taking the Helm
Now View the Video
|Skipper !!!Look Behind You!!!!|
|NewTown Creek, IoW
View The serenity of the Creek