On the afternoon of Thursday the 3rd July, after months of planning, the 9 North Harrow crew started to gather at Hamble Point Marina in readiness for our annual long week-end sailing trip and to wait for the imminent arrival of our Worshipful Master and skipper, W.Bro Vaughan Coleridge-Matthews, so that we could check and sign off our home for the next 4 days, “Janes Buoy” a 43′ Sun Odyssey yacht. Once aboard it wasn’t long before a coudron of chilli was simmering on the stove in readiness for an easy dinner and was duly consumed along with suitable beverages.
It was an early start on the Friday to catch the high tide , so at 4.30am the next morning, we welcomed a beautiful dawn over the Hamble and prepared to slip lines for Poole harbour for the most important and long awaited meeting, The Twitter Gathering.
The tide and favourable winds eventually helped propel us along the Solent, past Hurst Narrows to the Needles where we encountered very choppy seas, and in the interests of safety the skipper decided to head directly to Poole . On arrival we were welcomed by WBro Alex McCombie holding 2 bottles of Champagne and several other twitterati ( what a wonderful “Masonic” gesture ).
Then before we knew it we made our way to Amity Lodge to meet and enjoy the fellowship of the Largest gathering of Freemasons brought together by Twitter and Social Media. Many thanks to Alan Ewart for taking photographs and posting a concise report which was also retweeted by UGLE. We left Poole the next morning and had a great sailing day before arriving in Yarmouth on the IoW in the afternoon where W.Bro John Martin (an ex-Middlesex Mason) joined us for a drink after which we dined at Spice, an excellent local curry restaurant.
The skipper allowed us a lay in on Sunday morning before heading for the national trust nature reserve of Newtown Creek where we moored for lunch.
Before long the afternoon was upon us and it was time to sail once more across the Solent to meet the the rising tide in the Beaulieu River to Bucklers Hard for our overnight stay. Oh !! and another pub :))
Monday dawned and it was time to head back into the Solent for our next and final stop at Cowes on the IoW, just in time for a bit of lunch and a little shopping before our return to the Hamble and home.
Personally, I believe it was one of the best team building and bonding exercises North Harrow Lodge has experienced so far and a great opportunity to meet and exchange views with approx 60 of our brethren including RWBro Richard Merritt, ProvGM, VWBro Clive Deakin, DepPGM, VWBro Nigel Leonard, APGM along with several members of the Provincial team and Brethren from 9 Provinces brought together through Twitter ……Roll on next year.
On behalf of the NH Crew, I would like to convey our grateful thanks to our Skipper, W.Bro Vaughan, for bringing us back safely and organising the sailing and to W.Bro Brian Chidgey, ProvGReg (Dorset) and is Team for co-ordinating the first of many very successful Twitter Gatherings.
SUCH IS THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA………..