John Franklin

St Peter's to Saint Pierre

Wednesday 15th October @ 8:15pm 



Commodore of the Ocean Cruising Club and GXSA member, John will tell us about recent crusing with his wife Jenny in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in their yacht, Al Shaheen. This talk describes a trip through the Bras d'Or Lakes of Nova Scotia, across to the beautiful south coast of Newfoundland and eastwards to the French island of Saint Pierre. It is based on an Ocean Cruising Club Rally in 2011 which started at Baddeck in the Bras d'Or Lakes of Nova Scotia, crossed to Port Aux Basques on the south coast of Newfoundland and from there progressed eastwards calling at many delightful harbours, anchorages and communities along the coast and ending on the French overseas territory of Saint Pierre, only 20 miles off the Canadian coast, but very French!


You can keep up with the progress of John and Jenny's  yacht  Al Shaheen and with their exploits in  South Africa on their blogs.

         Scottish Clippers

Bill Cumming

Story of the square-rig sailing ships of R&J Craig of Glasgow, Scotland (1875 to 1907) leading to the ‘last of the windjammers’.  Their bold decision to build large square-rigged sailing ships, during the ascendancy of steam powered vessels, created an unprecedented demand for 4-masted iron and later 3 & 4 mast steel windjammers. These flourished at the peak of the sailing ship era and continued for 50 years longer than predicted. One of these, the “County of Roxburgh”, was perhaps the fastest merchant wind ship ever created. Remarkably, the dilapidated hull of “County of Roxburgh” still survives.

Photo of Bill Cumming


Jonathan Lewis

Around Britain in motor boat Gralian


Jonathan Lewis made films for thirty five years. His awards include International Emmy for Best Documentary, Silver Hugo for film drama at the Chicago Film Festival and the Japan Prize. He has had two crime novels published by a division of Random House: Into Darkness [2010] and Into Dust [2011]. More importantly, for over thirty years he and his wife Helen have owned classic motorboats in which they have been to the Baltic, spent two years in the Med and completed a UK circumnavigation, accompanied by the ship’s dog and ship’s cat. This beats making films and writing books any day, although the fur in the engine room has to be seen to be believed.

Jonathan will talk partly about Gralian's restoration but wants to convey the experience of cruising her. There may be more similarities between a modern and a prewar sailing yacht than there are between Gralian and a Sunseeker. He says, "There is some kind of balance between Gralian's atmosphere - for want of a better word - and her limitations which determines what it is like cruising her".





Gil Sharp    

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race  -  A Grandmother realises her racing dreams


Proving that age is no barrier,  Gil (a retired professional musician) will share her elations, joys, depressions and the deprivations of being a member of a racing crew in the 2013-14 Clipper Race. She took on the challenge of the Southern Ocean from Cape Town to Sydney, the Sydney Hobart race and the North Atlantic, finishing with a final sprint from Den Helder in Holland to the Thames.


Tim Barker

Bipolar Cruising – The Adventures of Mina2 from the Arctic to the Antarctic

Mina2 is one of the few amateur yachts to have sailed into both the Arctic Circle and down to Antarctica. Having crossed 250 degrees of latitude in his Oyster 485, Tim Barker will not only be recounting the hurricane force storms and dangerous encounters with ice in the high latitudes, but he will also talk about some of the more unusual, less visited (and hotter) places he has sailed to in between. The talk will be illustrated with photographs of the spectacular scenery and wildlife that they encountered.