Wednesday 14th October



Duncan Wells

Single Handed Sailing Techniques


GXSA member Duncan explains bullet-proof techniques for departing and returning to the dock, anchoring with confidence and getting an incapacitated casualty in the water back on board when short-handed, plus many other tips.  His new book  'Stress Free Sailing - Single & Short Handed Techniques' is filled with technical, sailing and safety advice that will give you a greater understanding of your equipment and even save you money....

     Wednesday 28th October

         Chris Smith and Cocky Taanman

Unlikely Places: Albania and Ukraine


Durres - Albania's second port  

Two of the best known Mediterranean cruising grounds, Ionian and Croatia, are separated by 150 miles of Albania. So Chris would like to know why he met only six other cruising yachts during his two weeks in Albanian waters. Is it the mines (6,000 destroyed in 2013), the lack of yacht-friendly harbours or just the reputation? Find out why he confesses to breathing a sigh of relief when it was all over, but was also so glad to have been there. In contrast the Ukraine, now forbidden, made wonderful sailing for them in 2012.They recommend all of the non-Russian Black Sea if you’re looking for uncrowded sailing and who doesn't long for the excitement of the Bosphorus?



Ukrainian Coastguards at work


Wednesday 4th November

Julia Jones

Ghost in the Cabin; Sailing Arthur Ransome’s Peter Duck



Arthur Ransome owned many boats over the years. Peter Duck was commissioned in his later life and is a ketch with a modest sail plan, aiming for sea keeping rather than performance.   Julia Jones spent her childhood years sailing Peter Duck with her parents, who bought Ransome's boat.  It was sold but later in life she acquired it again.  After a career in publishing and as an author, Julia will tell us about her sailing and how her experiences have encouraged her to focus on her successful children’s adventure stories.


Wednesday 11th November

Steve Carson and Damien Oliver

Coastguard: latest organisation and new Helicopters



Solent Coastguard has moved into the new Fareham Maritime Operations Centre, which also manages the other remaining Coastguard operations at Dover, Aberdeen, Shetland, Stornoway, Belfast, Holyhead, Milford Haven, Falmouth and Humber. We have an opportunity to hear how the changes at the MCA are progressing and how the new Search and Rescue Provision is being delivered.  Damien Oliver is responsible for ensuring the new search and rescue helicopters meet the needs of the agency and Commander Steve Carson leads Coastguard Operations at Fareham.




Wednesday 18th November

Paul Barnett

Purton Ships Graveyard



One hundred years ago erosion of the banks of the Upper Severn threatened the collapse of local canals, so eighty small ships were run aground to give stability and reinforcement. The Friends of Purton have researched many of the craft and help preserve the thirty still above ground. Their Chairman, Paul Barnett, illustrates and tells of the boats, their backgrounds, crews and travels.  Further information can be found at the Friends of Purton website.


This is a link to the location of the Boat Graveyard - notice the narrow strip of land between the Severn and the canal

This zoomed in map shows the concrete barges