Spring 2009

The Minimum Boat - Sam Llewellyn

Sam Llewellyn has written many sailing thrillers. His PBO column The Minimum Boat advocates a back-to-basics style of sailing well adapted to the times. He is currently working on the Dazed Kipper Manual, a work of instruction that he describes as 'the blind leading the blind.' !

Dances with Whales and Weather - John Apps

Club member John Apps describes large items he met when he took part in the Jester Azores Challenge in 2008 including Sperm Whales, Ultra Large Crude Carriers and Mountains. He will also describe the progress of a 'typical' ocean storm from first sign of its approach until it's all over.

Sailing in the Caribbean - Richard Snell and Martin Alexander

Following five charter yacht holidays in the island groups of the British Virgin Islands, St Vincent/Mustique/Grenadines, St Maarten/ St Barts/Anguilla and the Abacos, club members Richard Snell and Martin Alexander will highlight aspects, good and not so good, of chartering, and navigation and key anchorages in these areas.

Classic Yachts through the Camera Lens - Kathy Mansfield.

Professional marine photographer Kathy returns with stunning images from the 2007 Celebration of the Centenary of the Metre Class which spawned such impressive yachts as the Americas Cup Boats.

A Fleeting View of the Black Sea - Doreen and Archie Annan.

Hon Club members Doreen and Archie recount with photos their experiences and curious incidents during preparation of their yachtmens' pilot 'Cruise the Black Sea'.

Meandering through the Midi - Don and Jacky Wark

Don & Jacky, Sailing Today contributors, took the lazy way from Honfleur to the Med in their 29ft Snapdragon then on to Biscay along the Midi & Garonne canals. They will share this relaxing but fascinating experience.

Saturday Special - Boat Electrics
A Day with Art Butler

Art is the owner and "hands-on" specialist of a yacht electrics and electronics company based on the East Coast. He will bring us right up to date on current issues and give some guidance on choosing equipment as well as doing our own installation, fault finding, wiring maintenance and repairs.

Overlord - Bob Hazell

Past Commodore of the Offshore Cruising Club Bob Hazell outlines the history of Windfall Yachts and illustrates some of "Overlord's" past cruises and future sailing plans.

A Passion for the Sea - Jimmy Cornell

In the last 35 years, Jimmy has sailed 200,000 miles, including 3 circumnavigations and 2 voyages to Antarctica. He will talk about planning an offshore voyage: to the Med, across the Atlantic or right round the world, with a detour to Antarctica.

Holly’s circumnavigation of Britain in 1994 - Peter Poole

Member Peter Poole set off in June with the intention of seeing as much as possible. Holly, his Nicholson 32, went round Britain including most of Orkney in 11 weeks with mainly good weather, lots of wonderful experiences and meeting many interesting people.

AGM - followed by Cruising to Hell and Back - Rod Paton

Rod Paton describes where things went badly wrong on cruises in the Baltic and across the Atlantic - and tries to draw sensible conclusions.

Annual Dinner at Beaconsfield Golf Club


Spring 2010

Quyvers Travels - John Andrews and Freda Haylet

Adventures on a voyage from Grenada via the Panama Canal, Pacific Islands to New Zealand. Long distance cruising, ports of call and interesting characters met on the way.

Voyages to New Zealand - Melville Errington

The golden era of British Maritime life aboard the liners to New Zealand, including the challenges, both serious and amusing, of keeping engines running for five months.

Olympic Sailing, Qingdao 2008 to Portland 2012 - Dick Batt

Dick Batt (Batt Sails, Bosham), Chief Measurer for Olympic Sailing who serves on many National and International bodies, tells us what goes on behind the scenes.

Classic Yachts through the camera lens - Kathy Mansfield

Professional photographer Kathy shows us stunning images of Meter Class yachts, from their Centenary Celebration. The Meter Class lead to the Americas Cup boats.

RYA First Aid Course at Hedgerley Village Hall

Peter and Carol Pocock with hands on practice on dummies.

Oceanography of the Southern Ocean - Dr Isabelle Ansorge

From voyages on research ships in 90 knot winds and 30 metre waves, Dr Ansorge describes the Southern Ocean and its profound effect on world climate.

The Merchant Navy in the Battle for the North Atlantic 
Richard Woodman

Richard Woodman – Trinity House Elder, Novelist, Master Mariner, Naval Historian – describes the Merchant Navy’s role in this vital struggle from 1939 to 1943.

The Around the World Yacht Race - David Cusworth, Clipper Ventures

Learn how anyone, even if they have never stepped on a boat before, can join the adventure and circumnavigate the world under sail in an eleven month long marathon.

Italian Connection, from Malta to Nice 
Bernie Smallman and John Dawson

John and Bernie tell of their trip in Burnadebt to get a new mast. They sailed from Malta to France, visiting Sicily, Vulcano, Stromboli, Naples, finishing in Monaco and Nice

Experiences as a Yachtmaster Instructor
Duncan Wells

GXSA member Duncan Wells recounts his experiences when sailing home from Brittany with an inexperienced crew. He will also give an amusing view of his recovery from his dramatic flares accident.

An Atlantic Short-Circuit 
Tony Firth

Tony covers sailing tactics and equipment, wildlife and cooking on his circuit via the Canaries, Cape Verde Islands and the Azores.

Spring 2011

World Cruising Destinations - Jimmy Cornell

Distinguished sailor and author Jimmy Cornell has completed ocean passages in all parts of the world including the Antarctic and the Pacific, illustrated in his new book entitled World Cruising Today. Excellent pictures and fine sailing.

An Atlantic Crossing - Ray Bridges

Our vice chairman, Ray was sailing dinghies until just a few years ago. In spring 2010 he sailed Sonar, his Island Packet 440 to the Caribbean and will describe the voyage and the warm cruising grounds he has explored there. A good talk for a January evening.

Around the World - Rory McDougall

Rory's Wharram Tiki 21 is the smallest multihull to circumnavigate the world at just 21ft in length. With no engine and navigating by sextant and compass, the voyage was a wonderful discovery of islands, nature and cultures, all experienced in a simple and non-intrusive way.

The RNLI : An insider's View - Paul Boissier

What is 186 years old, costs £380,000 a day to run, builds boats and saves a life a day? Find out from the RNLI's Chief Executive, who once qualified as a brewer of Guinness and then went round the world in a submarine.

How to Write a Sea Story - Sam Llewellyn

Author of many novels, accomplished sailor and frequent columnist in sailing magazines, Sam returns to entertain us with his humorous insight on all matters maritime. He believes that telling stories is the summit of human achievement and will convince you with this talk.

Europe's Waterways: Down the Danube 
Philip and Phyl Cook

Philip "&" Phyl designed and managed the building of their 21m motor boat, Zingara, which they took on inland European waterways from France to Romania, travelling on the Rhine, Main and Danube. They returned via the Mediterranean in 2009.

Cruising the Western Isles
David Horn and Rob Johnstone

GXSA members David and John explored the Hebrides and St Kilda in the summer of 2010. Fine pictures, good stories and helpful sailing advice about this excellent cruising area will convince you to visit.

Sailing the North Aegean Sea
Karin and Andrew Wilkinson

Mediterranean experts and former GXSA members, Karen and Andrew describe their recent voyage exploring the Northern Aegean islands and changes on the sailing front that they have seen in the Mediterranean in the past 10 years.

Jester Challenge 2010 - John Apps

This was John's third Jester Challenge, a biannual single handed trans-Atlantic event for yachts under 30 ft in length. Sailing his UFO 27 "Glayva" he completed the crossing to Newport, Rhode Island in 50 days and was presented with the Newport Medal in recognition of his achievement.

45th Annual Dinner at Buckinghamshire Golf Club, Denham


Spring 2012

Navigation: From Galileo to Galileo – Jeremy Batch

Which prehistoric navigational device played a vital part in the moon landings? How did Deptford Sailing Club get put in charge of pilotage and buoyage? How did submarine USS Skate find Ice Station Alpha, when the "station" had no idea where it was? All this and more in Jeremy’s usual entertaining style.

Sydney to Hobart Race 2006 – Charles Sandison

A Father and Sons race “down under”. Charles will explain the history of the race and his preparations in the UK, together with the build up in Sydney and the race itself.

Cruising to Norway and the Arctic Circle 
James & Carol Littlewood

During 2011 James and Carol sailed from Harwich to the Arctic Circle and back in their Moody Eclipse, Paddington IV. Their many adventures included responding to a Pan Pan relay off Narvik, cycling down mountains and powering up a 6400 horsepower fast ferry.

Recent Marine Science Discoveries – Anna Hickman

From ocean conveyor belts to the origins of life on Earth: Anna Hickman, research fellow from the University of Southampton and the Challenger Society for Marine Science, will explain research and discovery at the cutting edge of marine science.

The Last Blue Water Rally – John Hazell

John and his boat Fai Tira took part in the last Blue Water Rally, a round-the-world rally specifically for cruising sailors. He will talk about his near circumnavigation, the many problems overcome and the final difficulties due to the pirates in the Indian Ocean.

Racing and RORC – Peter Rutter

Are all racing men mad?? Former Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and winner of the 2011 IRC National Championship title, Peter Rutter tells how he has run a series of successful racing boats, won many races and the role of RORC.

Admiral Robert Fitzroy, first Head of the Met Office 
Gordon Tripp

Famous as the man who sailed Charles Darwin round the world, what more do we know about this remarkable Victorian and sailor who also did pioneering work on weather forecasting.

Scilly Pleasures and Precautions – Ken Endean

Everybody wants to visit the Isles of Scilly: Ken returns to tell us how to navigate around and between the islands, how to stay safe when the weather is bad and how to enjoy ourselves when the weather is good.

Sailing Atlantic and Pacific – Bob Hazell

Bob & Elaine Hazell left the UK in 2008 to realise a life’s ambition. Here they recall the last 9 months fantastic experience of their South Pacific Crossing from the Panama Canal to New Zealand, and visiting many of the stunning islands en route.

AGM : followed by 
The Creation of the Bell Rock Lighthouse 1807–11 
Roland Paxton

Professor Roland Paxton of Heriot-Watt University and the Institution of Civil Engineers’ Panel for Historical Engineering Works will tell us how this wonder of the industrial world was achieved on a rock up to 5 metres below high water and 11 miles out to sea.