As I write, autumn is upon us and our sailing season is over for this year. However, we can now look forward to the return of next season and the fresh sailing programme offering new ports of call and of course the ever popular ones. In addition, we have the bi-annual Looe Lugger event to look forward to. I do hope you had some good sailing on Happy Return this last season. Happy Return will be returning to her winter berth in the Wet Dock on Thursday 20th October having spent a month in Gweek boatyard having her cover boards replaced and some ancillary works done.
The weather wasn’t brilliant this last season with some trips cancelled due to weather but there was also some very good sailing. This year it was the bi-annual Sea Salt and Sail Festival at Mousehole in early July. The weather wasn’t good but the event is always very enjoyable. Some 40 plus boats attended the event. Mike Halse was the skipper for the weekend with Nick Darling mate. Racing around the buoys was held on Saturday. It is always keenly contested and Happy Return acquitted herself well as you would expect of an old lady! She also took part in the Parade of Sail adding to the wonderful spectacle of so many classic wooded boats for all to see.
We also took part in the annual PASAB race in late July. Mark Mitchell was the skipper with Mike Tudor mate. The weather on the race out to Scilly wasn’t very kind to us with little or no wind for the whole trip. The race around the Islands on Sunday started later than usual; in order for Happy Return to complete the course and get back into St Mary’s at a reasonable time. She set off before the official start and was unfortunately disqualified however it was an enjoyable sail around the Isles. The return race on Monday back to Penzance was our sort of weather with a steady wind on the quarter and Happy Return romped home back to Penzance.
On 14th August Happy Return attended the Porthleven Lifeboat Day. John Tellam was the skipper with Clive Humphrey mate for the weekend trip. She sailed over on Saturday returning on Monday. The visit was very popular and she drew a lot of interest. She was open to the public for them to view a traditional Cornish fishing Lugger. Most members will know she was built by Kitto in Porthleven in 1904/5. There is now a provisions shop where the old Kitto Yard was situated, opposite the quay. On the day the Cape Singers came and performed from her deck which drew a large crowd who appeared to enjoy the singing. The visit was such a success we have been asked if we will return for next years Lifeboat Day. On leaving Porthleven on Monday we created a little bit of history, we were the first Lugger to sail out of Porthleven harbour for 50 years.
The annual Newlyn Fish Festival was a great success, it is our main fund raising event of the year and we appreciate all of our members who turned up and lend a hand on the bank holiday and the day before to help set things up. We would also like to thank the members who contributed towards the afternoon slice of cake and a cuppa. This goes down very well with the public. The Fish Festival is a lot of hard work but also very enjoyable. Fortunately, the weather was good this year.
This winter we will be holding a series of events in addition to the Annual Dinner and AGM. We do hope that you will find them of interest and will come along. There is nothing like a good pint and some nautical chat to help brighten up the winter I will be sending out a separate programme of these events and dates for you to keep in your diaries shortly.
That time of the year is fast approaching so if you are thinking Christmas presents don’t forget that we offer a wide range of polo and T-shirts, fleeces with or without hoods of all sizes, all with our logo embroidered on them plus useful stocking fillers such as key rings with a picture of Happy Return and leather bookmarks with our logo. We also hold in stock prints of a painting of Happy Return done by a local artist. Contact John Tellam and check what he has available in stock, if he doesn’t have it he can order it.
The annual winter maintenance programme for Happy Return will be starting soon and we will need your help. If you are not aware we meet up where Happy Return is moored in the Wet Dock at about 10.30am on Saturday mornings. Don’t worry if you don’t have any technical skills just to be able to wield a paint brush will be okay. Do come, it’s not all hard work but an enjoyable few hours spending time with shipmates chatting over sails past and future. If you are able to spare some time on a Saturday contact John Van Der Hoff. It gives John time to plan what’s to be done and who is available.
Just to end this news, if you would like to put pen to paper and share with other members one of your sailing experiences on Happy Return or any other sailing experience, it doesn’t have to be long. I would very much like to hear from you.