Welcome to 2017, I trust that you have all had a wonderful Christmas and survived the New Year celebrations.
Looking back at 2016, we had quite a good sailing season with not too many breakages (for a change) and the weather was far from the worst we’ve seen.
September saw the Happy Return moving to Gweek boat yard for pre-planned work by Andrew Massy. The forward covering board on the starboard side had developed some rot which needed to be attended to promptly. Andrew, true to his normal standard worked like a Trojan completing the work on time. Whilst this work went on members gathered to scrape and paint the boat so that she was looking ready to start the 2017 season.
The Happy Return then sailed back down river under the command of John Van-der-Hoff (and a fine bunch of stalwarts) on the 20th October heading for the Penzance Wet Dock. Needless to say, that is not all of the work to be undertaken and work will re-commence in the near future.
During the 2016 sailing season, Happy Return visited the Isles Scilly on three separate occasions, calling into all the main islands and anchoring in some new locations throughout the archipelago, such as the west side of Great Ganilly and Puffin island.
The Happy Return also attending Sea Salt and Sail in Mousehole. This is a traditional festival which gives members of the public the opportunity to see many of the old historic boats from the South West and Brittany.
Happy return to the rescue
It was during this festival on the Saturday morning when guest crews were taking breakfast on the quay, that someone made the comment. “Is that boat moving in the Bay” on closer scrutiny it was seen that one of the visiting boats from Belgium had dragged its anchor and was well on its way to grounding on Penlee Point. The crew, who had been totally oblivious of the situation, came running down the quay embarking post haste on HR. The crew of the Happy Return castoff and proceeded to steam out of the harbour at full speed. Helmed by the intrepid Nick Darling, Happy Return was put alongside the stricken vessel to embark the crew. Meanwhile the R.I.B from the Penzance Sea Cadet Corps had been gallantly pulling the vessel in an endeavor to clear it past Penlee point. All went well with just the smallest amount of paint damage to each vessel. So all in all a very interesting start to the day with the Sea Cadets proving to be the heroes of the hour and Happy Return being the fastest Lugger to depart Mousehole in many years… all very exciting.
Looking forward to 2017, once again I trust we will have a good season and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.