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Cruising Reports 2012

The Richard Corcoran Beaucette Cruise – Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd September

The beauty about this Cruise is if the weather is foul (and it was) you can drive, take a taxi, or even walk and still make the dinner on the Saturday night.

The Cruise is in honour of former Vice Commodore Richard Corcoran who died in November 2009 aged 64. Vice Commodore Stuart Crisp said “Richard loved the sea and during his tenure he worked tirelessly for the Club. He will be remembered by all the members who had the privilege to know him.” 

41 members enjoyed an excellent dinner at ‘The Restaurant’ at Beaucette Marina and were delighted that Richard’s son Chris could join us.


Clegg Gifford Dielette Cruise – Friday 31st August to Sunday 2nd September


We had a lucky escape with the Diélette Cruise because as we all know the Summer Bank Holiday weather was c**p and we had to postpone the cruise for the first time since Paddy Randall and Anne White can remember.  However, the following weekend was fine and calm.  So nine boats set off, to be fair some were already there, Persuasion (for a week) and Ban Druidh, with Strider arriving last and just in time for a feast of Moules Frits at L’Escale restaurant.

During the early hours of Saturday morning, about 0400 I was going to the bloc sanitaire (it’s an age thing!) and I saw an otter at the top of the quay next to the bridge.  I watched the animal for about 5 minutes or so before it disappeared into the bushes, one of the highlights of the weekend for me.

During Saturday the crews did their own thing, some even swam in the sea!  As usual we all met up in the car park outside La Phare restaurant for drinks followed by a superb Normand meal of seafood, duck, cheese and tarte de pomme.  After the first course we were treated to the usual ‘Trou Normand’ – a large glass of calvados intended to make room in the stomach for more food – not to make you p****d which it seemed to do!

After the Loyal Toast given by Julie Ball, the prizes were awarded to the winners of the nautical quiz, expertly prepared by John Frankland who was sad not to be able to make the postponed event.  John will tell everyone that the quiz was easy!  The local crews struggled, and advantage was given to our overseas members by a series of supplementary questions replacing some of the more difficult local ones.  The winners were Adrian and Delia Pogson of Ban Druidh, Dominic and Paula Clark of Persuasion, and Mike and Wendy of Glayva.  The prizes were given out by Anne Marie Mitchison.


After the end of the meal things started to get a bit blurry and we apparently got to bed around 0400 – no I didn’t see the otter then!

Sunday was a slow start for many, especially Ed Duncan who seemed to spend the rest of the day on aptly named Siesta.

It was nice to see Diélette virgins Mike Tai and Julie Payne joining the cruise in Magic Legend.

Although the numbers were reduced this year (we normally get at least 40 people and have had 70) due to the fact that it wasn’t a Bank Holiday weekend it was still a brilliant event thanks to all who attended and to Clegg Gifford  for their generous sponsorship.


St Aubin’s Cruise – Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd July

It was perfect weather for a cruise, especially if you own a motorboat; flat calm and hot and sunny.  It was worth while moving the date from early June to July.  What a weekend!  The weather was so hot even the normally shy Johann Etasse got his legs out.


Seven boats made it, three of which stayed in St Aubin which was a bit more crowded, mainly with the intrepid French, at this time of the year.  Even so it was not without mishap.  It was Strider’s turn to slip off the hardcore at the base of the quay with 18” or more of shapely leg in the St Aubin ooze.  There seems to be a theme developing here.


You can also see Greta and Cygonie sitting pretty in the mud.

The St Aubin Cruise could be called a two centre cruise as the boats that cannot take the ground went as usual to St Helier and the crews spent the Friday evening and Saturday in the steamy fleshpots of the metropolis while those in St Aubin passed their time more sedately, swimming and sunbathing.

We all met up at the RCIYC Club House and had an excellent meal provided by Pavel, the new restaurant manager.  There were 21 of us including Sandra Carroll, the Jersey RCIYC Commodore and Chris and Lynne Cook (both ex Jersey Commodores).  It was great to see that two ‘young people’ also came along, Sam (Michael’s stand in barman) and a mate.  Sam crewed for Steve Drew in his new boat.

St Aubin Harbour is such a lovely setting so if you can take the ground try it out, and it is free!  Plus they have electricity.  Get a £1 meter card from the little supermarket opposite the Parish Hall.

Three boats, Calypso, Cygonie and Strider, stayed on after the rest of the crowd had returned to Guernsey and revived the Les Minquiers Cruise, although only Cygonie and Strider made it due to the entrance being too shallow for Calypso.


Queens’s Diamond Jubilee Pontoon Party – Monday 4th June



Even though the weather has made every effort to thwart us we managed to slip one in, the Pontoon Party celebrating the Queens Diamond Jubilee and it was unique.

Well all did not go to plan.  Some time at the end of last year we were invited to organise as many local boats as possible from both clubs to take over pontoon D in the Victoria marina and put on a bit of a show.

This plan was announced in the Bailiff’s press release concerning the QDJ celebrations and was included in all the QDJ advertising blurb. However, when it came to the event we were told that there were too many visiting boats, compounded by the Hardy’s rally and boats being winded in, so we couldn’t use pontoon D. This created a great deal of stress and panic.  I had 19 boats expecting to be in the Victoria Marina plus the Leopardess (and that is another story!).

After a meeting with Graham Trebert we agreed that the event could take over the end of Pontoon E in the QEII.

It was unique and memorable event in that it included, sail and motor from both the RCIYC and GYC.  Everyone provided food and we lunched on the pontoon after dressing the boats overall.  The sun even shone and the wind died for once.  After a long lunch and a rendering of Rule Britannia led by the crew of Mr Blue Sky most boats took part in a photo treasure hunt with a royal theme.

The treasure hunt was won by Cygonie, Carol and Roland Guille and Proteus, Chris Rowe and friends. They had a very good score but after the prizes were awarded it was discovered that there were some shenanigans – they used motorised transport!  The hunt was enjoyed by all, young and old.

After the excitement of the treasure hunt had died down 30 pizzas were collected from Bella’s and eaten aboard.

The only down side was that because we were using E pontoon and other peoples’ berths the party broke up early as we had to vacate the places as the marina opened.  Still a number of boats were able to stay in situ and the crews slept aboard and had breakfast at the White Rock Cafe.

Le Légué Cruise – Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th May



The season has started well, eight boats (four motor and four yachts) made it to Le Légué despite the weather threatening to intervene.

Most of us decided to sail on the Friday given the poor forecast on Saturday.  Calypso (David Mitchison, Commodore, and Anne Marie), Meltemi (Phil and Rear Commodore Julie Ball), Jemmaly (Paul and Michelle Steele), headed for St Caast; and Turning Point (Captain Barry), Greta (Johan Etasse. and David Le Jean) and Strider (Stuart Crisp, Vice Commodore, and Sarah) arrived in St Quay Pontrieux, – both marinas with 24 hour access.  While Peredur (Alan and Helen Bryon) and Jean Pierre (Jane and Jeremy Smithies) arrived at Le Légué early on the Friday.  David and Pat Evans, members of the original cruise in 1991, travelled to Le Légué by ferry and car.

The Association Nautique du Légué (ANL) and the RCIYC have been close friends since 1991.  The event was generously sponsored by Paddy Randall, who was a member of the original cruise.  Paddy has promised to sponsor the return visit next year.

Four boats mustered outside Le Légué at the appointed time on Saturday in a force 5 north easterly, which was very uncomfortable.  Greta and Strider aborted a first attempt to enter the port due to shallow water and a rolling sea, Strider being first in 15 minutes later on the rising tide, but it was still exciting.

We were greeted by the crews of Jean Pierre and Peredur and a significant number of members from ANL.  Each crew was given a goody bag including a bottle of cider and some gallettes.  After mooring we had drinks and ‘apéritif dinatoire’ (more than nibbles and not quite a meal) at the ANL clubhouse which was an opportunity to catch up with old friends and practise rusty French.  We also learnt Breton dancing, particularly enjoyed by Sarah Crisp, Julie Ball, Anne Marie Mitchison and Capt Barry.

We were up early on Sunday, woken by French breakfast being delivered to the boats by Xavier Saux and friends in the rain.  Later we went to the Plerin market, in the rain, followed by a superb hog roast, hosted by ANL.  The President of ANL welcomed the RCIYC and after a response from the Commodore we exchanged presents, Guernsey mugs, VB beer and Guernsey cheese from us, and wine, including a bottle that had been left in the sea off Morlaix for 1½ years, and a whole Serrano ham from the ANL.

Lunch was accompanied by Breton music, and later dancing and singing.

The French Presidential election was high on the agenda and later that day we were taken to the Plerin polling station to watch the count.  In France anyone can go and watch the counting of votes which is not done behind closed doors as in Guernsey and the UK.

After lunch the sun came out and we played Petanque.  It was a serious game, with a few disputes, but much to everyone’s surprise, the undisputed champions were Stuart and Sarah Crisp after beating Captain Barry and David Evans.  The trophy was presented by Ronan Kerdraon Senateur des Cotes d’Amour and Mayor of Plerin.

The day closed with a light meal at the clubhouse followed by more singing and dancing and at 2000 hours the result of the election, which delighted many of our hosts.  Finally goodbyes were said as we returned to our boats.  The following morning the return journey, for most, started at 0645 hours BST as we passed through the lock.