by Meave Bell

The wet and windy winter season has been punctuated with lunches and walks for the northern members. Their usual Christmas format of a members’ meeting followed by Christmas lunch in the ever-hospitable Royal Ulster Yacht Club (RUYC) in Bangor was greatly enjoyed by 80 members and their guests at the start of December. This was followed after Christmas by a bracing walk at Murlough Bay on the County Down coast organised by Rear Commodore (and since the AGM Vice Commodore) Julie Chambers and her husband Graham.

walk On the bridge leading into Belvoir Forest Park adj
On the bridge leading into Belvoir Forest Park

Julie Chambers wrote a log of the event:

10:10 We set sail from Great Victoria Station on our way to Lanyon Station Belfast to collect the remaining crew for our voyage to Lough Foyle. Weather report: blue skies, good visibility, 3 degrees, wind 13-28 knots SW gusting 31 knots by lunchtime in the Maiden City. Sea state rough.

11:05 Madfish QYC & Bigwig KYC crews were joined by John Clementson who had navigated his way down several carriages to share the news on the forthcoming addition to the Clementson household of an 8-week-old pup called Cass. This called for some celebratory refreshments to be taken!

11:28 Weather update: blue skies & calmer conditions as we came into Ballymoney station. Julie navigated her way to the foredeck to bring some rations to the crew there!

11:45 We crossed the Lower Bann at Coleraine avoiding rescue boats and moorings. Ronnie Crosby, skipper of Madfish, reported how tricky it had been navigating the entrance to the River Bann a number of years ago on his way back from an ICC cruise. Entering Lough Foyle just after midday on a spring tide, the scenery was spectacular with Angus cattle paddling near the shore and Whooper swans grazing in the fields.

12:20 Waiting on the dock to catch our warps were the crew of Joyster, Des & Mo Brown.  A great welcome awaited us in Brown’s from our other Lough Foyle members Andy & Paddy McCarter, Jim Sammon, John Harkin and prospective new members Brian & Kathleen McDaid.

walk L to R Maurice Butler Stanton Adair and Adrian Bell
L-R: Maurice Butler, Stanton Adair, and Adrian Bell

All fully replete and plans made for forth coming cruises, it was time to leave. The tide had turned, and majority of the crew made their way back to the station although several opted to go for a walk and catch a later vessel. Des & Mo waved us farewell & safe passage.

18:00 Voyage complete.   

Categories: Events