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Well, all good plans tend to slip a bit – here I am writing the ‘July’ newsletter on our 22’ trailer sailer E boat on a wet and windy August Bank Holiday in Pembrokeshire. The only people sailing are the Dale racing regatta types and even they are reefed! Carol and I have made our summer a little busy by buying an old (1979) Southerly 105 ketch – currently on the hard in a ‘boatyard’ in Cheshire. This accounts for the epoxy and varnish adorning Carol’s hair these days. So, apologies for the lateness of the promised newsletter.

However, I’m glad to say the somewhat indifferent summer has not interfered with Penguin’s cruises.

First off the mark was the Easter cruise organized by David Newman and led by the ‘virgin’ Commodore Richard Gatley. A successful cruise from Dunstaffnage around the southern end of the ‘Whisky Isles’ – extra time spent on my favourite, Islay, I hope. I don’t want to change our tradition of presenting the full log at the AGM, but can say that the weather was clement, the sailing successful, and the Commodore’s maidenhead lost with aplomb. Photos and a log from Ian Rose are on the website.

Second to go was Lyn Ballard’s ambitious Channel crossing from Falmouth to Brittany. Camilla’s report gives the full story on the web and is well worth a read. Lyn led from the front, and brought his flock back safely with smiles all round and a sense of achievement at all objectives fulfilled.

Third was Graham Room’s even more ambitious Faroes trip – another successful cruise though I don’t know all the details yet and look forwards to hearing at the AGM. Translating from a Faroese chart and with plummeting exchange rates made this one a challenging cruise to organize, so well done Graham. Our very own Simon Hamilton called the sailing shots – the photos and story are eagerly awaited!

There have been two other semi-penguin cruises. Puffguin? Penfin? Never mind. The BVI group went again in ? February to seek warm climes, gentle winds, and sandy beaches. I think around a dozen Penguins made up the crews – maybe we can entice them back to do it again under the Penguin banner, unless they are such a well-knit group it would be a shame to ‘open it up’ to offer it as a general cruise. You wouldn’t guess I’m trying to spark off a dialogue here, would you? The other Puffguin venture was to the Scillies in July. David Newman conceived this one after discussions with me at our local Steam Fair bar (!), and it came about as we offered no Penguin cruises set in the school holidays (though see below). Twelve of us , all Penguins bar three (who I hope will be drawn in) went from Falmouth to circumnavigate the Scillies, enjoying The Turks Head on St Agnes and The Tresco Arms on, yes you guessed it. The sun shone – a real shorts and suncream trip for much of the time.

Finally, the reason that there was no school holiday trip was the very successful Penguin Anniversay Llangorse Camping cruise. The sun shone, ninety Penguins raised their glasses to toast Kevin’s 90th and the club’s 20th. We chartered a watercraft flotilla on the lake, and Simon H and Jonathan W provided a magnificent barbecue, and the beer barrel was emptied. Full report at the AGM.

Cruises for next year. If anybody does have ideas, or would want to organize a cruise, please contact me. An idea does not mean you have to be the organiser – I can tell other people to do that! Delegation, you see. We have some ideas – Lyn has proposed a couple of interesting ideas that we shall discuss, and David N has promised to organise an Aeolian Island trip for only four years now. Other ideas for the next few years could include St Kilda, the Norfolk Broads again, The Scillies, and the Lofoten Islands. Other proposals welcome. We really need a rough idea of time of year, destination, charterer, cost, and the number of boats to discuss at our next Committee meeting on the 6th of September. Sorry – not much time left, which is why I wanted to send this out a month ago.

The usual Penguin mailing will drop though your letterbox from October onwards – it will include (I hope) past copies of the newsletter and a plea for updated email details to try and draw in those not receiving these newsletters.

Keep in touch, and happy sailing!

Jonathan Pearce