Irish Sea Event Reports
Once again the Irish Sea Branch AGM was held in Sale, Manchester which is convenient for many of the crews who keep their boats in our region. Dave Kitchen, Captain of the branch, welcomed the now seasoned Moody members who attend most of our social gatherings and a warm welcome was also extended to members new to these gatherings, Maureen and Darrell who keep their Moody in Pwllheli.
Once the business of the AGM was done we listened to Alec Farrell who shared his Etensive knowledge of the Irish Sea. Alec, originally from the Isle of Man, is now part of the Marina team in Liverpool. He shared some insights into the workings of the marina and the facilities it offers as well as some of the pitfalls of owning a sea going vessel. Many thanks Alec.
There followed a hot buffet with gossip and sailing yarns thrown in before we all headed back out into the January Traffic.
You can find full details of the AGM on the MOA website under Irish Sea Branch. Thank you to all those who attended in support of the branch.
2016 Laying Up Supper at Conwy Golf Club
What a wonderful evening we had at our Laying-Up Supper in Conwy, North Wales. With four new MOA couples joining us and some fun quizzes to entertain us between courses, the evening was bound to be a success!
Our supper was held at the Conwy Golf Club, a rich man’s boat length away from the Marina where many of our crews were staying for the night. The club has a fabulous view from the upstairs bar and dining room towards The Great Orme and the Conwy estuary. The sun was setting on a beautiful Autumn day as members arrived to greet each other and enjoy the last of the evening’s views.
Dave Kitchen, Irish Branch Captain, formerly welcomed everyone, then after the main course the fun began with a quiz based on the International Code of Signals (ICS). Wayne from Pinch of Thyme challenged us to decipher a name using the flags as the alphabet. After the initial embarrassment of realising how few flags we all knew, Mark from Harlequin worked out the answer and won the prize. The photo competition followed dessert and was even more fun, (perhaps because I won the second prize!) Members had each sent in 2 photos of places they had visited during the year which were then used as an identity quiz. It was surprising how tricky it was to recognise places you had visited when taken from another’s point of view. First prize went to Colin and Jayne from Bluette, who recognised fourteen of the twenty eight photos.
A warm welcome was extended to our new crew members from Lion Heart, August Moon, Theodas, Marissa and Bluette and to Mediterranean members, Colin and Pat from Good Mood 4.
We can now spend the colder months ‘pottering’ and ‘tinkering’ and look forward to some more great sailing and socialising next season.
Many thanks to Sally for organising such a successful event and to Wayne for the Quiz !
Photo- Kerry Versfeld.
2016 Early Season Supper in the walls of Caernarfon Castle
The second of this year’s Irish Sea Branch social events was our Early Season Supper on 16th April. The event took place at The Royal Welsh Yacht Club where we received a warm welcome from the Commodore, John Judge and his wife Mo. The venue was chosen to tempt more members to join us from other ports along the North Wales coast like Pwllheli or Porthmadog. We were pleased to welcome one of our members from Caernarfon, but unfortunately, three other new crews who contacted us were unable to attend this gathering. Hopefully they will be able to join us next time.
The venue is a fascinating place to visit and welcomes all yachtsmen staying in Victoria Dock or in the river, Afon Seiont in Caernarfon.The club is housed within the walls of Caernarfon Castle and is believed to be the oldest building of any yacht club in the world. The castle itself dates back to 1282 and the Royal Welsh Yacht Club was founded within the walls in 1847. The bar and lounge stands on the first floor of a turret which extends out from the castle walls towards the Menai Straits. People walking along the newly refurbished promenade between the walls and the Straits can pass directly beneath the turret or enter the town by one of the many castle gateways beneath it.
The room was grand with an impressive fireplace, double height ceilings , a bar built into the circular contours of the walls and an ancient stone, spiral staircase leading up to the ramparts. Naturally, we all clambered up the staircase to take a peek at the splendid views towards the snow-capped mountains of Snowdonia, bathed in the glow of the evening sunshine. In the opposite direction, the eye is drawn towards the ‘narrows’ between the most south westerly point of Anglesey at Aber Menai and Fort Belan on the mainland. The wide stretch of water in between was glistening in the sunset. What a superb start to the evening.
After a few warm words of welcome from John we enjoyed a hearty meal with good wine, good local beer
and good company. There was quite a party atmosphere as we discovered two birthdays among our party. We also celebrated the fact that Charisma’s ‘hardy’ crew had arrived by sea, unlike the rest of us who had travelled by road, either from Conwy Marina or from Liverpool. If you are in the area, arriving by sea or road, and feel like dropping in for a drink in this historic club, you can be sure of a warm welcome. For more information, visit their website at:
Photos Kerry Versfeld..
2016 AGM and Social Report
There was a marvellous atmosphere at this year’s Irish Sea Branch AGM held on Saturday 23rd January. On arrival, we were greeted by the many friends that we have made through the association since the creation of the Irish Sea Branch, only five years ago. Many members commented on how the branch had grown in members and in friendship since that first meeting organised by Howard Weeks back in 2011. Howard stepped down as Branch Captain at the meeting but it’s thanks to his initial energy and determination that we now have a thriving and successful branch with a busy sailing and social calendar. We are particularly proud to be hosting the National AGM in the vibrant city of Liverpool this year. We hope it will be as successful as last year’s event held in Stratford.
Crews attended the meeting from the ports of Conwy, Bangor, Liverpool, Whitehaven and La Roche Bernard, France, although members live over a vast area from Wales to Manchester and Derby to Wakefield. After the business of the meeting, we enjoyed a hot buffet lunch followed by a talk from our guest speaker, our Commodore, Annie Gandar. She shared photos and stories depicting the life in the year of the commodore during the associations 30th Anniversary year. As you can imagine, she travelled many miles during the year visiting branches up and down the country. It was lovely that Annie and her husband Laurence were able to join us for this, our first social gathering of 2016 and kick-starting the Irish Sea Branch events for this year.