Captains Log

Sails, Screws, and Software: Chronicles of a Thames Sailor

Post-Storm Sailing: A Not-So-Perfect Day before the Club AGM

The Club AGM and a Storm Surge on the river stops all sailing, so we content ourselves by going for a walk along the River Thames.

After Storm Ciaran’s exit stage left, Saturday morning beckoned with a deceptive sparkle, the kind that whispered, “Seize the sails!” Alas, the wind was more mischievous than it let on. The sun shone brightly. And as I went outside to get the milk in. The wind was blowing. I thought to myself. This could be a good day to go sailing.

The River’s Mood Swings

Eagerly checking the Upper Thames Sailing Club’s live feed, I was met with a picturesque scene. Yet, the Thames, swollen and assertive, was having none of it. The would-be sailors from the cancelled Power Boat Level 2 course could only nod in resignation.

The storm surge stops the sailing but not the Club AGM

Heeding the Warnings

Warnings flickered on the screen: “Keep off the Thames.” The river, it seemed, was sprinting faster than an Olympian. Red signs swayed in agreement, and I, somewhat reluctantly, tipped my hat to their advice. Sailing was not on today’s or tomorrows menu. The Club AGM it would have to be.

The river flow at Maidenhead just downstream of the club
Environment Agency Warning

Club AGM Adventures and Rainy Rainbows

Come Sunday, it was the 139th Upper Thames Sailing Club AGM and Prize Giving. The Prize Giving – an event we were too new to participate in truly, was bypassed by us in favour of a walk along the Thames. The sky, ever a fickle fellow, tricked us out of our raincoats and greeted us with cheeky droplets instead.

The river frlowing quickly past the club AGM

We walked downstream following the river surge towards where Paul and the team nearly had a close encounter with the bridge. We waded down a muddy path from the clubhouse to the HMS Marina, showing off the Duffy Electric Day Boats. From there, it was a very narrow walk past large, expensive houses down to and across the bridge. We wanted to get some photographs of the Marina and a clear view of the river.

A view upstream towards the Upper Thames Sailing Club

The return the the Club AGM

At the bridge, we decided to turn around and, instead of walking back along the muddy path, walking through a shortcut to the Station and civilisation. This was not a good idea as the path was far from short, and as we progressed, the path became muddier and muddier. But not too soon, we popped out into the Station Car Park, where we were greeted with a sign “Have you Paid?” Progress was quick along made-up pavements, and soon we were back at the clubhouse and the Club AGM.

The Final Screw and Committee Debuts

We triumphed over the last rebellious screw in our RS Toura just as a rainbow crowned our efforts.

The last screw going in  as we lost the last one down the centre board

Yet, our victory over hardware was quickly overshadowed by a downpour that herded us to the clubhouse just in time for the Club AGM commencement. Paul’s ascent to becoming a committee member was something of a hand-raising coup, elected by virtue of his willingness and a scarcity of volunteers.

Paul getting elected to General committee at the Club AGM

And with that, he was bestowed the helm of IT and the Sailing Club management software. He has lots of ideas for new events to promote the club and to increase the membership. So here’s to new beginnings and windy days and not-so-strong currents. One of the main worries at the Club AGM was the potential for the River to flood and to make all the members aware.

Where we started at the Sothampton Boat Show

A review of the RS Toura coming soon

Read about making a shop when you can’t sail in the next blog


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