Sailing at Datchet - 7th November 2009 - Includes Caption Competition.

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Five Henley Whalers enjoyed a great day’s sailing on the Queen Mother Reservoir.

The facilities of Datchet Water Sailing Club were much appreciated, especially the café, with its’ good sensibly priced menu, and spacious changing facilities.


After a cold start, the sun shone almost continuously.  10mph winds, occasionally gusting 15 or 20, were very manageable with the fully reefed mainsail.   

The mile-wide reservoir gave plenty of space for practicing tacks and gybes. 

Suddenly – Splash - Someone called “Man Overboard!”  The owner had thrown a fender in the water to test crew reactions.  Point. Tack. Return. Keep pointing.  Gybe. Victim on windward side. Whoops – missed him. Round again.  Rescue successful.  Six minutes the poor “victim” was in the water but none the worse for the experience.


There were many gulls, even more cormorants, and a few ducks and geese. 

Most conspicuous were the noisy aluminium birds associated with nearby London Heathrow.

Toward 3pm, decreasing winds allowed us to shake out one reef. 

The new mast proved itself, and its’ lightness was a great delight!


Our least confident crew member enjoyed a good length of time at the helm, both before and after lunch.

The scenery was not up to much, "like sailing in a giant soup bowl", but Datchet was very accessible, good value and an excellent location for non-tidal, no-swell sailing practice.

The scariest part of the day was negotiating the slipway while launching.  3 inches to the pontoon one side of the trailer, and 3 inches to an increasingly steepening drop into the water on the other!

Thanks to Molly's owner for organising the day. Henley Whalers will be back!


Caption Competition?

A prize for the best caption submitted before 30th November?

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