Student Sailing Swansong
Report includes reminiscences, thanks, closing comments, suggestions for future activities and a link to a pretty impressive VIDEO of Molly under sail.
Click for the original Student Sailing page & all previous reports
Click any picture for full resolution

If you snag the reefing line ..

... This can happen !5
Saturday 20th April 2013.
Went really smoothly, 09:30 till 18:00, though as often happens at Henley, we could have used more wind.
Various crew boarded and left throughout the day to suit their own social schedules, so we decided to work between the bridge and Hambleden.
We had up to 7 aboard including one now partially-converted(?) reluctant sailor.
Patchy light winds all day (less than forecast) - We would have wished for more, but had plenty of fun and lots of sun - Ideal for our "Swansong". Many pictures taken.
"A great day out, we must do it again - BR "

Several of you began rowing with me in September 2010 through the Henley College “Enrichment” scheme.
At your request Student Sailing was conceived in November 2010 and launched on 2nd April 2011.

Most of the original young students have now left college and dispersed across the world.
Poor weather and frequent high water levels last winter often made local sailing impossible.
Somewhat reluctantly, I decided 20th April should be "Student Sailing Swansong".
Across the two years to 20th April 2013 we sailed together 12 times, with 26 "Whaler" attendances and 54 "Visitor" attendances.

I had fun and never stopped learning, nor delighting in observing your progress.  Unless you are a teacher (or become one), you will probably have no idea what a pleasure that has been.
You evidently enjoyed yourselves, learned quite a lot, and may have plans for more challenging sailing elsewhere.

We received a steady stream of positive feedback throughout the period.
Several students have already gone on to post-college aquatic activities.

Thank you all for your support, good will and frequent encouragement.
Thanks also of course to Geoff for alowing us to use Molly.
The scheme is now closed, but if you would like more sailing or rowing, let me know.
Otherwise, there are some ideas below.

Back under control
Sailing home

FUTURE OPTIONS you could pursue, individually or collectively:-

  1. Henley Whalers activities – Yes, you are all mature or mad enough for anything in our year-round programme of foreign trips, sailing raids, other events, eg there are still 2 spare spaces on the Irish trip 20-26/7/13.
    The regular Wednesday Whaling and once-a-month Weekend Whaling is ongoing.
    Sometimes there are spaces for non-members. Just watch the website, and ask! - Enquire early - Apply early!
  2. “Borrow” Molly for your own picnics, birthdays, events, etc. – You’ll need one “Whaler” aboard - Ask GP or PW.
  3. Set up a new “Local Sailing” scheme using Molly, subject to GP’s blessing. There might be enough “Whalers” and others interested.
  4. Henley Sailing Club - Small boats at Wargrave.
  5. Reading Sailing Club - Small boats at Caversham lakes – Comes recommended. – Some Whalers are members.
  6. H.O.G. – Henley Offshore Group  – Interesting local talks, and big-boat sailing. – Several Whalers are members.
  7. University Sailing clubs – Some are open to adults.
  8. Other sailing and rowing clubs – I can provide lists.
  9. Flotilla holidays – boats provided - qualified leaders guide a fleet of inexperienced sailors.
  10. RYA courses – Get qualified! - Begin with “Competent Crew” and work upward; Coastal, Yachtmaster, etc.
  11. Yacht charter – Anywhere in the world! - Follows from (10), or ask a qualified friend to be your skipper – We know a few!
    Several Whalers are considering charter in Mazuria (brilliant scenic inland sailing in northern Poland – Fun and affordable).
  12. Sailing Regattas - Pop into any marina when there is a regatta and ask around for crew places – It has worked for me, eg in Marmaris (Turkey).
  13. Give up sailing? – Never!

Find any of the above on-line or ask me for links.

Have you got any photos to add?


A penultimate comment – paraphrased from a Thames lighterman who told me in 1982, when our hotel ships started operations;
“When it comes to [boat handling], you never stop learning.  If you do, either you are dead, or you are about to be.”

Epitaph? - Every voyage comes to an end.  Ours was sometimes exciting, sometimes relaxing, never dull.  We “reached harbour” safely.
Where are you bound now? - Let me know – Stay in touch.

0 PW Logo2.jpg
"Journey's end"

For a pretty impressive video of Molly under sail, see our report on The English Raid 2012.

Molly is normally rowed and sailed by “Henley Whalers” and has attracted accolades and awards at events throughout the UK and Europe.
Henley Whalers, established in 1993, meet weekly, monthly and for special events. See our home page.
New members welcome. Contact the one who runs this site.