Join us on Saturday 16th September at Banana Wharf (Port Hamble Marina) to enjoy a british fry up between 9am - 10.30am.
Coach then departs at 10.45am to head towards Southampton Boat Show. Returning at 6pm.
Tickets are priced at £15 per person and includes entrance to the boat show, maximum of 4 per boat.
** Please note this is a members only offer **
On Sunday 17th September Jo Meekley from our technical services team will be riding from London to Folkestone on the first leg of the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) London to Monaco event. We caught up with Jo to find out why she’s taken on the challenge:
Why a charity bike ride?
I wouldn’t say I’m a particularly sporty person but I like to keep fit. Whilst this mostly involves strength training in the gym 3 to 5 times a week or the odd game of various racket sports, I also try to commute by bike at least 1 day per week when work commitments allow. It’s a 26 mile round trip and takes just under an hour each way, so it’s a great way to hit my exercise goal for the day, and as I actually enjoy it it seemed like a sensible sport to try and improve my ability in. Now, those who know me will know that my history with bikes isn’t great, having been ejected from mine 4 times in the past 2 years, but as they say “what doesn’t kill you….”. I really hope it doesn’t kill me.
Last year BLUE organised a bike ride from London to Monaco (L2M) that raised over £250k for various projects they are running. I have been working with them on their Solent Oyster Regeneration Project for about 18 months. The project is a conservation scheme that is hoping to restore the native oyster population in the waters of the Solent to a healthy level with the aim of allowing a successful oyster fishery to be re-established. Working in the marine industry I am all too aware of the environmental challenges facing our oceans, and have a particularly strong aversion to plastic pollution in our seas. A recent holiday to Cyprus left me horrified and saddened to see the amount of plastic washed up on otherwise “pristine” beaches that were only accessible by kayak.
Why London to Folkestone?
I desperately wanted to take part in the L2M ride this year but being relatively new to cycling (by which I mean I didn’t even own a road bike!) I thought riding back to back for 10 days - and travelling over 860 miles in that time - was a bit of a tall order. So I set my sights slightly lower and decided to sign up for the first day; a meagre 71 (and a bit!) miles from London to Folkestone. One of the projects that BLUE are fundraising for with the L2M ride is “Beyond Plastic Med”, an initiative to confront the scale of plastic pollution and its impact on the Mediterranean. I was already tempted to sign up but this sealed the deal for me; having the opportunity to be part of an event that will raise funds to help raise awareness of the various issues facing our oceans and tackle them head on will be an honour.
What’s the aim?
To raise £1000 towards the BLUE fundraising target of £250,000. Any sponsorship to help me achieve my goal would be gratefully received and donations can be made through my JustGiving page.
A 110 year-old wooden screw lugger, believed to have been originally built for the Marquis of Bute in 1907 by John Adams & Son in Greenock, was successfully raised from the depths of Bray Marina in Berkshire by River Canal Rescue (RCR) engineers recently.
Sgùr Urain - named after the battle cry of the Clan MacRae and derived from Sgurr Fuahan, one of five mountains at the base of Loch Duich - has been in current owner Simon Jones’ family since the 60s when his father, visiting Scotland on holiday, found her laid-up on the beach and bought her off a local fisherman.
Designed to navigate the lochs of Scotland, Sgùr Urain only draws four feet and was originally powered by a petrol paraffin engine, using internal ballast to balance the lug sails she would have carried for steadying out in the open sea. Her hull is constructed of 36ft lengths of splined pitch-pine with a teak deck and teak housing. As with all wooden craft, Sgùr Urain requires continual work and renovation to ensure she remains in excellent condition.
In July Simon took her out of the water to replace a section of keel. Having been out of the water for a protracted period in hot weather, when re-floated there were, as expected, a number of leaks as the wooden planks took up water to seal the dried-out hull. Despite stabilisation by bilge pumps - and the staff at Bray Marina keeping a very close watch - a failure of the pumps overnight lead to her rapid sinking whilst at her mooring before the wooden hull had become water-tight.
Simon comments: “I was advised by a diver that air bags couldn’t be used to raise the craft as there was a very high risk the pressure would cause the hull to collapse due to her shape and weight and, while a barge crane was an option, it wasn’t available for at least a couple of weeks and came at very significant cost and risk of damage. I then came across River Canal Rescue and their engineers and support team were brilliant.”
RCR used a novel technique to raise Sgùr Urain within four hours – this involved making a plywood box to put over the front access hatch to create a vacuum, sealing the boat and then using high-pressure pumps to remove the water and refloat the vessel.
Managing director, Stephanie Horton, explains: “The key to a successful refloat is in the preparation and ensuring the vessel is sealed before attempting to pump out. Our engineers also ‘first-aided’ the engine whilst on site to prevent corrosion and ensure that it would be functional in the future.”
Simon continues: “The speed at which RCR took control of the situation was unbelievable - the engineers were practical and reassuring, they weren’t fazed by anything, they explained everything and knew exactly what to do to rescue the boat and prevent further damage to the engine.
“When you see a boat of this age in such distress, your main concern is what damage might be caused during re-floating and it was extremely reassuring to have access to such skills and expertise and an enormous relief when she was back afloat with no damage from the process. I look forward to getting her cleaned out and back to how she was.”
Roma McGurk, Duty Manager at Bray Marina, echoes these sentiments: “Sgùr Urain has been moored with us since 2009; the boat is a crucial part of our heritage so it was important to raise it with as little damage as possible. RCR certainly delivered on this and while we hope our members won’t have to call on their services again, it’s good to know their engineers are on hand to help when needed.”
Stephanie concludes: “We’re so pleased we could be of assistance to Mr Jones, our approach to this refloat managed to save him a lot of distress and expenditure.”
To find out more about River Canal Rescue visit www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk or call 01785 785680.
MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator, is proud to be launching a new development of beautiful bespoke lodges at Woolverstone Park near Ipswich. The luxury lodges will be open this Autumn and promise to be a valuable addition to the marina, further extending its appeal as a destination for both on-water and land leisure pursuits.
Woolverstone Park is set in 22 acres of stunning parkland on the River Orwell and the new lodges are set to complete the Park’s premium leisure offering. The beautiful space has been utilised to open up the marina to new visitors, ideal for those looking for a family-friendly retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Woolverstone Marina itself provides abundant sailing opportunities, hosting 235 berths, first-class facilities and on-site chandlery.
The new lodges are individually designed to offer an exclusive experience. Clover Lodges, with their clean, modern aesthetic and open plan living space, provide accommodation for four guests and include a woodland balcony and outdoor hot tub. Fern and Willow Lodges also sleep up to four guests and feature spacious living and dining areas, providing a beautiful and relaxed environment, whilst still benefiting from the modern luxuries of free Wifi, multi-channel TV and the latest appliances.
Dean Smith, Commercial Director, MDL Marinas, said: “With Woolverstone Park’s new offering officially launching this Autumn, we are delighted to reveal the stunning lodges, which will be ideal for those looking for a taste of the outdoors with a touch of luxury. We are expecting demand to be high so would advise anyone looking to book a break at the retreat to get in touch with the Woolverstone Marina team now to reserve your accommodation.
“Vistors looking to make the most of the waterfront location will be able to enjoy a plethora of water sport activities, including yacht charters and an RYA accredited sailing school for both sailboat and powerboat courses. For those who like to keep their feet firmly on dry land there are beautiful walks in the area, as well as cultural attractions to take in locally. There are also plenty of on-site activities for our younger guests, including a children’s play area and many family-friendly walking and cycling trails. Offering culinary delights and a wonderful place to chill, the Riverside Bar and Restaurant also provides stunning views across the water.”
The significant investment in Woolverstone Park forms part of the ongoing strategy at MDL Marinas to evolve its enviable network of marinas into not just fantastic sailing venues, but ultimate leisure destinations that offer a wealth of on-water and on-land activities for everyone to enjoy.
For more information about Woolverstone Lodge Park contact the marina team on firstname.lastname@example.org