IN gale force winds, more than 70 members of Dell Quay Sailing Club’s Cruising Section joined together for dinner in the club house.
The meal was part of the club’s 90th anniversary celebrations and guests were treated to superb food, cooked by club member Roy Dyton and served by a team of members.
The highlight of the evening were the yarns told by journalist, sailor and presenter Tom Cunliffe.
He quoted 18th century, writer and yachtsman, Samuel Johnson, who said: “He who would go to sea for pleasure would go to hell for a pastime.”
His theme for the evening was mistakes and he said without these, people learn nothing and miss out on much fun.
Dick Cole said: “First Cunliffe took us to his early sailing career. This voyage involved a large historic sailing boat which after a series of misfortunes arrived engineless and in strong wind in the narrow river Hamble.
“A road-bridge came into view and in desperation the skipper turned the boat towards the bank to stop the boat before it hit the bridge.
“It happened the boat had a long bowsprit. This was so long, it overhung so much that it went straight through a bankside shed, lifting the shed and its surprised occupant. The lesson, Cunliffe said, was always be prepared for the unexpected.”
Mr Cunliffe then turned to his days as a sailing examiner and incidents in the Solent and while crossing the Channel, reminding guests more people drown in the bath than at sea.
He read a letter from the captain of a cargo boat to its owners following a series of mishaps while entering an African port.
Mr Cole added: “The sound of laughter drowned out the noise of the gale outside and we were all left wondering why other people’s mishaps can be so funny.”
Mr Cunliffe concluded by suggesting members should make more effort to push their limits and by making mistakes, they would learn and bring amusement to others.
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