The Serpent Yacht Club is a small friendly club originally started by doctors but now open to anyone who has a connection to any of the healthcare professions. The club has a programme of sociable musters with races and new members are welcome.
The club email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin Yuill reports
This was the first
Official Serpent BBQ at Ormidale and although the weather could have been
kinder it did not dampen the spirits of all who took part. In the end 9 SYC
boats were represented and we were joined by prospective new members, Mairi and
Douglas Brown on Mariella, a Nicholson 32.
Commodore Stewart and wife
Catherine, had loaned Out of the Blue to their sons. A request was received
from them for a berth on Pondskater for the Friday and Saturday.
“Certainly” we said without realising that he would be arriving after
son Douglas, his wife Leo, other son David and a friendhad been ferried on board in the dead of
night at 11.00 after travelling from London that afternoon. The SAS should
recruit Stewart who is now well practiced in ferrying people around an isolated
anchorage at midnight.
Saturday saw Pondskater,
now flying the Commodore’s burgee, at Rothesay for the passage in company. With
no takers we had a stop in Port Bannatyne for papers which turned into a lunch break.
Back at the mooring people
who had moorings at Ormidale started to arrive and in the end no one had to
anchor with Graham and Don on Silverjack rafting up to Black Pepper, Mariella
on Stewart’s mooring and Tigerfire also on a spare mooring. Ian and Anne were
on Sulaire and Robert on Kelpie-D. Seamus, recovering from the flu, and Marie
arrived by car and stayed the night on Emma Louise at Portavadie .
Those afloat set off to
the shore at 5.30 in a damp Scottish mist which was more like rain at times. It
did though clear up to give us a dry evening ashore mostly clear of midges.
Somebody stole my burger! I wonder who? Can you spot the culprit?
Everyone brought their
disposable BBQs except Don and Graham who
were more traditional and created theirs on the beach in a stones circle (they did succumb to the use of the blow torch
to get it going).
There was so much sharing
of facilities that it eventual became a large community self help BBQ with food
and cooking resources being shared.
We started to pack up at
8.30 before it got dark with everyone having had their fill . A ‘taxi’ service,
for those who needed it, towed them back to their boats.
A big clear up followed
with numerous rubbish bags ending up in the back of Stewart & Catherine’s
By the time Pondskater stirred on Sunday it
was a nice dry and calm day.
Next up is the Autumn Muster on 10th/11th September. We return to Rothesay with a race there from Kip and with a round the cans pursuit race centred on Rothesay Bay on the Sunday. The inner harbour has been reserved for us and a meal has been arranged at the Victoria Hotel. It's a good menu but participants will be required to give their menu choices to Seamus on arrival in the marina. The actual menu will be sent out with the race instructions and entry form. Payment for the meal is directly to the hotel under your boat name. Hopefully we will get suitable weather and that this will be as successful as previous years.
Also to note : The so-called 'Frostbite' Race on Sat 8th October - returning again to Largs for we hope a frost-free sail round Cumbrae.
And - advance notice of The Annual Dinner on Saturday 26th November at the Glasgow Art Club. In this anniversary year it promises to be a very special event.
We are delighted to announce that we will have as our very distinguished speaker, Tom Cunliffe who will of course be familiar to anyone who has ever picked up practically any sailing publication. With numerous books and innumerable magazine articles to his credit, all written in his highly engaging style, Tom is surely the UK's most prominent writer and commentator on practical sailing matters. The Club will be inviting non members to the Dinner and tickets are likely to be in high demand so be sure to get your request in as soon as the official notification is issued.
We have just had a very successful BBQ at Craobh but for those Members who were stuck on the Clyde and who missed out, the Club is arranging an informal muster and BBQ over the weekend of 13/14th August.
Nothing could come near the organisation or cooking skills of Steve Pickles and his crew so the format will be very casual. If you want deep fried mars bars bring your own! JUST COME AND JOIN IN. This is a free weekend: there will be no racing. Simply come along and meet your fellow club members. I will be starting a passage in company from the flagpole at Rothesay Sailing Club at approx 11.00 hrs. My boat is Pondskater, a Najad 370 with a red stripe on the hull. I will be flying a very large SYC burgee from the backstay. The passage will be up the Kyles to Ormidale in Loch Riddon or Wreck Bay depending on the wind direction and strength. You can join us anywhere along the course or just arrive at the anchorage whatever suits you. At the anchorage I hope members will engage in a boat hopping session. I enjoy learning how others have solved boating problems. A dinghy taxi service will be available if required. We will then have a DIY BBQ on the beach at 6.30/7.00. Bring your own disposable BBQ, your own food, cutlery, plastic glasses, and tipple of choice. We will bring some midge repellent sticks for the beach (just in case). When you are finished dampen down the BBQs and I will collect and remove them on the Sunday. NB do not put the used hot/warm BBQs in a locker as they may still be producing carbon monoxide and kill you. This weekend is a great opportunity for the non-racing and motor cruiser members to come and meet others in the club, so if you have not attended a muster before, you are especially welcome. Just turn up and fly the flag.
It was good to have a fine attendance at the barbeque after its cancellation last year. Alastair at Croabh had not only done a fine job in decorating the shed but had also provided a brand new barbecue of no oil drum ancestry and over which Steve, Susan and Trevor presided with their customary skill and humour.
A new and perhaps dubious addition as far as the health conscious was concerned was the nougat en chocolat tempura or more accurately, deep fried Mars bar as provided by Dr Douglas Gray but at least it provided an opportunity for those of us who had always been horrified by the concept to try a small sample.
As usual spirited dancing followed with recorded music provided by Stewart.
Then eventually, at the end of a great night during which much food and drink had been consumed it was time to perform certain rituals, possibly to honour the Commodore although really it should be to the Croabh Marina personnel who do so much to make our annual visit such an enjoyable affair.
Next day of course was the Round Shuna race. Troikka had been nominated as committee boat, no doubt with the ulterior motive of keeping us anchored at the start. A complete lack of wind sufficient to start the race resulted in a rare phenomenon in Serpent races, namely a postponement. Happily, after 10 minutes of that, a slight breeze filled in with which it was possible to dispel the confusion among the competitors and start the race at 11.15.
Martin Yuill photo
Amongst the fleet were three of the Scottish Island classic yachts, Martyn Webster's 'Shona' which appeared well filled with crew, Mr Arup Ray's Bernera and Canna, the helm of which is as yet unknown.
Also new on the scene was Douglas Gray's potent looking Finngulf 41 'Shenaval' seen here approaching the start line.
It was a well ordered start with everybody more or less on the case but the conditions did not suit those with a low SA/D and sadly Pondskater soon fell behind although Out of the Blue carried on valiantly.
The conditions however suited Troikka perfectly and after the prescribed 10 minutes wait on the line she weighed anchor and proceeded to work her way through most of the fleet, finally overtaking Ataraxia, sailing weighed down with an unspecified proportion of the Pickles wine cellar.
Martin Yuill photo
Rounding the south end of Shuna it was apparent that there was no wind and that a drift would result with the probability of nobody finishing within the time limit and so the race was shortened to an imaginary finish line extending from the white house on Shuna. So it was only a down one side of Shuna race really but everyone seemed more or less satisfied and happy not to be drifting aimlessly.
Results below. Click the table (or any of the photos) for a clearer view. I was never given a finish time for Shona or Bernera so they cannot be included at present.