We are all aware that there have been changes at the RAFYC in order to permit us / you, the members to get out to and enjoy your boats, though I gather that you still can’t stay on them overnight, despite it being discussed during this week. Boringly, I’m afraid that I can kind of see why.

The emergency services, Coastguard, RNLI, Hamble Lifeboat, NHS and Ambulance Service had a fairly busy weekend last week, all of which came to the attention of DEFRA! If you Google DEFRA, you will find that they are jolly interested in the environment, parks and other stuff, and right at the bottom of the list is Maritime, which in a roundabout sort of way means us.

Consequently all the River Authorities and Harbour Masters have to obey a whole new bunch of Guidelines, which are, of course Rules, most with a Capital R. That is our excuse for the hundreds of notices that abound at the Yacht Club. However, if we don’t stick to their Guidelines/ Rules, then those deemed to be in charge, namely Paul the Commodore, (and if the crime includes water and boating would include me) could get our collars felt by the long arm of the law.

This is a roundabout way of asking you to continue to behave as well as you have been doing, and here is a plea… if anything around the clubhouse or the launch service or the blue and green dinghies causes you to wish to talk to somebody, then please talk to me. The Bosuns are there to provide a service as instructed and coached by me, so members asking to make changes, which has happened, will almost certainly fall on stony ground. It is me that you want to talk to, not them.

The most talked about issue last weekend was not being able to take your time when launching your dinghy / tender, but having to launch it like a lifeboat, and then pop round to the PPYH to load and embark at your pleasure. The reason is that the launch pontoon is a Choke Point and needs to be kept clear at all times because the launches need to come and go completely unhindered, as they are having to operate on much less payload, (oops, passengers) than normal, so in order to get a good throughput of passengers, they need to be able to be moving all the time! It also takes time to spray down and clean after each set of passengers have disembarked. While on the topic of handwashing, those of you that choose to use the hand washing station by the French Doors onto the Patio, should note that the hand washing water comes from the right hand tap on the wall, and not the left RED handle which should always be in the down / on position. That provides water to the irrigation system. Somebody turned it into the off position at some stage and Pauline is concerned that the overhead baskets have suffered a lack of water. The right hand lever needs to be in the down position when you use the hose nozzles, most people leave it on all day, and regulate the water flow by twisting the nozzles on the end of each hose. When I was first taught to fly, my instructor told me on Day One, never touch or pull THE RED HANDLE, BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN! In this case the flowers won’t get watered!

Last but not least, if some of our methods seem incomprehensible to you, they are not wild schemes dreamed up on the spur of the moment. All of the whacky things that we are doing now have been thought hard about, and we had the Guidelines in front of us while doing the thinking.

Hopefully, this will all go away in a little while, but in order for that great day to arrive we have to be Mind Crushingly well behaved at present. I find that the easiest way to ensure that you wear gloves and a face mask at the right times is to imagine that the person that went through the door last or went to the loo before you had just fallen in the dock when the tide was out and is covered in really, really, smelly mud! works for me, but probably not completely PC!

Incidentally, I know that the Politico’s are a bit busy at present, but we really do need a new definition of PC, this one’s broken!

Have a great safe weekend.

John Best
Rear Commodore Sailing

Remember the really muddy guy in front of you, it will keep you safe.

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