Royal Southern Yacht Club's Cruising Day on
4th September 2010
Royal Southern Yacht Club cruising out in the Solent
On September 4th 2010, Deaf Sailing UK were invited by the Royal Southern Yacht Club
on a fun day out in the Solent.
This has been an annual occurrence for many years with the exception of the last two or three
years when it did not happen due to inclement weather and more recently change of Stewardship.
However RSrnYC have been quick to re-establish this annual event with the DSUK.
The day out was limited to 20 people and needless to say it was over-subscribed and
consequently many people were turned down. However because it was a very successful day out,
it is envisaged by the RSrnYC to increase the numbers next year to ensure as many people can
The day out consisted of meeting at the Royal Southern Yacht Club at 10am in ‘Rope Walk’
which is an elegant surrounding of the Hamble village. The club itself (whose Patron is Prince Philip)
is an environment of prestige, the fine architecture consisting of Victorian houses, some old period
cottages juxtopositioned to the post modern Boat House. The main house is a truly splendid
building on Town Quay, exactly opposite the entrance to the Royal Pier, in Southampton;
it has been described as the most beautiful Victorian building in the city.
It is worth noting that wherever you walk around it the village is steeped in history and
indeed goes back centuries in fact , Lord Cardigan (of Balaclava fame, Crimean War, the
charge of the light brigade etc) was elected Commodore, an office which he held for no less
than 20 years, After taking office, he obtained for the Club the privilege which of course
it still retains of flying an un-defaced Blue Ensign.
It was indeed an honour to be sailing and socialising and sailing with the members of the club. Indeed
many of the volunteers who took us out on their boats were of some varying status and some
were from titled backgrounds. The emphasis for many of us, is a once in a lifetime experience
of being in a privileged position to be accepted and encouraged to enjoy the sailing and
Motor boating with RSrnYC.
Organisers from the DSUK ensured everyone was allocated to various watercrafts of their
choice which consisted of yachts, RIBS and motor cruisers.
As we have sailed many times on yachts we were quite happy to be part of a group attached
to a motor cruiser which is commonly known as a ‘Nelson’ an old motor launch boat which
was traditionally commissioned for the Royal Navy Admiralty, and in those days the Admirals
were ferried across to their ships before setting sail to sea. They were usually last to
join the fleet and the first to leave!
Although it was quite an old boat it was nevertheless expensive (around £250,000 / £300,000)
and is extremely rare. We were informed by the owners that on one occasion the ‘Nelson’
sailed across the Channel and motored up the River Seine to Paris (Still traditionally
a working river unlike the Thames which is used for leisure ) It still commanded the
respect of the French old hands who recognise a good boat that had history behind it,
(They haven’t forgotten the Battle of Trafalgar !) in other words do not look a gift
horse in the mouth is what they are trying to say!
We set off on a fine sunny day and motored from the club house in the Hamble into
the Solent and then eventually to Cowes in the Isle of Wight Initially it was quite
a rough crossing because of tidal / current and wave conditions but nevertheless it was
fun, a quick shimmy through the Cowes river before returning back to the Solent towards
Beaulieu in the New Forest in which we motored down the river towards Buckler’s Hard
which is another village of deep historical interest.
This is a natural sheltered harbour
hidden in the New Forest in which large ships were built for Lord Nelson and the Royal
Navy and more recently in the Second World War, where Secret Intelligence Agents (SIS)
were trained prior to being flown over and dropped by parachute behind enemy lines in
We moored outside Buckler’s Hard and stopped for lunch and champagne! all courtesy of
the members of the Royal Southern Yacht Club.
It was an enjoyable lunch and jolly in many ways because there was a mixture of awe
and camaraderie where both hearing and the deaf understood and were at one with each
other. Even the owners of the ‘Nelson’ who were retired Farmers had a shepherd dog
with them and the irony was, it was deaf! How did the dog respond to whistling (you may ask).
It didn’t, it responded to sign language ! ….the dog is now an honourable member of the DSUK !
After our few hours sailing in the Solent during the day, we returned back to the
boathouse and re joined everyone for tea and snacks. The general feedback from the
participants was good and nearly all said they would like another opportunity to go
again. By the end of the day a large majority of us was hungry and thirsty and decided to
go for supper at an Italian restaurant in which we all had a good laugh and ended the
day on a good note.
RSrnYC and DSUK were very pleased how things went and we have vowed to repeat this
again next year.
If you wish to participate then contact us to be placed on the waiting list. It is likely
that we will release the information the following Spring 2011 when the Sailing programme
If you ‘harbour’ an interest in sailing whether it be yachting / dinghy / motorboating
or any other water crafts do please contact us on email@example.com
You may even wish to volunteer to work with DSUK or even be part of committee group
should your ambitions be passionate enough to help DSUK go from strength to strength
For and on behalf of DSUK
Mike Mason (DSUK Chair)