evening the level of the lake was about 6" below its normal level. After the rain during the night, it was back to normal, lapping at the edge of the grass on the launching area. This must be the most effective hosepipe ban ever!
I was very impressed on Saturday morning that one of the cabins housed a portable kitchen, so bacon rolls and tea were available as usual. Various groups braved the elements and set off in various directions with DaveM reaching Glenridding and meeting up with some of the others who had stopped at Aira Force for a cuppa at the NT café.
Jan and DaveP started back for there with Ellen and I, but as we neared Howtown we decided that it was not really very pleasant so we stopped off, instead of continuing to beat up the lake. I had naively thought that it would remain relatively warm, despite the rain, so the thought of lunch in the nice warm public bar at the hotel was very enticing. Unfortunately plenty of other people had also failed to be put off by the weather forecast and there was standing room only, so we retreated. Jan even checked out the dining room, but concluded that the management were unlikely to welcome our wet dry suits dripping all over their carpet. Others went in search of tea in Pooley Bridge. Throughout the day and on Sunday too, the weather kept moderating and giving hope of better things to come, but then another squall would arrive to make you glad you hadn't succumbed to the temptation to shake out a reef.
The weather improved slightly in the evening - just long enough to hold a committee meeting under Keith's awning. This was followed by an evening meal prepared by members of the club, which was superb as usual, despite the less than ideal circumstances. Filing out into the rain to collect our meals reminded me a little of school dinners, but the food was of a totally different class.
Our race officer of the day on Sunday, JohnE, established himself in his van at the start line and we had a series of briefings and postponements, with the weather showing signs of improvement, as predicted in the weather forecast, only to be followed by freshening winds On one occasion we all signed the race sheet and some of us had started launching when the strengthening wind caused yet another postponement. Eventually racing was abandoned and a few of us went out for a brief, but exhilarating sail. This was also the weekend of the British IC10 Open. Although the hardy IC10 types had raced on Saturday and once on Sunday, even they got fed up with the numerous postponements and waiting around and abandoned the attempt to hold their final race at around the same time.
Although the weekend had not been blessed with ideal weather, I think people did enjoy themselves. Once again special thanks are due to Jan and JohnE for their hard work and splendid organisation. (Photos: DaveS, PaulL and JulieD)
I was intrigued by this, a cat made largely of old PET drink bottles that sailed from San Francisco to Sydney. You can find more on their infuriating website.
This has inspired yet another scheme, a sailing canoe made entirely from LIDL tonic water bottles. I have laid in a large stash and gin to go with. Unfortunately I will probably have succumbed to cirrhosis of the liver by the time I have enough empties to begin work! It will probably turn out looking more like this Argentinean fisherman's prototype (above right).
Committee Report Back (JeffB)
We held a committee meeting at the Ullswater Meet. The main matters discussed were progress on revamping the OCSG website, changing the signatories of the bank account, the spring coastal meet, and ensuring that the new wording agreed for the membership form is circulated.
Dave and Keith have contacted three web design companies and it was agreed that we should stick with the company that Solway Dory used for their website. The quotation from Big Fish Internet