Social events include barbecues and various annual events such as the Prizegiving Dinner. With the completion of the enlarged clubhouse it is planned that we have regular social evenings midweek. This will be published as a monthly calendar.
Commodores Picnic Report - 8th September 2013
The Commodores Picnic was scheduled to sail down river with the ebb to Dartmouth and out into Start Bay, before returning to Dittisham with the flood tide. The weather forecast was not good with heavy showers and a south west wind that might have made the picnic a rather chilly affair in one of the suitable bays.
An alternative trip was offered, essentially a sail around the perimeter of “Dittisham Lake”. Members rarely see the Dart at or near low water, so this plan would offer views that are rarely seen. The choices were put to the vote and the Dittisham Pond escapade won by a small majority. The chance to have the BBQ under the shelter of the balcony plus hot drinks seemed a key factor.
An Admiralty Chart was produced showing the proposed route, sailing a clockwise circumnavigation visiting Eel Rock, various members boats and using Anchorstone as a turning mark. The fleet set off with Nikita and three safety boats shepherding the sailing members. This was a day for social sailing with three Fevas, two Devon Yawls plus a range of single handed boats, Solos and Lasers.
Eel rock was calculated to appear at 12.30 being 1.5m above chart datum. It was only found an hour later when spotted from the Clubhouse. Peter Christie and Jon Avery kindly visited the rock, pictures enclosed. Describing the rock, Peter observed “ It is small and somewhat insignificant but still very hard when you hit it.... “ Whilst a number of member's boats were identified, this proved almost more difficult than finding Eel Rock. Perhaps a membership requirement should be introduced whereby members must fly a DSC pennant from their backstays in future, to make this sort of exercise simpler in the future.
The fleet decided to avoid Anchorstone, there was little wind and a strong ebb tide, so a major towing operation would have been required to get boats back to the clubhouse for the picnic.
So the picnic took place back at the Clubhouse with the BBQ available for members to cook their own lunch. The Pinot Grigio and Rioja were both considered very palatable, but the Sauvingnon Blanc was renamed SB ordinaire. Mary Hayes produced a delicious Chocolate cake, thank you Mary. One of the junior members was an example to us all in insisting on having a cake fork to eat the cake. It is good to know that standards are going to be maintained in the future. I am unsure how many people came to the picnic but seven bottles of wine and almost two cartons of beer were consumed. Despite a lousy forecast, there were only a few spots of rain and occasional glimpses of sun. For future picnics, September is rather late in the year, my first picnic as commodore was in July at Newfoundland Bay and we could have been in the South of France, maybe next year with a bit of planning.....?
Thanks to all who came
The Commodores Picnic - Report
Stoke Gabriel - Sunday 12th August 2012
The Commodores Picnic was scheduled for upstream this year. The Commodore decided to revert to a practice of some years ago, whereby the destination of the picnic was not revealed in advance. The plan was to hoist a flag on the commodores boat and for the fleet to follow, in this case it was a “J” flag for a jolly jaunt.
After a ten minute coffee break at the clubhouse to allow a brief shower through, the fleet set off with a decent wind from the southwest. Initially it seemed the weather had put off a number of members, but it was like the Pied Piper of Hamlyn, with more craft seeming to join the fleet as we progressed up river with the flood tide. Three safety boats acted as pack horses for the drinks, food and any people wanting a lift. A good range of boats was evident from a Gaffer, Cornish Shrimper, Etap, Devon Yawl, Phantom, Cadet, Lasers to an Otter.
We were fortunate in that Neil and Pam Millward from Stoke Gabriel Boating Association generously allowed us to land on their private beach and wood near to Stoke Gabriel. It proved an ideal setting with a delightful clearing in the trees where a camp fire and barbeque had already been started by Neil. A convenient tree stump provided the bar and as soon as that opened we were joined by more members who had somehow discovered the location and walked across the dam from the car park at Stoke Gabriel.
Someone managed to count fifty two members who attended, a very creditable turn out considering the weather forecast and the Dittisham Regatta the previous day.
Thanks to janie Harford for the photos (More in The Gallery)
Dittisham Sailing Club
Prize Giving Dinner - Friday 6th January 2012
The members of Dittisham Sailing Club gathered at the Sportsmans Arms last Friday for the annual Prize Giving Dinner.
Commodore David Thompson said that 2011 had been a very successful year with a full programme of racing both at senior and junior level. He also congratulated Arthur Marshall and his team on the progress made with the youngsters during the year and Anne Ely for her efforts with the enlarged Ditsum Belles.The cruising section had held a number of successful events and the social side of the club had flourished under the new Social Secretary Janie Harford.
The Sailing Secretary Mike Bennett announced the winners in chronological order explaining that the club had run 62 races during the year with only a few being cancelled due to adverse wind conditions. The racing had been close with winners being spread across the fleets. He particularly thanked the Starting Box ladies Susi Stockbridge, Sheila Phillips and Stephanie Ashton for their efforts throughout the year.
The Commodore ended the evening by presenting the Primrose Salver to Roy Pryor for the most significant contribution to the club during the year.
See more photos in the Gallery
Full list of trophy winners
Results of the Caption Competition
Cricket Match v Stoke Gabriel Boating Assocation - Report
1st Oct 2011 on Middle Back, Dart River
A glorious sunny day, so drinks, team talk and photos at DSC clubhouse was followed by launch of two safety boats armed with charts and oars. Course set to invade the SGBA sailing area upriver. Careful pilotage proved essential.
Middle Back sand bank emerged from the Dart and proved to be an excellent wicket. Hard sand with a smattering of shells and enough oysters to keep Dartmouth restaurants going for a week. Although relatively little bounce in the wicket, it took spin, largely in the form of players falling over themselves. A tennis ball determined unnecessary the plan to use buoyancy aids as cricket pads.
Two varieties of the game were offered to sustain crowd and media interest. “Tip and run”, the equivalent of todays 20/20 was followed after the tea interval by the “Test Match”.
Unfortuately Stoke Gabriel were unable to field a side, although their Commodore John Bradbury and his wife Chris arrived with cakes; much appreciated, particularly the banana and cherry cake, very moist. This more than compensated for the omission of the plastic mugs in the DSC drinks cabinet.
In the Test Match, two captains were appointed, DSC Commodore and ex Commodore. Jonathan Weeks believed he could act for SGBA ( having dual nationality ) and the teams selected in the classic playground manner. The rules were essentially tip and run with each player required to bowl an over and each batter to face maximum of six balls. Despite some fierce bowling and powerful batting on both sides, the outcome was an honourable draw, each side having scored 24 runs. Such was the size of the pitch at 0.5 m above chart datum that no boundaries were recorded. Particular mention to Erica Pilkington - impressive bowling despite this being her first game ever Josh O'Brien and John Hitchins for their batting and Neil Drew who showed considerable zeal in the oyster collection competition. Special mention should be made of Les Moores and Richard Allen who paddled from Totnes in their canoes.
All in all a great days fun. Special thanks to Chris Taylor for the initial idea and excellent organisation despite my attempt to accidentally take it on.
More pictures available in The Gallery
John Bradbury, Commodore of SGBA, has kindly sent us his version of events
Just for the record:
In eight years I have never come up river to Stoke Gabriel at low tide. After all I do draw 3 feet ! So it was with care and some trepidation that I followed the channels up from Noss, past Flat Owers, Blackness and Pighole up to Middle Back. About 1.5 hrs before low water (0.3m) I did a recce of the area between the sandbank and the channel, finding about 3ft of water, so I buoyed up at the creek entrance and had lunch, waiting for slack water to dinghy over to the cricket pitch.
Meanwhile three boats came up from down river and disgorged about 12-15 souls. By the time the Commodore's wife and I had got over to Middle Back a game was well under way, and having introduced ourselves and mentioned Christine's cake and banana bread a tea break was proposed ! Following liquid fortifications provided by the visitors we all reformed into two teams of about six aside (mainly visitors, but a sprinkling of locals), each batsman or batswoman receiving a maximum of six balls. The rules had a "make it up as you go" flavour, but a great deal of hilarity, skill (especially among the lady bowlers !), and effort resulted in a nail biting 24 runs all draw, the final equalising run being achieved by the youngest visitor.
Once again in 2011 the event was blessed with fabulous weather, and although the incoming tide did its best to steal some vessels, the mud discovered by those approaching from the south rather than the east, was easily washed away.
I also noticed with interest that the area between Middle Back and the deep channel was very wide and shallow near low tide. So much so that some hardy souls were wading up and down searching for last week's lost Pico tiller.
All in all it was a fun filled afternoon, thoroughly to be recommended, most informative on low water navigation, and for me the first cricket match in about 50 years !!
The Commodores Picnic - Report
Newfoundland Cove Sunday 3rd July 2011
Just a quick thank you to every one who came on the picnic. Particular thanks to the members of Barry's team who had to transport the bbq, the drink and many picnic hampers in the three safety boats.
We were blessed with lovely weather and a decent easterly breeze which offered a gentle beat and reach down past Dartmouth and beyond the castle to our chosen destination, Newfoundland Cove.
With few incidents to report, it was an idyllic day for most. However it must not go unreported that within a few minutes of departure and shortly after commenting on the Commodore's attire, the helm of the GP14 managed to orchestrate an impressive capsize which involved a number of craft including the Dittisham Ferry. Another notable first was the total submersion of the leader of Ditsum Belles within two yards of the shore, whilst wading out to cool off. I gather very successful as it turned out. Belatedly I also learned the Commodore's wife executed a partial immersion whilst boarding her carriage, but was heard to cry " My shoe, my shoe, don't worry about me, I've lost my shoe, someone find my shoe".
A special thanks to the member who managed to catch some mackerel on the way, these arrived on the beach fully prepped. I was pleased to note that one fillet was left on the bbq for sampling by the commodore, always good for a boat space 2012.
We are indebted to John Phillips Susi Stockbridge, Janie Harford and Chris & Roy Pryor for the excellent photos. (See Gallery)