Volcano Night

6 July 2019

RABC held its annual charity Volcano Night event on Saturday 6th July 2019.


48 teams (a record) took part with some great team names (Lavalouts,

Hipsburn Heatwave, Eyjafjallajökull, You Magma Me Crazy).  Overall, it was a great success. An estimated 500 people attended and a good time was had by all with no reported injuries.

16 RABC members volunteered and David Denton performed a sail past.


The winning team was Crazy Kids. They won the trophy and a team round of

drinks donated by the Red Lion, Alnmouth. The award was presented by Martin Swinbank.

New this year was a wood disposal bonfire and BBQ party for volunteers.

This was in addition to the usual beach clear up the next morning.


We raised  £984.84 (also a record) in aid of coastal charities. This was

donated to RNLI Amble and Coquet Shorebase Trust.


The plan next year is to require organic firelighters to support the


Easter Shakedown Cruise

21 April 2019

"The Club's Easter Shakedown Cruise around Coquet Island took place on

Saturday 20th April as planned. 


A 'shakedown' cruise is a nautical term

for a trip in which the boat is tested.  It is traditionally performed at the start of the season.  For the first time dinghies were invited along with the usual cruisers.  The weather was very warm for April and half a dozen boats started but unfortunately the wind was against us and only Oliver's Wayfarer actually made it around the island. 

George Ternent, single-handed in Christina, made it to Amble where Pete Hammond and crew in Tina Louise came out to meet him. Chris Tate and Trevor Brooks in Imagine suffered from gearbox problems and couldn't start.  John Taylor and Des Kelly in Piepowder were still without a mainsail and the jib alone was no good to windward so they instead reverted to testing a new fuel system

upwind and a new Gennaker downwind. 


So, the shakedown mission was

accomplished but the Coquet Island one was not so successful. However, the

concept was proven and a start-of-season shakedown may become an annual Club event.

Blyth Tall Ship Visit,

9 Mar 2019

200 years ago the Antarctic was discovered by a ship from Blyth – The Williams. The Williams Expedition, part of the Blyth Tall Ship charity, has restored a working tall ship as the Williams II in Blyth. It aims to recreate the original expedition with a local crew sailing her south to Cape Horn and Antarctica.

The River Aln Boat Club had a coach trip to Blyth to see her before she departs in a week's time for a sail around Great Britain before a practice expedition to the Arctic.

The Williams II is a 36m gaff rigged ketch, built in Denmark in 1914 of oak with pine decking and masts. At 24m on deck, with a 2.7m draft she is almost exactly the same dimensions as the original Williams built 100 years earlier. She is twin skinned with an oak outer and inner hull which makes her very strong and able to operate in icy waters and has been strengthened with a steel girder running the length of her keel. The refit has replaced 40% of the planking below the water line, 30% of the decking (which has been recaulked), rebuilt the diesel engine, upgraded the rigging and rewired the electrical systems.

We began with a welcome and briefing in the new workshop from the chief executive. He explained that this was more about providing worthwhile skill-building activities for local youths than about the boats themselves. We heard of a parallel project to knit scores of woolen 'ganzies' for the crew to wear. We also saw the old workshop and its historic tools.

Then it was time to go onboard where we had free rein of the ship with badged volunteers, including the captain, on hand to answer questions. It was a cold and breezy day but the sun came out.

After the visit we were invited to the The Royal Northumberland Yacht Club's house yacht nearby. The RNYC was founded in 1890 in Alnmouth and has a varied and interesting history entwined with the history of the Northumberland coast.

RNYC's House Yacht, HY Tyne III, previously Light Vessel No. 50, is now the oldest floating timber light vessel remaining in Great Britain. It is undergoing a comprehensive restoration and provided a cozy saloon where we took lunch and had a cash bar.

With a profit from the bus trip and a collection on the return trip the Club managed to raise over £240 for the Blyth Tall Ship charity.

A video slideshow is available on the Gallery page..

© RABC 2020