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Home / Newsletters / Newsletter April 2021
Home / Newsletters / Newsletter April 2021

Newsletter April 2021

Future Events

** Sunday 11 April - Barfoot & Thompson Race #4

** Friday 16 April - Quiz Night

** Sunday 18 April - Picnic in the Park

** Friday 23 April - St George's Themed Dinner

** Sunday 25 April - Anzac Day

** Monday 26 April - Anzac Day Observed

** Sunday 2 May - Car Boot and Boat Bits Sale

** Sunday 16 May - Hibiscus Marine Coatings Winter Race #1

** Saturday 22 May - Summer Prize Giving

** Sunday 30 May - Hibiscus Marine Coatings Winter Race #2

Commodore's Logbook for April 2021


Firstly, I apologise for my absence, which can really only be attributed to 'be careful what you suggest and ask for' I was looking forward to the February / March Sailing programme, which as I read and review so far, has been rather rewarding for you, all aspects of life in New Zealand considered.

Aside, just ask Sarah I seem to have the uncanny ability of 'shooting away' when the nation is placed into Lockdown

Whilst we missed the Start of the Easter Cruising Race; it was great to join the GHYC fleet in Waiheke and Ponui Islands on the evening of Good Friday via a sporting sail down to the 'Bottom End'

2 ½ hours from the GHM Fuel Pier to Thumb Point might indicate that we had a great sail as did you folk who started at 1000.

The Where

Welcome to April, at the time of writing this contribution to your Newsletter, I was on the western side of the Taman Sea contributing to the development and delivery of your Navy's new Replenishment at Sea (RAS) capability. A change in plans occurred for me mid-February whereby I received 'notice'; that I would be heading to sea to support AOTEAROA in realising this new capability.

Some History and the Why

If you are not aware, the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has a new Naval Tanker (HMNZS[1] AOTEAROA). HMNZS means "Her Majesty's New Zealand Ship". All ships in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) have the 'prefix' HMNZS. The RAS (Liquid) capability is not new to the RNZN. HMNZS ENDEAVOUR was our first Naval Tanker (1988 to 2018) and she saw service regionally and globally, delivering fuel to our friends and allies.

An interim absence in RAS (L) capability occurred whilst our new Naval Tanker was being procured, and finally delivered in 2020. The 'capability' to deliver fuel, water, munitions, food and stores to warships doesn't simply reside in the material capability alone (the ship) The 'Total Integrated Capability' is made up of (1) the People, (2) the Equipment (the ship and her various systems), (3) the collective Trained state of the crew in their processes and system knowledge, and finally (4) we need to ensure that this capability is enduring or Sustainable.

So; that's why I have headed off to sea for a few weeks mission achieved (+++). I'd be happy to create and share a presentation on the practicalities of Replenishing at Sea; should the interest prevail.

Our Clubrooms

I trust that you have noticed and appreciate the enhancement of the Club's exterior and other external and internal improvements that we have made. Whilst I have yet to see and fully appreciate the final product, I did see the exterior being cleaned prior to the treatment and staining being applied. This and other enhancements are the outcomes of having a 'Rolling Refresh and Replacement Plan' for our assets; and the efforts of our Rear Commodore and Club Manager who championed the paperwork to support this enhancement; and I also acknowledge those Members who have supported the Club's leadership through providing advice, labour and initiative.

[1] HMNZS means Her Majesty's New Zealand Ship. All ships of the RNZN carry the prefix 'HMNZS'. Other Commonwealth Navies also follow this nomenclature, including the Royal Canadian Navy (HMCS), Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and of course the Royal Navy (HMS).

Final Year as Commodore

I wish to inform you now, that the remaining few months of this Sailing Calendar year will be my final months as Commodore of your Yacht Club. This translates to a change in leadership, a change across the Executive and new opportunities for you through diversity and choice. The AGM typically occurs in August, and so, we (you) should start those conversations now, about who you would like to be leading your Club. Your Executive has already started the thinking in support of our pending change (s) in Leadership and your contribution will be invaluable.

I wish you fair winds, following seas and uninterrupted sailing.

Best regards.

John Butcher

Commodore, GHYC

Club Sailing News

March was a month of mixed fortunes, racing early in the month cancelled due to the C19 lockdown followed by some really competitive sailing to find the winners of the Gulf Harbour Marina Twilight and AA Solar Gulf Series. Unfortunately the Taylor & Co Lawyers Ladies series lost two races, with the final race cancelled on the day ETNZ retained the America's Cup.

Last race of the GHM Twilight Series

In mid March the cruising fleet enjoyed a sociable weekend around Kawau Bay. On Saturday 20th Sandspit YC hosted their annual inter-Club race which turned into a 'who can drift fastest', before crews headed in to Kawau BC for the race results, prizegiving and refreshments. The following day the no-wind forecast for early afternoon did not eventuate much to the relief of the boats returning to GH in Burnsco Race 7, although the current through the Tiri Passage proved challenging to those at the back of the fleet.

The traditional BYO BBQ back at GHYC was well attended for the results and race prizegiving

Winter sailing

GHYC runs a racing and a cruising series during the winter months. The racing is a combined series with WBC, run every 2nd or 3rd Sunday from May to September. The cruising series has 4 races run on Saturdays followed by a BYO BBQ back at the Club, to which all members are invited.

Entry is now open for the Hibiscus Marine Coatings Winter Race Series, combined with Weiti BC. NOR/SIs are on the website and series bookings close on 13th May, although it would be a great help if skippers sign up as early so handicaps and the two divisions can be worked out.

Snippets from the Rear Commodore

What a crazy month we experienced in March, from a C19 lockdown to the fantastic spectacle of the America's Cup.

Every day of America's Cup racing the Club was decorated externally attracting a number of visitors to join us for live TV coverage.

We had between 60 and 100 people in the Club each race day and welcomed visitors from Christchurch, Nelson, Marlborough, Gisborne, Napier, Wellington as well as overseas.

It was Gill our Club Manager and the team in the kitchen and bar, rustling up different menus each day racing was prolonged, whose contribution made this such a success for the Club. Thanks also go to all the members who helped with Club improvements such as the external refurbishment, hedges, garden work, the audio visual system and more.

A toast to the America's Cup at the BYO BBQ to celebrate another great success for ETNZ.

Back by popular demand, an evening of fun and laughter was enjoyed by those who attended the PUB GAMES evening. From mini-putting and quoits to table skittles and shove ha'penny, teams battled it out with 'Smuggler's Arms' the overall winners.

The photo competition with the subject of "Holidays" was judged by the members and Jean Holgate took first place with her photo entitled "Wait for Me". In second place was Phil Shaw's photo entitled "A fully gimballed beer holder".

Mystery Anchorage........

Answer at end of newsletter

Trip to the Sub Antarctic, Snares and Auckland Islands (continued) - Louise Shave

Blissfully fine weather continued for our voyage a further 725km south to the Auckland Islands. These are mainly basaltic lavas overlying older rocks.

At one stage, probably about 2-7 million years ago, they would have consisted of two overlapping volcanoes. This former single land mass has since been fragmented by glacial and marine erosion and changes in sea level, so it now consists of two large and four smaller islands and numerous smaller islets and rocks. The western sides have towering, precipitous sea cliffs and giant sea caves. The eastern side is more sheltered where steep-sided glacial valleys have been submerged to form a series of deep bays and long, narrow inlets separated by peninsulas and prominent headlands. I will remain eternally grateful for that geology as, without it, our anchorages would have been much more 'hairy' and the ship would have dragged much more often in the howling westerly winds that struck in our last few days :(. Most of the land surface is covered with a deep peat blanket of spongy peat - and my feet can testify to that as I dragged them (and my seaboots) out of knee-deep muddy holes on our explorations ashore.

BUT!!! The flora is unbelievable. We were just in time to experience the last of the swathes of Anistome with its huge flower heads of brown or purple and the lily Bulbinella rossii with its conspicuous yellow flower. At the other end of the size range there were tiny white and purple gentians, green and mauve orchids and colourful lichens and mosses.

Best of all was the Southern Rata forest, home of the greatest chorus of melodious bellbirds I could possibly have imagined - still a scarlet canopy over our heads as we negotiated passage through its twisted, gnarled trunks.

Rockhopper (even more hilarious 'bad-hair-day' penguins) and the critically endangered, secretive Yellow-eyed Penguins entertained with their antics. Shy Mollymawks, Giant Petrels, Auckland Island Teal (gorgeous wee flightless ducks), Dotterels, our wonderfully familiar red-crested parakeet (Kakariki) and sooo many more birds call these islands home and we were able to see so many of them at close quarters.

However, the 'pinch-yourself' moment for me was being no further than 3m from young Southern Royal Albatross males as they practised their 'gamming'. Put simply, they literally prance in front of a female, extending their approx 3m wings and preening. It's hard not to smile at the dancing-ability picture of a huge albatross - so effortlessly glorious in the air - attempting to lift his over-sized, webbed 'paddles' above the ground in the attempt to look graceful on land. You would love it! The whole exercise is apparently to sort out who might be a suitable life-long partner once they come back in earnest next year. Shades of my grandmother with an 8-year engagement ...:) Every so often they would take off, literally just over our heads, almost knocking off my woolly hat. I will never, ever forget those moments.

We learnt about the history of the islands as we found the remnants of unsuccessful farming attempts. Remains of wind-destroyed buildings and a tiny cemetery certainly brought home the fact that attempting to negotiate and then tame these impenetrable forests - especially in long dresses with petticoats - was doomed to failure. A tiny hut built to shelter castaways from the sailing ships had us gulping with incredulity.

Our fantastic crew and passenger group of amazingly varied but like-minded people made for wonderful meal conversations. I love the idea that Heritage supports scholarships for its Young Explorers - we had five on the ship to inspire even the most jaded of us!! These are special young folk who have already proved their passion and commitment to conservation and education with all their volunteering, study and with talents in so many areas.

Answer to Mystery Anchorage:

Bostaquet Bay on Kawau Island

Last updated 09:19 on 20 February 2024

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