• Cowes Rally

    The 2024 rally season is off to a very successful start!
    This weekend, six boats and 21 crew took part in the Cowes Shakedown Rally to Cowes Yacht Club. It was great sailing with imaginative entertainment in the form of a St George’s Day quiz and a dragon boat challenge, a lovely meal out at Island Sailing Club followed by dancing the night away at Cowes Corinthian. Two yachts continued the fun on Sunday with a lunchtime stop in Newtown Creek where they rafted up for lunch.
    Many thanks to Rear Commodore Gary Eversfield and his team, with special mention to Rally Organisers Garry and Janice Mackie.
    Thanks to Cowes Yacht Haven for finding a space for all 6 boats, the Island Sailing Club for a fantastic meal, and Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club for letting us join the party.
    Don’t forget, every Thursday you can find us at the MBA Lounge, VBS Community Stadium, Gander Green Lane, Sutton
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  • Photographic competition 2023 results

    We had a wonderful display of photography last week at our annual Photographic Competition, thanks to all who entered images, it really was a wonderful display. 

    Derek did a great job as usual of organising and displaying the prints, as well as securing the knowledgeable and talented judge Phillip Quarry, who gave an interesting and informative talk about some of his own images. 

    The results of the competition are:

    An Amusing Incident

    Winner – A Right Pair (Bev Hart)


    Club Event

    Winner – Neptune’s Beard – Ruth Grainger


    2nd – Vanishing Point – Ruth Grainger


    3rd – Mirror Image – Gary Eversfield


    Highly commended – I’m Sorted – Chris Dukes


    Best overall

    Blue Solent – Roger Evans


    2nd – It’s not so windy when they switch those big fans off – Roger Evans


    3rd – Sunrise Spinnaker – Danny McDonnell


    4th – Dartmouth, Nova Scotia – Roger Evans


  • Sutton Mariners Sailing Club celebrates 35 years


    The celebrations included a fish supper, songs by the the club’s very own “Mariner’s Mates” shanty group at Sutton United Football stadium, and a fantastic group photo of over 40 smiling members including a good few original members.

    The club aims to promote and facilitate boating, both sail & power, to provide for the study of seamanship and to provide social and other facilities. It has members who come to club nights to learn about things boating and enjoy talks covering a wide range of interest. There are also has members living in various parts of the country who enjoy meeting up on sailing rallies that are organised throughout the summer.

    Club Rear Commodore Gary Eversfield says: “I wished more people realised the benefits of sailing.

    “We have members from their mid 30’s to mid 80’s, from gardeners to gas engineers, and around 10 percent of members started in the 1980s. They originate from Ukraine, Shetland, Greece, Russia and even Mitcham so it shows the love of sailing knows no geographic boundaries.

    “With 67 members, we’ve grown 10 percent in last 2 years. Our success comes despite the fact that we don’t own a club house or any real assets, and we are at least 50 miles from our nearest coast.

    “Nam amor navigandi (for the love of sailing). Well proud to be a Sutton Mariner.”

    This article was first published at https://www.rya.org.uk/news/sutton-mariners-sailing-club-celebrates-35-years

  • Mini photographic competition 2023 results

    Thank you to the six members who submitted 17 entries for my mini photographic competition. I particularly liked the night and sunset images but the one that stands out for me is Garry’s ‘Gone in a flash’ because ‘it does what it says on the tin’ Garry nicely captured the dipping sun between his blue ensign and the lifesaving gear, but it also has an interesting sky, to boot! See following image.

    A close second is Ruth’s (see below) but I think it would have been better had the yacht been on the right rather than the left. The reasoning being that we read from left to right so it would be better for the lights (and reflected lights) to take the viewer across the photograph from left to right ending at the yacht.

    I’m having to take a very critical approach to my photographic work at present so it was good to have the opportunity to review other peoples’ images.



  • Petal navigating through Caledonian Canal

    Petal are sailing through Caledonian Canal and now are at top of the Loch Lochy right where Laggan Locks are according to AIS.

    As Gary said “60 miles 32 meter climb 29 locks 11 swing bridges. Did 2 bridges and 11 flights today”

    And this is a few days ago when they were at Tobermory, Isle of Mull

    “We have arrived safely at Tobermory and planning to stay the weekend as the wind is getting strong in the next few day’s”

  • Skipper Garry Mackey

    Skipper Spotlight in Fifteen

    Boat – MG 345 “Petal”



    Garry Mackey (right) and John Eversfield (left)

    1. What was your first experience of sailing and when?

    Regatta at school. Went to watch someone needed a crew they said you’ll do ,we won my first and second race in a mirror dinghy. Next we had a Wayfarer my helm said we’d be ok because you can’t capsize a Wayfarer you guessed it we capsized. Did some canoeing and sailed Fireballs from time to time before leaving school and playing around with big grey things

    2. What is your favourite memory of your boat?

    My first trip across Lime bay with Jan. Light wind auto helm on glorious sunshine.

    3. What is your most useful cooking utensil on your boat?

    At the moment John. Normally boaties frying pan.

    4. If you won £5000 for boat improvements, what would you splash out on?

    Aires wind vane

    5. Who is your sailing hero and why?

    Sir Robin Knox Johnston. Because he was the first.

    6. What navigation system do you use?

    Chart plotter. GPS. Admiralty folio. Sailing directions. And the MK 1 eyeball

    7. If you could buy a brand new boat – what would you call her?

    Petal II

    8. What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from a mistake?


    9. Where would you most like to go on a Commodore’s cruise?

    Fecamp, Honfleur etc

    10. Who is your favorite pop star?

    Van Morrison

    11. What is the best characteristic you look for in crew?

    Someone who pays attention to what’s happening and willing to get involved

    12. How often do you get out on the water during the season?

    Twice a Month

    13. What’s your favourite marina and why?

    Honfleur you can spend 3 or 4 nights right in the middle of town

    14. If money was no object who would you most like to see speak at Sutton Mariners?

    Sir Robin Knox Johnston

    15. What’s your best luxury on the boat?

  • Petal reaches Scotland

    Yesterday, 18th June, we sailed from Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland to Islay in Scotland.

    As you can see the tides are a quite strong we were doing 10 knots in 5 knots of wind

  • Petal in Falmouth

    In the last few days Petal went from Salcombe towards Polperro which looks like they did not enter at last minute and went to Fowey instead.

    And today in the morning we seen good progress being made to Falmouth.

    A few pictures sent by Petal

    Cornish Anchorage (Fawey)

    Royalist Escort

  • Petal in Salcombe and online AIS tips

    A few members have noticed that the location of Petal was not updated on Vesselfinder website and also on club website on the right which uses the same service.

    The reason being is what AIS actually is and how the online part of it works. 

    AIS works as a radio transmitter and it was not intended originally to be followed online on the internet. It’s not the original purpose. The way AIS is displayed on websites and apps is by receiving stations which are often volunteers that receive the signal at their seaside locations and upload it to the internet.
    These stations are in random places alongside the coast and the AIS signal is in VHF band which is line of sight. It is therefore common for AIS signal to be lost around headlands and in certain harbours.
    It also depends on the website, there are two main ones: Vesselfinder and Marinetraffic.
    If vessel is lost on one, better check the other, link for Petal for an alternative website: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/shipid:7757367/zoom:14

    That website shows Petal in Salcombe:

  • Petal in Dartmouth: first two days

    12th May

    Slipped mooring at 0518 fair weather, NE wind F3.

    Made great progress reaching 7.5knts over the ground at Stokes Bay – Anchored off Worbarrow Bay, Windlass works well on chain but not rope hence anchor slipped in wind overnight and had to move at 0300 – need more chain.

    13th May

    Good weather and great sail West across Lyme Bay – arrived at Dartmouth 1530