I can circulate firm details of the Strangford Lough rally now that everything has been agreed by the East Down Yacht Club, our host for the fortnight.
There has been a lot of discussion about it on our dedicated forum, firstname.lastname@example.org, which can be read publicly. If you wish to join the forum to comment on there and ask questions, which you ought to do if you're interested in attending the rally, simply email your request to that site address with your DCA number and I will approve your membership shortly after.
Note that I have deleted my original post in this rallies section. Anything in there which still had relevance has been incorporated into this update.
Invitations to join us have been issued to the UK Wayfarers Association by John Miller, ED Club sailing captain, with my ready approval, and to the Old Gaffers Association by me via Treasurer Tony Kiddle who is on lightcraft. The Irish branch of the Drascombe Association will be arriving during the second week and will be having their DA rally over our last weekend, as at Lough Erne.
The dates for the rally are now set for Friday June 7th to Sunday June 23rd. I will be there as from midday Thursday June 6th and leaving on Monday June 24th, so as far as EDYC are concerned those are the rally dates (and I don't mind if you arrive early and depart late at those times, either)
The costs will be the usual rates as set out in the EDYC rules:
£15 per week per person for temporary EDYC membership. (So either one or two weeks to be paid for.)
£10 per night per tent.
There will be no overnight charges for those sleeping on their boats on the pontoon, neither will there be any slippage fees which regular club members pay, nor any charge for boats left on site during this time if DCA members take the opportunity to visit other parts of Ireland, for example for crewing on John White's Drascombe event in Carlingford, or attending Jack O'Keeffe's Cork Harbour Festival meeting (see below). There is plenty of room for camping, and cars can be kept by tents, or, as in my case this year, a combination of car plus awning may be used for accommodation. It will be acceptable for members to 'live' offsite in B&Bs, etc, with their boats at EDYC, and sail from there during the day, as Kath Hall and Anne Rushton did at Lough Erne 2017 & 2018 (GP14s).
K Muscott to collect the appropriate fees from DCA members on behalf of EDYC. Details to be circulated later.
We are welcome to join the club's Midsummer Barbecue (bring your own main ingredient, and salads etc will be provided by the club). At this event the club will be working to accommodate visitors and members who wish to sleep on their boats overnight at the pontoon. This may involve rafting up and mooring some visiting boats that are not being used for accommodation on the visitor or other moorings on the Saturday evening. Our dinghies can be slipped and kept close by on their trolleys if the pontoon is crowded. I have been told there will be room to leave them close to the water. We should be aware of racing on Wednesday and Saturday evenings when the pontoon will be busy. We are welcome to join in.
We will have access to the club house and the upstairs bar area (drinks will only be served before and after racing on the Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons, so make sure you bring your own supply, too.) We will have access to the kitchen and changing rooms and toilets at all times. DCA members will also be given a temporary number for accessing the site through the electric gates.
I have discussed insurance with the club and I must guarantee that all our visiting boats carry £3 million 3rd party insurance.
Given that there is no signage at the main road and access to the site is along a rather anonymous concrete-surfaced lane, it has been suggested that members check out the location on Google Maps and Street View so they recognise the entrance. The following Latitude and Longitude will take you to the end of the lane: 54.412855 – 5.653473. Approaching from Killyleagh, it is the first right turn after the village football club.
The club website www.edyc.co.uk is a source of information. Also take a look at www.canoeni.com/canoe-trails/strangford-lough. These links are very useful, and lead on to informative pages about Lough navigation and marks, among other things.
I have posted tide tables for the two weeks on lightcraft, and before long there will be a general introduction to the Lough and what needs to be kept in mind while we are there. These will also appear in the Journal, but not on here.
GENERAL: The nearest 'big' place for shopping is Downpatrick five miles away, but Killyleagh has quite a lot to offer, including a Spar – groceries and drinks, open until 23:00, with ATM and filling station. A garage. A supermarket – Maguire Winstons. A bakery. 'Winemark' – a wine merchant. Potentially 20 places where you can eat and drink, from restaurants such as 'The Smuggler's Table' and 'The Dufferin Arms' to the chippie, and Indian, Chinese and Italian food. There are B&Bs and lodgings available, too.
Killyleagh is 30mins / 1.5 miles from the club, mostly flat walking. 6 minutes by car. Bicycles worth considering as cabin luggage.
(If you watch BBC1 television, you may have noticed that one of their short film clips that serve as interlude pieces between programmes features the 'Killyleagh Night Kayaking Group', with its members rafting up together in the darkness lit only by the lights of the village behind. I don't think there is any village of that name in the UK other than the one in County Down, close to EDYC, population 2,000 +. Unimportant, I know, but it was nice to identify it!)
The Drascombe Association rally dates within our rally period are:
June 7th – June 9th, Cork Harbour. 2019 Harbour Festival, Jack O'Keeffe. "Visit the villages and towns of Cork Harbour while taking advantage of the 2019 Harbour Festival."
DCA rally attenders would be welcome at this event, perhaps before moving on to Strangford.
June 14th - 16th: John White is organising this rally at Carlingford Lough, with some boats sailing to Strangford during the following week. John organised the Lough Erne Drascombe contingent in July 2018.
(Both John White and Jack O'Keeffe are DCA members, too)
June 21st - June 23rd: Strangford Lough, East Down Yacht Club, John Stanage
This is the the final weekend of the DCA rally. John is looking forward to joining us; he phoned me to discuss this yesterday.
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