Season 2017/2018


We hope you have had fair weather and great sailing during the Summer
Our outline program for 2017/18 is shown below

Meetings are normally held on the second Monday of each month at Henley Golf Club RG9 4HG (Click for directions) with the bar opening at 19:30 ready for a for 20:00 start. Visitors and New Members are always very welcome so please encourage your friends to come along - they can either pay £5 for the one meeting (deducted from the joining fee if they subsequently join), or join up for the whole season for just £25 (£35 for families).


9th October 2017

To the Baltic and Back in a season

Image of Bob and Sue Garrett on board their yacht

Bob and Sue Garrett

Bob and Sue Garrett have had their own yacht (based in Chichester harbour) since 2005 having previously crewed and chartered regularly.

In “To The Baltic and Back in a Season” Bob and Sue will illustrate their trip, which went as far as St Petersburg, focussing on the journey there and back, many of the places they visited and events they experienced. They will also talk about the practicalities of planning, navigation, berthing, customs, weather etc.

The six month trip to the Baltic followed their retirement and was their first experience of being on board for over a month.


13th November 2017

Stuart Wood

The Daniel Adamson Story


11th December 2017

The Liberdade - Tales of Joshua Slocumb

Image of Joshua Slocumb

Joshua Slocum was the first man to sail single-handedly around the world. He was a Nova Scotian born, naturalised American seaman and adventurer, and a noted writer. In 1900 he wrote a book about his journey Sailing Alone Around the World, which became an international best-seller. He disappeared in November 1909 while aboard his boat, the Spray.

Mike Austen

After being stranded in Brazil with his wife and two sons, he started building a boat that could sail them home. He used local and salvaged materials and worked with local workers. The boat was launched on May 13, 1888 and was given the Portuguese name Liberdade. It was an unusual 35-foot (11 m) junk-rigged design which he described as "half Cape Ann dory and half Japanese sampan. He and his family began their voyage back to the United States, his son Victor (15) being the mate. After fifty-five days at sea and 5510 miles, the Slocums reached Cape Roman, South Carolina.

Mike Austen gained a cadetship at the College of Air Training, in Hamble, and graduated as a Commercial Pilot in 1964. During his 33 year career with BEA and British Airways he flew the Vanguard, Trident, BAC 1-11 and variants of the B747, gaining his command in 1973.

Mike's sailing career began in earnest when, in 1994, he competed in the Sydney-Hobart and the Sydney-Mooloolaba races while undergoing chemotherapy for Lymphoma.

In 1996 he joined the crew of “Time and Tide” in the BT Global Challenge, sailing the Rio to Wellington, and Wellington to Sydney legs before acute Tenosynovitis of all his fingers and thumbs forced him to leave the boat in Sydney, and undergo intensive physiotherapy at the BA Medical Centre back in the UK.

After retirement in 1997, he completed his first of three Transatlantic crossings to gain the Ocean endorsement of his Yachtmaster power and sail. He is a member of the RORC, the Royal Southern Yacht Club, the International Association of Cape Horners and the Army Sailing Association.

Mike has sailed well over 55,000 miles and lives in Port Solent where he keeps his yacht “Up To Speed”, a Dehler 35, in which he intends to race offshore double-handed.


8th January 2018

Comm. Gerry Thwaites R.N.

Life as Chief Engineer on the Royal Yacht Britannia

Image of Royal Yacht Brittania

During his military career Commodore Gerry Thwaites held a number of operational and strategic appointments Two of these were as, Chief Engineer of the UK Submarine Flotilla and Captain Fleet Maintenance of a major military base. He was also Commandant of the Defence College of Electromechanical Engineering delivering tri-service military technical training and Director Navy Recruiting.

Gerry is a submariner and nuclear engineer and so spent much of his Naval career either under the water driving submarine nuclear reactors or above the water maintaining them. So it was with some surprise that that he found himself on the Royal Yacht Britannia as the Senior Engineer - this is his story.

Gerry is a Liveryman and Court Member of the Worshipful Company of Turners and a Freeman of the City of London. He is a Chartered Engineer, Member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and a Learned Member of the Nuclear Institute. he has his own consultancy providing business solutions architecture to a wide range of clients.


12th February 2018

Peter Bruce

Heavy Weather Sailing


12th March 2018

Alice Eves

Image of Alice Eves

Full of energy and sense of adventure Alice Eves, close to the age of 44, set off with her husband, Francis, for eighteen months exploring parts of the South Pacific and South America. Alice sailed 900 miles from the Marquesas Islands through the Tuamotu archipelago to the Tahitian Islands. These were some of her happiest times of life just living close to nature, off the beaten track and so beautiful. Later she joined their boat in Almanza, Argentina in the Beagle Channel and sailed there for just a few weeks. The next invigorating sailing journey was from Florianopolis, Southern Brazil up to Rio with some time also spent further north in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

Sailing French Polynesia and Brazil

The voyage took over two years in the planning. Their house in Los Angeles was sold, belongings put in storage and various other arrangements made. Books on ocean cruising were consulted and notes made; equipment ordered; charts acquired and they were off.

Alice became a lawyer in England and California before setting off on this adventure. Afterwards Alice moved back to live in England and is now based in Dorset where she is writing a novel. Her book about her sailing experience south of the equator is called Papaya with Sugar and is available on Amazon books and on Kindle.

Sailing experience: many summers sailing around the Inner Hebrides, especially the Isle of Mull; a journey from Falmouth to Stornaway; short sails in the Vancouver area and Sitka, Alaska; Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod and seven years of weekend sailing and more in Southern California.

The sailing in Vancouver and in Alaska were both on chartered boats. The Scottish sailing was on a Contessa 26. The South Pacific, South America and California sailing were all on a Tradewind 35 called “Plainsong”. “Plainsong” is still based in her home port of Oxnard, California


10th April 2018

Charles Tollit

Technology Update


Ian Simpson

The Life of Admiral Fitzroy


To see our events in season 2015/16 Click Here

For 2016/17 Click Here

Please do try and support the events as we are a relatively small group and need your attendance in order to attract good speakers. Please spread the word to your friends, who as you know, are always welcome to attend for a very modest entry fee.

For more information about the Henley Offshore Group, please send an email to Info(at)henleyoffshore.org correcting the strange "(at)" format which is intended to avoid spam.

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