One of my most popular club lectures is about the development and safe use of navigational electronics. It masquerades under the title of ‘Man is Not Lost ‘. The talk, a mix of yarns and solid information, is a friendly and irreverent look at the changes many of us have seen from the days when I found Barbados after 42 days at sea with no chart at all – just a lat/long to shoot for, a sextant and my grandfather’s pocket watch – to my current chart plotters that still manage to lead me astray.
I have another lecture, called ‘The Boats that Built Britain’ which is based on my popular BBC2/4 TV series. It gives an insight into the presenter’s lot and includes a few out-takes.
Also on offer is a talk entitled ‘Down to the Westward’ . This recounts the history and background of the Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters and their relevance to the boats of today. It is full of life and is as much about the colourful characters of the Edwardian waterfront scene, as it is about the magnificent boats themselves. It includes many original images taken from Magic Lantern slides, as well as up-to-date photographs.
My latest lecture is ‘Ice With Everything’. This is about a trip I made last year in a mate’s boat that he bought for £14,000 on eBay. There’s rape and pillage involved, but not from us boys I hasten to add. That’s where the Vikings come in. A rollicking tale.
All these lectures are richly illustrated and last about 50 minutes with a question-and-answer session afterwards. If your club is outside the Solent area, there may be some modest travel expenses.
A full house at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club