We’ve been quiet for a few editions of The Scene magazine but this doesn’t imply that we’ve been idle in any of our activities. Our boating season at Mercury runs from the first Friday in May to the first Friday in September by which time the evenings are drawing in too much to make anything later viable.
During this time we we’ve run four camps. In May we held a white-water camp Symonds Yat on the Welsh border for our more-experienced kayakers and those eager to learn more advanced skills. In August our annual summer camp at Pitsford Reservoir, just north of Northampton, for mainly mixed boating activities but some land events and in late September in Woolacombe on the north Devon coast for surfing. Finally, during the recent half-term our Explorer Scouts (aged 14+) attended the Royal Navy Recognised Sea-Scout Group’s camp at HMS Bristol in Portsmouth for a multi-activity week. OK, this last one isn’t a ‘camp’ as such-it’s a warship—and we didn’t organise it—the Royal Navy did—but it counts as a ‘camp’ anyway!
Regattas have been a recurring feature of our summer, perhaps as ever except that we seem to get invited to an increasing number of them. Amongst them were Netley, Bursledon, The Solent Scout Regatta at Testwood and the National Sea Scout Regatta on the Thames in West London. In between these events were several single events, including The Great River Race, 23 miles on the Thames from Millwall to Richmond (takes 3 hours but with assistance from the tide), The Basingstoke Canal Race (a Scout event based on Odiham in North Hamspshire) and The Round Hayling Island Race (although on the day it was deemed by the organisers to be too rough to go along the seafront!). This last one came about from an invitation from The Hayling Island Rowing Club that we befriended at our own Hamble River Raid, which of course we also attended.
This is a snapshot of recent events; there are more such as Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race training days, the local Wild Water races and Hare and Hounds kayak races. It was a good year for trophies and a national 2nd place in the Wavehopper Racing League from about 30 other clubs.
Naturally we don’t achieve this without enthusiastic training for and by the Scouts and Explorers who can often be seen enjoying the waters of Badnam Creek (subject to appropriate permits) at weekends and summer evenings. As ever we look for assistance from helpers and parents to run and finance these events and would like anyone who feels they could help to contact us—best way is to drop in on a Friday night (HQ is turn into the police training centre in Hamble Lane, turn left inside the first gates).
Our website is www.hambleseascouts.org.uk and our new (work in progress!) Facebook page is entitled simply Hamble Sea Scout Group.