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OCC at the Southampton Boat Show 2019

by Fiona & Chris Jones 6 Oct 06:37 UTC 13-22 September 2019
Jeanne Socrates at the Southampton Boat Show © Fiona & Chris Jones

New members, old friends, a gathering, recognition, and a change of guard all accomplished in Southampton.

As in the past few years, the OCC was generously hosted by Mailasail on their stand at the Southampton Boat Show. There is quite a good synergy between our two organisations as those who are interested in satellite communications are usually planning to cross oceans and so there is a great opportunity to talk to them about the OCC.

The Show itself did not seem to be as busy as last year, despite some glorious weather. That could be due to a general downturn in numbers attending boat shows or the effect of the UK leaving the EU, or perhaps both. However, more members than last year called by the stand and signed the visitors' book. In all, 11 people signed up as new members, all Associates.On the final Saturday we were delighted to welcome Jeanne Socrates as a visitor to the stand. She was in very cheerful spirits following the successful completion of her circumnavigation despite many setbacks.

The Southampton Boat Show Dinner aboard m/v Princess Caroline on Wednesday night was a very sociable affair with a pleasant gentle cruise around Southampton water. The boat was far superior to the Blue Funnel vessel which has hosted us for the previous two years; it is beautifully appointed and comfortable with really friendly staff who made us feel very welcome. There were 70 of us gathered for the occasion ranging from very long-standing members like George and Penelope Curtis to brand new members Michael and Monica Reilley who joined the OCC that very day when they visited the OCC stand at the show.

Prior to the meal, Past Commodore Anne Hammick surprised Mike and Liz Downing with the presentation of an engraved tankard in recognition of Mike's sterling work filling advertising space in Flying Fish and the Members' Handbook. Anne recounted how former treasurer Tim Bridgen said he loved receiving emails from Mike as he was the only member who contacted him to bring money into the club rather than ask about spending it! Sadly the Princess Caroline's chef had been taken ill and a relief chef found at short notice did not prepare the high-quality meal we had been promised. Owner Andi Van Den Hoek, a great host on the evening, has asked me to pass on her apologies and has promised us that, should we return next year, she will ensure we get an extra special spread. After the meal, Jenny Crickmore-Thompson kindly said a few words and thanked us for our term as Regional Rear Commodores (GB) and welcomed Beth and Bone Bushnell who took over the role and were presented with their Rear Commodores' Burgee.

Thank you to all those members who visited the stand and attended the dinner. And very many grateful thanks to the 20 members who staffed the stand over the ten days that the show ran.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of the Ocean Cruising Club.

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