Our annual Christmas Lunch at Toscana in Roldan on Saturday 10th December was tinged with sadness and joy. A small task force arrived early to decorate their private function room to make it suitably festive for the occasion. The staff were impressed with the transformation and we agreed to leave it that way until the end of the festive season. Maybe that was why we received a complimentary Limoncello or Bailey’s at the end of our meal!

Yes, it’s true. We’re losing our lady Commodore Dawn Morgan after only 9 months. Because she is going sailing. For 2023. Not just to any Ocean, but she is sailing to the Arctic Ocean in a 50-foot boat with a companion. But she is not just any lady. She served in the RAF, has run a Safari Park in Africa and believes life is for living. Her voyage has a purpose. Leaving England via the Irish Sea, and Scottish Isles they head to Norway and then to Iceland, Greenland and the Northwest passage.

In 1845 HMS Terror and HMS Erebus left England to explore the Northwest passage of the Canadian Arctic. The expedition became a disaster when both ships became icebound near King William Island. Led by Captain John Franklin it has become known as Franklin’s lost expedition. In 2014 the Canadians discovered the wreck of the Erebus and two years later the Terror. The wreck site, where 129 officers and men lost their lives, is now a National Historic Site and attracts further research annually. SAMM will be following and reporting on progress of Dawn’s adventure via a dedicated YouTube Channel.

While bidding farewell to Dawn we were also pleased to introduce our first four Russian members to the SAMM community. They left Russia in 2014, two coming to Spain after time living and studying in France and two after living in the New Forest in England. They are all experienced sailors but need help getting their qualifications recognised in Spain. Two are keen to venture well outside the Mar Menor so can find opportunities with our Cruising Group. They have already helped our Balaton group with maintenance of one of their 5 to 6 metre yachts. They are so pleased to have found, not just a sailing club, but a friendly social community.

As a Spanish sports and cultural Association registered with the Comunidad of Murcia and town hall of Los Alcazares, SAMM has a history of creating social groups to complement our sailing activities such as cycling, petanque, ten pin bowling, day trips and our recently formed Golf Social group. If you want to form a water sports group for an aspect we don’t cover now, we can help with that too. In 2023 we’re looking to revive our activities now the restrictions of the pandemic are receding. Across our groups we have members as qualified divers and specialists in outboard motors etc. But are always looking for more.’ If you are a first aider, a paramedic, have experience of running social activities or would like to talk to our monthly meetings on your experience in, say, sailing in the Greek Islands or Turkey please get in touch with us at www.sailingmarmenor.com

By Mike Phillips