RAYC Member Justin Roys gets the opportunity of a life time to visit a Yacht Club in Antarctica!
Hello fellow RAYC members! For those that I have not met around the club my name is Justin Roys, I recently joined the RAYC mid last year, naturally keen on sailing and am happiest parked up in a bay barbequing the catch of the day on the back of my D28.
I recently had the opportunity to deploy to Antarctica with the NZDF Light Engineering team undertaking a Bailey bridge build, construction, maintenance and de-construction in order to reduce the stations foot print on Ross Island
Our team was based in McMurdo station (a US base) with a transient population of apporx 900 persons, including scientists and support personnel. We were only a few kilometres from Scott Base (NZ dependency) which was a welcome respite to enjoy a quiet beer, familiar sense of humour and some no nonsense meat & three veg’ meals.
As you might imagine operating in the coldest, driest place in the world presented its challenges but the loss of feeling in ones limbs and face were soon forgotten with a hot feed, visit to the bar and would you believe a yacht club… in Antarctica, I had almost dismissed the idea thinking that it didn’t quite work out for Shackleton.
After seeking out Michael Deany the commodore of the Ross Island Yacht Club Antarctica (RIYCA) I was surprised to meet more than a dozen keen sailors all lamenting that their yachts were neglected in warmer waters. At the last meeting of the season I was asked to say a few words along with Dr John Storey, commodore of the Hawesbury River Yacht Club (Australia) and exchanged club burgees. So now the RAYC Burgee has a place down on the ice and the Blue & White RIYCA Burgee hangs on our wall in reciprocal fashion.
Prior to the Russian ice breaker coming in at the end of the summer season, it’s not the easiest place to sail but If you make it that far south, look up Commodore Michael Deany; In true nautical custom I’m sure he’ll warm you with rum & hospitality.