AN inspiring talk was on the agenda at the last meeting by Peter Nutall from Chipping Norton U3A. Entitled “My Bucket List” it represented the list of things he wanted to do from the day he retired and included a desire to go on a round the world sailing-boat trip. He decided to apply for the Atlantic leg of one of the boats in the Clipper Race, as this was the most energetic and extreme form of sailing. Ten boats were in the race from all over the world, and he was accepted.

Setting off from Liverpool for Brazil he was with 17 others in the crew, some experienced but many novices. They were to live in a very confined space, with 4 hours on and 4 hours off duty, for between 4 to 5 weeks, often with the boat tilting at 45 degrees. The position of each of the other boats had to be always plotted.

Food had to be always eaten from a bowl with a spoon, and a cup of coffee could only be delivered half full. Some of the tasks, such as pulling on ropes, were very physically demanding, and the constant dressing and undressing of the many layers of clothing took much time and effort, but the most difficult he found was to achieve full co-operation with such an assorted crew, especially in bad weather.

The slides he showed made the audience feel part of it. For himself the literal high point of the voyage, at the top of the mast, was a sublime experience.

Next month’s talk will be on October 27, 2 pm at the Townsend Hall, by our own Guy Harris and entitled “The History of Medicine”. All members are urged to come as it is of interest to all of us.