All those who have submitted logs over the years are to be congratulated on their diligence and contribution to the life of the Club.
It is some time since the late Commander Sir Robin Gillett expounded principles for submission. It is probably helpful if I interpret his principles in the light of changing technology. What is given below will be subject to amendment from time to time, after due notice!
Sir Robin’s guiding principle was that a log submitted for the competition should be in a form which enables someone following a similar voyage, to benefit from knowledge and first hand experience of eccentricities of local winds, tides, weather, also tips for anchoring and availability of rescue and medical facilities. Information about bars (both types), restaurants and other life enhancement resources is particularly useful.
Occasionally, logs have been submitted in the form of the deck log or a photocopy of it. A log in this form is invariably difficult to read and provides little more than courses steered, distances run and features passed. It is of restricted value to a following mariner. It does occasionally reveal some remarkable distances run in twenty four hours and all credit but, in terms of the log competition, few marks for that!
Logs can be written in pen or pencil, preferably not both, and need to be legible in the eyes of the examiner. They can be computer generated in typographic form, but should be made available to the examiner as hard copy.
It is helpful if an indication is given about whether the log submitted is to be returned after judgement. Submitting the original log is hazardous, two trips in the hands of the Royal Mail or whoever and anxiety of possession on the part of the Admiral!
Now I must add a word about CDs and DVDs. These can be both interesting and add colour to the examiner’s experience. One can almost imagine the mezze on the table in some delightful Greek island! They brighten up a winter Sunday afternoon with wind and rain rattling the windows! However they score few marks in the assessment, since one has to imagine what is available on board the yacht of someone following a similar pattern. It is questionable whether the average mariner has relevant electronic viewing facilities on board. May be I am judging this in ignorance, since a Contessa 32 is not designed with such equipment in mind! I shall stand by for comments and corrections at the bar!
For those who are interested in taking the study of logs further, some of the finest examples are those written by Captain Cook during his three major voyages to the Pacific, in the eighteenth century. That was in addition to his remarkable taxonomic work!
It is hoped that the above notes make it clear that the log submitted needs to be more than that kept near the chart, with all the hazards of spilt tea and rogue waves. It needs to be an account of your voyage, adding such numerical data that you deem relevant.
Logs should be submitted by 31 January of the year following the voyage, sent to the Admiral for the time being, address as in list of members. The result is announced at the following Fitting Out Dinner.