Cruising Association of Ireland (CAI) Are Keeping Their Members Well Entertained!

Cruising Association of Ireland (CAI)  Are Keeping Their Members Well Entertained!

With over 130 CAI members housebound or restricted by the 2km rule and the closure of the marinas, the CAI quickly went to action. The choice seemed to be close down until this is all over, or tackle the problem of keeping the membership together and maintaining something like normality, albeit in virtual form. Today May 3rd, we hear in Ireland of possible alleviations to the restrictions which may lead to a limited resumption of our on the water activities. The CAI is fully behind getting back on the water safely and in a responsible manner that respects government guidelines and plain common sense.

CAI Cruise to Caernarfon RWYC

So, the committee, under Commodore Vincent Lundy, David Meeke the webmaster and the general committee got thinking, and created various support forums to continue until ‘normal service resumes’, as the saying goes. The first thing was to re-energise the website which was a little tired although it served its purpose. David Meeke of the RUYC came to the rescue with his webmaster skills and has created a new and vibrant website. It is still under development but has already attracted several new members which as a time of lockdown is some achievement by David.  Next came Whatsapp groups. There are two main groups,  “CAI CLUBHOUSE” is a relaxed platform providing cocooning advice, words of understanding, support, maintenance tips, insurance comparisons and much more of interest to cruisers. Many a joke has been shared to keep everyone’s spirits high during this difficult time.

A particular member, Mike Medcalf,  has entertained the group every morning with a new short video clip, now on DAY 40, on topics such of swimming down the hall, skiing, dads army and much more – see here.

There is also a read-only CAI NEWSROOM group, as an information channel for the committee to use as a “send only” source of the important stuff. The next two events are easy to find here. This avoids the clutter associated with most WhatsApp groups.


Every Tuesday the CAI organises Tuesday Night Talk  already nicknamed “TNT”. A series of excellent “members only” online presentations and talks through Zoom. They are now on talk four. So far they have covered cruising Scotland, the Boeing 737 Max saga, Electronic Pilotage and Navigation, courtesy of eOceanic, and a Baltic Cruise with Charlie Kavanagh. The next talk, the fifth is on 5 May with Norman Kean of ICC publications and a member of both ICC and CAI,  presenting pilotage and  navigation skills. He will discuss in detail the pros and cons of each format, and the necessity that whatever format you use, it must be accurate, and up to date. Norman will also present the excellent drone footage that features in the new editions of the ICC Sailing Directions. All talks are free to members and done in the spirit of camaraderie. For the time being the talks are available to non members too as a courtesy recognising the current lockdown and the need for us all to stick together.

Family Membership

A new database integrated into the website offers the ability for members to update the database themselves, including details of clubs and boats, and extends membership to include an additional category of a Family Membership. This will no doubt increase the number of women as members which goes along with the association’s support for Irish Sailing’s “Women on the Water” and “Take The Helm” initiatives.  It will also extend the mailing list to younger family members who will one day take to the water like their parents.

It is great to see the association Family membership covers children up to age of twenty and over twenty if a student or not in permanent employment. This will make sailing more accessible to maturing families.

What does a Family Membership include:-
It will include a family unit, married couples/ partners, their children up to the age of twenty and if they are a student over the age of twenty not in permanent employment.

The family membership is free this year and may incur a small increase in the current very affordable single membership of €30, unchanged in many years.

Joining the CAI is like joining a club of like-minded friends that support each other. But better than that – you can meet in any club house, since the CAI uses by kind permission, the premises of every yacht club in Ireland by invitation.