Well, what a novelty and how very un-British... a warm and sunny bank holiday weekend. Nice breezes that encouraged all the yachts to hoist sails and most of the time we even had the tide with us. The committee have a hard act to follow for the rest of the season!
Unsurprisingly, the starting point was our unofficial headquarters at the Reedcutter, Cantley, where 4 yachts and 2 motor cruisers had assembled by early Friday evening. Most of us made it upriver to Rockland on Saturday morning, although the Commodorial vessel stayed only long enough for the crew to eat lunch and for the cabin boy to show off his splicing skills. The rest of us enjoyed some rather good Black sheep ale.
White Rose hoisted sail on the moorings and sailed out. Not to be outdone, Wisp did the same, although the sight of her emerging on to the broad with all sail set, including the topsail, must have been rather alarming for the chap pottering about at the end of the dyke in his little home made dinghy. He very quickly produced a paddle...
We had a brisk journey down to Chet Mouth, but decided it would be rather imprudent to sail up the river to Loddon in such a strong breeze, not least because of uncertainty as to where we could drop the topsail. Two-thirds of the fleet moored on the common and spent the evening there, but White Rose and Wisp found the idea of the basin and a sojourn in the curry house much more attractive. Both the White Horse and the Angel were also checked out and found to be very satisfactory.
Sailing out of the Chet with the topsail up seemed as unwise as sailing in would have been, so we motored down and hoisted the lot on the river, then had a cracking sail up to Brundall, despite a rather long tear in the topsail which appeared as we hoisted. It didn’t seem to get any bigger, so we managed to ignore it quite successfully - at least until we arrived at Surlingham Ferry, where it took two of us three hours to sew it all back together again.
Here we were joined intermittently by various people: all the of Wells family – Daisy seems to be serving in every pub you go in these days and now Arthur is following suit; the Christies, who were walking the Wherryman’s way and Farthing, complete with the second newest club member. It was so nice sitting in the sun and drinking the very good beer that we all decided we couldn’t be bothered to go anywhere else. The only slight hitch was encountered by those who booked a table to eat in the pub, only to find that when the appropriate time arrived, they had run out of food.
We kept waiting for it to rain, but no, even the actual bank holiday Monday was sunny. Somehow, in the sharing out of helming duties, I ended up with the tack against the tide, but at least the mooring at Cantley was a nice straightforward one and the repair in the topsail held up beautifully. There would have been some major grumpiness if it hadn’t.
So we ended as we started – at Cantley, drinking. Same weather next time, please. MK
Boats present: Cygnet (aka Sloopy), Pegasus, Seabird, The Only Girl, White Rose, Wisp
Photographs in the Gallery.