Relaxation was the main theme of the Yare Sailing Club early May cruise this year. 2007 had seen the cruise finish with most vessels storm bound at Cantley, sheltering from the inclement weather that was to set the overtone for most events last season.
Saturday dawned bright and early (earlier for those minding Boris & Mabel) and once the Toglodyte had extracted itself from her silt filled cavern, the fleet wandered off in the general direction of Rockland St Mary for lunch. Bob, on ‘White Rose’ left slightly before most craft, and set the precedent by reaching up and down in front of Cantley pub, giving a preview of the excellent sailing conditions forthcoming! Before too long, all the fleet had assembled in the basin at Rockland St. Mary, where Chris Franks bestowed a fine gift (ahem) of a mooring warp to me. For those with long memories, this particular rope became famous in the Buckenham Straits when ‘Wisp' suffered Gin Palace attack…
After the briefest of stops by ‘TOG’ (including lightning speed splicing acts by cabin boy) there was an excellent sail to be had down to the Chet for the overnight stay at Loddon.
Highlights of this sail for the Commodore and Secretary included being run aground on their own yacht, by someone else! There are no names obviously, however in my defence it’s a spot where everybody always goes aground, as it looks deceptively deep. Later intelligence was to prove that ‘Wisp’ had also taken advantage of the brisk sailing conditions to storm out of Rockland dyke like a startled jack-rabbit, terrorising all in the way!
Loddon saw a divide in the fleet, between those who fancied a curry, and those who preferred cremate…sorry barbequed food. All credit goes to those on the smallest craft who partied the hardest with little detriment to their health! (Temporary crew of the motor yacht ‘Prunella’ have registered their envy at such a swift recovery)
Sunday brought a far hotter day than before, with most of the yachts motoring out of the Chet. ‘T.O.G’ prudently was reefed at this juncture, whilst other yachts enjoyed a storming sail upriver.
Although the daily brief was strictly casual (work that one out!) all vessels were expected to stop at the first pub they reached after 1pm. Unfortunately most other boats on the river had also taken these sailing instructions, as Surlingham Ferry was the busiest it’s been for years. Ingenious mooring was called upon by all, with yachts threading themselves into a fine interlocking tangle.
The evening saw the fleet winding down after two excellent days sailing, despite the best efforts of ‘DJ Dave’, which didn’t deter the feverish industry in the cockpit of ‘Wisp’ where topsail had fallen prey to the brisk South Westerly.
There were guest appearances from the Farthing crew, with Monty drawing great attention on his first YSC event; at four weeks old already being in a riverside pub surrounded by the YSC, there’s not much hope for him really (note, he’s available for jib hand in 2020)
Later, disaster struck with the pub running out of food and cancelling the Commodore’s table! Thankfully the YSC fairy godmothers managed to magic an equally delicious feast aboard the capacious ‘T.O.G’ at the last minute.
Monday brought yet more sunshine, and great confusion as to who had signed their soul away to guarantee such weather.
The Herculean breakfast aboard ‘Wisp’ was evidently an attempt to empty food lockers in order to escape the mud-filled basin. Boris happily had provided his own mud for ‘T.O.G’ which was dutifully gathered on his morning walk, how thoughtful!
Finishing as we had begun, the fleet gathered at Cantley for lunch (liquid or otherwise) and the general consensus was that hopefully the season will bring much of the same fine weather and sailing.