Boats present: Idleflight, Lazy Breeze, Melody, Pandora III, Pockets, Sandhawk (in lieu of Seabird), Starlight, Wisp, White Rose
Itinerary: Thursday night, met at Reedham Street
Friday lunch at Berney, night at Cantley
Saturday lunch at Bramerton for some, night at Surlingham
Sunday lunch in Norwich, night back at Surlingham
Monday lunch at Rockland
The start of the May Cruise was brought forward by a day to accommodate people who had an extra day's holiday (Royal Wedding) and wanted to sail on the Friday. Three boats, Starlight, White Rose and Sandhawk aka Seabird moored in Reedham Street on the Thursday evening. The crews were entertained by Jon Collerick, accompanied by club members on their bodhrans.
A fourth boat, Wisp, joined on Friday morning. The weather was sunny but very windy. White Rose reefed and sailed on the late morning tide to Berney Arms. Sandhawk and Wisp followed on. We were later joined by crews from several of the Green Wyvern Yachts.
We sailed in the afternoon to the official Friday evening start at Cantley. Here we were joined by Lazy Breeze, Pandora 3, Melody, Idleflite and Pockets - 9 boats - a record for the first May Cruise as far as anyone present could remember. Pandora 3 was undertaking her first club cruise.
Saturday was sunny but very windy. The lunchtime goal was the Woods End at Bramerton. Sailing vessels tended to go on jib or foresail only but White Rose and Pandora 3 did manage to raise their mainsails from Surlingham to Woods End. All other boats shortened their journeys and moored up at the Ferry House, which was to be the evening stop.
Jean, our dining supervisor, did a wonderful job sorting out evening meal arrangements in the pub. The meal itself was excellent and very filling. People chose from an extensive menu and all received their meal hot at one and the same time. Other club members, Gerald & Pam Wells, Jackie Jenner, Jan Nudd and Ian, Steve Dexter and partner joined for dinner and the Duke family and Joe Farrow came later to witness the entertainment and club members bopping!
Sunday's programme had been agreed by members, but taking into account the weather forecast and mooring possibilities, modifications were made. The original idea was to go to Commissioner's Cut or Frostbites, leave most of the boats, then travel on a couple of boats to the Ribs of Beef. White Rose and Melody were the transport boats, but most of the other craft were left at the Ferry Boat for an evening return. The journey through Norwich to the Ribs was a new experience for some members. Everyone enjoyed it and the management of the Ribs was extremely pleased to see boats moored at the pub.
On returning to the Ferry House, Jean was again called upon for her "dinner lady" duties - which she fulfilled admirably. Julia Kilner, Joe Farrow, Chris Duke and Ruth and Sam Dunning joined us for the evening.
Monday was dry but blowing extremely hard, so most of the fleet motored down to the newly reopened New Inn at Rockland St Mary. Having had a pleasant lunchtime and a short address from the Commodore, not to mention Jean's communal bowls of cheesy chips, people went their own ways, apart from Terry Cole, who spent the night at Rockland.
It was a very successful cruise. The weather was sunny and mainly warm but the strong winds restricted sailing. The hosts at every stop made us very welcome and supplied good ale and fare. I can recommend all the places we visited - The Lord Nelson, Berney Arms, Reedcutter, New Inn, Ferry House, Woods End and Ribs of Beef. We need to keep these facilities open.