Friday night saw Jessie May, Starlight, White Rose and Wisp convene at Cantley for the beginning of the bank holiday cruise. After a convivial (and very late) night, the four yachts set off up river, most of them taking advantage of the reasonable weather to hoist sails for the trip up to Bramerton Woods End. Here we were joined by Corsair, Stevie Rose and Fair Lady – Sonia and Andy sailing past the pub in fine style before coming in to moor.
With the weather turning damp and chilly and a head wind to boot, everyone chose to motor the short distance down to Surlingham Ferry, where Insh’allah and Pockets were already moored, thus boosting the fleet to a healthy nine boats.
There followed a somewhat lively night, especially once Andy introduced the “swear bucket” – one naughty word and a fine of 10p was payable. The treasurer (who else) was in charge of raising and lowering the bucket as victims attempted to toss in their coins. Once a penalty for right-handed drinking was also introduced, some resigned themselves to the inevitable by paying up front to put themselves in credit.
Hilarious and probably quite noisy. We may have attracted a curious audience.... can’t think why.
Jon Collerick entertained us well into the night, the beer flowed constantly – served in a Pimms jug, which is probably illegal, but much more convenient. Then the gins and the whiskies came out and so the night passed.
After a hearty breakfast in the pub on Sunday morning, everyone piled onto Insh’allah, White Rose and Wisp for a motorised journey up into the heart of Norwich, mooring three abreast outside the welcoming Ribs of Beef. Those who hadn’t had the large Surlingham Ferry breakfast were delighted to discover chilli chips with cheese – a grand snack, especially when washed down with beer at £2.30 a pint.
We returned to Surlingham Ferry for the evening – a rather quieter one than the night before. Andy was heard to complain that he was about to run out of Little Sharpie, but I blame the Wyverns for that, who had been there in our absence at lunchtime.
Monday was a more sedate affair, with boats dispersing and only Starlight, White Rose and Wisp making it to Rockland for lunch. We were, however, joined by Shruff and five Eastwood Whelpton yachts, making a fine sight in the basin.
The least said about the cold, wet and windy journey back to our home moorings, the better. Typical bank holiday weather, one might say!
A special mention must be made of the highlight of the cruise. Wisp and White Rose were at one point in close company when motoring back down river on Sunday afternoon and a certain amount of biscuit-envy was apparent. Christine, taking pity on the poor souls on Wisp, decided to throw one of Bob’s biscuits over.... an incredible Frisbee style shot, which saw the biscuit spin over at least 20 feet of water and into the hand of young Joe. Cheers and applause all round. The biscuit tasted good too.
Photographs (incriminating and otherwise) are posted here