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  May Day Cruise, 2015

The cruise started at Reedham on Friday evening. Gathered for the first night were Chris and Leonie on Pelican, John on Pandora III , Wiggy on Wiggy, Jean and Terry on Seabird and Christine on her own (her accommodation was not arriving until Saturday). David and Penny later joined the company.

En route from Somerleyton, Terry tried to find a new route to Herringfleet windmill without leaving the boat. After discussion with Broads Control, who advised him to have a large gin and tonic, he was contacted by Humber Coastguard, who offered to send a lifeboat. Terry took B.A. advice and waited until the rising tide took him out of the field and back into the river at 6.30 pm! (He never did get to the mill).

Saturday saw the fleet move to Cantley where Vince and Linda were showing their new boat. White Rose had a hard beat against the tide to get from Surlingham to Cantley. This was the only yacht to sail as Pandora was minus a piece of string and could not raise the sail! John left the cruise at Cantley and took Pandora to Horsey in readiness for the regatta.

The remaining boats motored to Burgh Castle and were joined by Jacqui and Alan on Sloopy. The pub staff were welcoming and friendly and the food was satisfactory. We were joined by Wally, Bosun Neil and Pam. We retired early to Seabird to formally toast her new looks. The champagne went down well.

Sunday morning broke with foul, windy, wet weather. It was a miserable morning but all boats set off under motor. As each boat reached Somerleyton it moored up and each crew decided that was as far as they were going, so the collective decision to stay there was easily achieved. The Dukes Head, which is usually efficient but unwelcoming and impersonal, was completely different. The new manager/tenant was friendly, welcoming, smiling and very accommodating. It was a breath of fresh air. Although every table in the restaurant was booked that evening, he promised he would reserve a large table in the bar.

After aperitifs on Pelican we went to the pub and our table was ready. The specials board had been taken through to the bar for us. The service was good and the food was quick coming. The food was also good, with good sized portions. The one problem with the food was Terry and Chris both wanted lamb shank, having seen one earlier, but there was only one left. Chris magnanimously - try saying that after a few drinks - let Terry have it, so no fight ensued.

On Monday morning the fleet dispersed. White Rose approached the end of the Cut just as 22 Dutch Bavarian yachts arrived. The bridge was closed and boats were jockeying around at the bridge and downstream of the Cut. White Rose was forced to go downriver until things cleared. Once the bridge opened it took ages for the yachts to pass through. White Rose again had to turn back downriver as the yachts were manoeuvring in the Street reach and there was no way through. They did eventually get through.

Bob S

last edited on:  11/05/2015 at 21:18   by: The Editor