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The August Bank Holiday saw 12 boats leave the safety of
the Norfolk Broads and venture down to the seaside. Most assembled at
Somerleyton the night before, from where five yachts took part in a self-timed
race as far as Oulton Dyke. This was won by May, who set off late on the
tide, but with more wind than those who had left earlier. Vixen came in
second, just beating Anna.
The boats were gradually fed through the lock, with the
motor boats going first and therefore getting first taste of the mini beer
festival at the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club. By early
afternoon, all had arrived and settled in for a sociable afternoon, rounded off
by an evening buffet in the company of members of the Haven Ports Yacht Club,
led by Mark Wells.
It was a bouncy night on the ocean waves, ensuring
everyone knew they were no longer on inland waters, but Sunday dawned calmer and
with sunshine. HPYC departed for Southwold, while around 30 people from the YSC
and RN&SYC set off in RIBs, motor boats and yachts for Scroby Sands.
The plan was to land, but in the end this proved impossible, although efforts
were made by all three RIBs. Instead, there was some rafting up at anchor
and picnics on board, watched by the inquisitive seals.
Burgers and hot dogs were welcome sustenance on the return
to the clubhouse, accompanied by some more real ale, of course. Many chose
to eat in the club during the evening, before rounding off events by taking part
in a general knowledge quiz. This was won by a combined team from Pelican,
Retribution and Vixen, who promptly drank their prize Cava to celebrate.
After a more peaceful night than Saturday, a group
departure on Monday morning meant all the yachts could take advantage of having
the bascule bridge lifted in Lowestoft, but unfortunately the Oulton Railway
Bridge had technical issues and was unable to open, resulting in some hasty mast
lowering as the fleet made its way up Lake Lothing. Once safely back
through the lock again, there was a general dispersal to home moorings; some
going to Geldeston, some stopping at Somerleyton and others venturing into the
newly reopened Lord Nelson at Reedham.
Boats present: Anna, Force Four, Koko Pelli, May, Melody, Modwena, Pandora III, Pelican, Seabird, Vixen, White Rose, Wiggy