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Seven boats and eight crews assembled at Cantley on Friday
night for the first sailing activity of 2017: the May Bank Holiday weekend
cruise. Some ate on board; others in the pub, but most then enjoyed a
convivial evening, catching up and enjoying being back together and afloat.
Saturday dawned overcast and with a light wind, but the
three yachts set off just after low slack water to tack and reach upriver to
Coldham Hall. It turned out to be an almost perfect accidental pursuit
race, with the boats setting off at different times, but all reaching Rockland
Dyke in close company. They then motored in to join the motor boat
division for a pleasant lunchtime on the new terrace at the New Inn. The
sun came out and entertainment was provided by people-watching, as we were
gradually surrounded by a large 90th birthday party.
We then all reassembled - now eight boats and eight crews
- at Coldham Hall, where Pandora III took part in the first cruiser race of
Coldham's regatta. Unhappily, not only did he lose to Brigand and Anna
(who finished one second apart on corrected time) but rig and engine troubles
led to a two hour sojourn in the reeds and trees and a grounding there as the
tide dropped. However, a scratch rescue team on Retribution hauled them
out and improved their evening no end.
All 15 of us enjoyed a group meal in the pub, along with
Will Armour, Jan Nudd and Eve Cronin, who joined by road for the evening.
The long table gradually divided into two sections: the gentle conversational
end and the rowdy, laughing hysterically end. For some reason, the latter
were eventually the only people in the pub... being finally turfed out at 00:30.
Sunday was sunny, but very windy. It was decided to
abandon the proposed lunchtime visit to Bramerton and to stay at Coldham,
watching the racing and supping the odd beer, before making our way up to
Frostbites for the evening. With a real ale and pork festival on at the
pub, rude not to stay, really. This eventually morphed into a decision not
to go anywhere, so we stayed, watching the dinghies scoot around in the fresh
wind. This also meant we could keep John Smith company, as he finally
coaxed his recalcitrant engine to life. After the prize-giving and raffle,
everyone cooked on board; then there was a split between a drinks party on
Seabird and a pub party; but all had an earlyish night.
After some overnight rain, Monday cleared to sunshine, but
still strong winds. Some departed for home after breakfast, but others
went on up to Surlingham Ferry for the final group session of the weekend.
So, not much cruising during the weekend, but a good time had by all - even
those who suffered tribulations, hopefully!
Boats present: Koko Peli, Pandora III, Pelican,
Retribution, Seabird, Vixen, White Rose, Wiggy