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For a change, we had more yachts than motor boats
on this year's Autumn Cruise, all of which made it upriver to Bramerton on
Friday night, as proposed by the pre-published itinerary. After pre-dinner
beers on the terrace, some ate on board; some ate in the pub; although there was
much distress at the lack of fish knives. Late on, the rather bemused
barman was instructed in the making of Vixen cocktails (a genuine thing, apparently)
for the entire table. This led to a discussion regarding the kind of
cocktail that could be invented for other yachts present: something dark with
rum in it for Corsair; yellow and light tasting with a kick of booze for
Marigold and something with dry ice for Pandora and her box.
After the sunshine and pleasant breezes of
Friday, Saturday dawned with the expected cloud, drizzle turning to heavy rain
and a rising wind. Perhaps in an attempt to warm up at breakfast time, Rachel set fire to the river. Undeterred by the weather, Corsair and Pandora reefed and sailed
downriver, pursued by Marigold and Vixen who were both very much deterred.
Pelican led the way to the proposed lunchtime stop at Coldham Hall but, as there
was still an hour to opening time, it was felt better to press on to Cantley,
where all arrived around noon, before diving into the Reedcutter to warm up and
Rachael jumped ship in the afternoon, enjoying a
sail on Corsair where, despite the rain and half-gale, Joe still managed to
supply her with tea and cake while under sail. Sailing up the Chet became
a little untenable (some excuse about a vital piece of rope giving way and the
yacht concerned parking in the way of the other yacht) and all present made a
fairly sedate entrance to Loddon basin, which had been chosen over the original
proposed venue on the Yare as it was more sheltered and had a curry house....
where we all adjourned as early as it was decent to do so. Warmth!!
After a good meal, albeit with rather haphazard service, those who still had the
energy and room for more drink rounded off the evening with the odd glass of
wine in the Swan.
Sunday dawned calm and with blue skies. The
course for the crews' race was set from Hardley Cross to Langley Dyke, setting
off when you wished and taking your own times. Vixen left first, followed
by Corsair, once they had walked the dogs, shaken out the reefs and changed the
jib. The tide changed as Vixen crossed the finishing line and as Pandora 3
(who had waited to buy Glastonbury tickets before leaving) crossed the start
line. Marigold, on her first ever sail with new owners mostly sailed
backwards in the very light airs and decided Cantley was the best place for
lunch. The rest of the fleet, back on plan, made it to Rockland and enjoyed
beers in the sun, despite the loud music on the terrace next to them.
||(Retired to Pub)
After lunch, the Commodore went home.
Everybody else went to Reedham Street, where beers were had in the Lord Nelson,
before ambling down the road to the Ship, being the only pub in the village
serving food on a Sunday evening. Here, after roasts all round followed by
a so-called toffee cheesecake which was more a toffee cake (but lovely) the
cruise finally wound to an end. Good fun had by all, despite the poor
weather on Saturday and we all learnt how to fold empty crisp packets into small
triangles. A valuable life skill.
Boat present: Corsair, Marigold, Pelican, Pandora
3, Vixen, Wiggy (some of the time), White Rose (by road on Saturday lunchtime)