Three boats turned up at Burgh Castle for the May Day weekend cruise: Egret, Marigold and Vixen. They were met in the pub by more members, who had lunched there and stayed on to greet the fleet. Terry & Jean departed soon afterwards, but Wally stayed to accompany the mariners as they ate and drank the evening away.
This resulted in a rather groggy start the next morning, but the two yachts blew away some cobwebs by enjoying a pleasant downwind sail up the Waveney to St Olaves, where a light lunch and a couple of reviving beers were enjoyed in the pub garden, before traversing the New Cut to Reedham for the night.
Here, the Lord Nelson had kindly reserved all their moorings and about a third of the pub for us and the Green Wyvern fleet, whose itinerary coincided with ours at this point. Many enjoyed a meal (and complimentary olives) in the Nelson, but they did not have the capacity to accommodate all of the Wyverns and a splinter group left to eat at the Ship. Although this left the Nelson rather quiet, a pleasant evening was enjoyed.
Sunday morning dawned bright, but lacking in wind. Despite this, six of the yachts present partook in the crews’ race for the Cocktail Shaker, with the course being set from Chet Mouth to Rockland Short Dyke. Having proved that all yachts drift at the same speed in a flat calm, the sailing became more enjoyable as the morning wore on and the breeze picked up a little. This did help those starting later though and the race was eventually won by Jan Farrar, helming Farthing, from Ian Bowmaker in Pan, who was snapping at Vixen’s heels most of the way upriver.
The Wyverns peeled off into Rockland for lunch, while the YSC contingent fetched up at Coldham Hall, where lunch on the lawn was enjoyed, while watching the racing at CHSC’s regatta. We had been joined by Retribution at this point and the fleet then set off in convoy upriver to Surlingham Ferry for the night. The crew of Flight came out by road and a most convivial evening meal was enjoyed by all.
This marked the end of the official cruise, with the directions for Monday simply reading “disperse.” The two motor boats left for home, but Marigold and Vixen continued upriver, with the former being left at the River Garden in Thorpe, while all four crew motored up to the Ribs of Beef in Norwich on Vixen. Here Brian and Michelle revealed it was their 10th anniversary since getting engaged and purchased Prosecco to accompany the beer and loaded fries for lunch! Afterwards, New Mills was visited before Vixen returned to the River Garden to rejoin Marigold. Here, augmented hot chocolate was followed by more Prosecco and supper in the pub, just to ensure a proper celebration was had. A fine way to end the bank holiday weekend.