Cruising

Cruising Activities at RHYC


For many RHYC members, sailing consist of cruising the fantastic home waters around the East Anglian coast, exploring the other side of the North Sea or the Channel, or voyaging much further afield.  Our excellent marina and swinging moorings help facilitate this.

We have a very active Cruise in Company section, and there is also a programme of serious and not-so-serious yacht and cruiser races throughout the year, including the Combined Clubs Race and the Sunk and Bell races.  Cruiser racing is described in the Racing pages.


Cruise in Company 2017


There are fourteen opportunities in 2017 to join other RHYC members and participate in local cruises up and down our coast. There are four short cruises when we are happy for dinghies to join us and two longer ones - one to London and Chatham and a one or two week trip to Ostend and Holland.

So as to gauge the number of berths to book it would be good if members could express their interest in advance with the office and the cruise leader by email. The final cut off date however is the Monday before the cruise.  All email addresses are in the member's section of this web site.

The programme is a great incentive to actually get on and sail somewhere and there is no doubt that it is an excellent way to meet fellow sailors and make friends. Also the group planning is helpful and reassuring to all even to the most experienced of skippers.

There is a get together on the evening preceding the cruise in the club house where we have a meal and a briefing.

Allan Jones is the coordinator of the section and can be contacted if help is needed. Tel 01379 652491  docallanjones@diss999.fsnet.co.uk

 Cruise Date
 HW Walton
 Event and Leader
   
 Sunday, 9th April at 1230 - CIC Lunch
 Sunday, 23rd April - Shakedown Sail with lunch at The Pier Harwich - Allan Jones
 Saturday, 29th April 14:51 Burnham - Nigel Seary
 Sunday, 7th May 10:21 Timed Trip Round Rough Tower, supper at RHYC - Allan Jones
 Saturday, 27th May 13:41 Orford and or Aldeburgh
 Saturday, 10th June 13:11 St Katharines and Chatham 7 Days - Allan Jones
 Saturday, 24th June 12:41 Walton Pond - Nigel Martin
 Saturday, 1st July 5:51 Bradwell - Ken Rolls
 Saturday, 8th July 12:11 Brightlingsea - Charles Nisbet
 Friday, 28th July 11:41 Holland 9 Days - Jason Vee**
 ** NB As from 1 June 2017 000UTC a new Traffic Separation Scheme will affect all vessels crossing from the UK and planning to enter NL or B via Stellendam, de Roompot, de Schelde, and potentially Zeebrugge and Blankenbergen if approached from a Northerly direction.

 

The new scheme – see for outline details pfd file –will show new separation areas and potential also the additional new Borselle 3 windfarm.

 

Only outline details are available at present – see Bericht Aan Zeevarenden (BAZ), week 6, no. 72.  It is hoped – but by no means certain - that new charts will be available a couple of weeks before the introduction of the new scheme.

Traffic Separation Scheme  Holland 16 Days - Marcus Bucknall**
 Saturday, 5th August 11:11 Ramsholt - Mark Benbow
 Saturday, 26th August 15:41 Medway 
 Saturday, 9th September 14:41 West Mersea - Simon Harrison
 Saturday, 23rd September 14:31 Woodbridge - Jim Grant
 Saturday, 7th October 13:31 Walton Pond - Dennis and Anne Kell


CiC Activities in 2016


Summary of 2016


There was a varied programme for 2016 suiting those who wished to stay more local and for those who wished to go further afield there was a trip down to London. In all,  27 different boats took part throughout the year and  four boats - Marguerite, Folie Douce, Calidris and East Wind - undertook over 50 percent of the cruises. It was also good to see some youngsters as skippers attend the cruise to Orford and  it would be great for this to continue.

The record attendance for the year proved to be in Woodbridge in late July when 10 boats took part, and other destinations included Burnham, Ramsholt, Tollesbury, Southwold and Brightlinsea, and finally Titchmarsh. The leaders of the cruises have to congratulated for great organisation of berths, pre-dinner drinks, as well sorting out good venues for supper during which there was always a happy atmosphere.

Overall the weather was very kind to us during the season and all boats arrived at their destinations except Southwold when a strong northerly wind caused two boats to bail out.  Congratulations must go to the four boats who braved the elements but I have to think the organised trip to Adnam's Brewery must have been a great incentive!

Next year there is a more extensive programme with all the usual haunts as well as a trip down to Chatham and London and a one or two week cruise over to Holland. I hope the cruises can be as well attended and for the shorter cruises we welcome any floating vessel - dinghies, paddle boarders or canoes. 


CIC to Southwold, 27-29 August 2016


Six boats set off from the club on the Saturday with four boats finally making it to Southwold. With the winds increasing Zarang took cover in the river Ore to avoid a crew mutiny and Lochranza having left later sensibly decided, in the face of the worsening weather at landguard, to exercise discretion and return home. 

Spirit had gone ahead on the Friday from the Deben, Fyrklover V11 powered over the waves leaving Spree Three, Folie Douce and East Wind battling their way in pretty lumpy conditions against the strong North Easterly gusting to 30 knots! 

We were able to all moor up together and after drinks on Spree Three, were warmly welcomed by the Southwold Sailing Club to their Summer BBQ - conveniently only a few yards from where the boats were moored.     

Sunday afternoon saw the team walking into town for a most interesting and fact filled tour of the Adnams Brewery with the obligatory tasting of fine ales. The skippers of East Wind and Spree Three ensured that no samples were left untasted!

Most of the crews managed to get a table together in the Harbour Inn for supper after drinks on East Wind. The sail back on Monday was a different story - light winds (but predictably from the wrong direction) and calm seas.



  • Spree Three - Marcus & Caroline Bucknall & Julie Thorp
  • Fyrklover V11- Mike & Anita Abrams
  • Folie Douce - Simon & Georgette Harrison
  • East Wind - Nigel & Heidi Seary
  • Spirit - Peter & Gabriel Allen
  • Lochranza - Jim & Irene Grant
  • Zaranga - Phil McGoldrick & family

CIC to Tollesbury, 6-7 August 2016

  • Bram and Penny van der Have, Athena of Lymington
  • Chris and Val Hanson, Calidris
  • Dennis and Anne Kell, Redshank
  • Michael and Anita Abrahams, Fyrklover
  • Simon and Georgette Harrison, Folie Douce, Cruise Leaders

A jolly evening was spent in the Ashbury on the Friday night over dinner with the bonus of the company of two crews not able to participate in this cruise; their company was much appreciated. We were also lucky enough to gain the participation of our President and his entourage for the cruise; they preferred the prospect of being stuck in the Blackwater rather than the Ore for the start of a week's cruise with strong winds forecast from Monday. 
               
It was agreed that an 8 o'clock departure on the Saturday would be early enough to catch the last of the ebb, whilst nodding to the fact that it was the weekend, and on the dot Athena of Lymington with Bram, Penny and crew; Calidris with Chris and Val; and Folie Douce with Simon and Georgette, all cast off and proceeded under power to Harwich with a light following wind. From near Pye End a F3 from the west allowed us to sail for three hours. At 1100 off Holland on Sea, there was a growing roar as the new Fyrklover VII, with Michael and Anita holding on tight, came past doing her most economic speed of 20kn, on the plane, with a large white wake created by her 300HP outboard - quite a sight.
               
The forecast 3 to 4 occ 5 never materialised and we had to motor for the rest of the way over the shallows at the entrance to the River Colne to the Nass beacon, on through Tollesbury Fleet and Woodrolfe Creek, and over the 2.1m sill into the Marina. It had been a hard passage with the sun beating down and not enough wind. Athena went out almost to the Spitway  looking for shade and wind but they also eventually had to motor the last few miles in the sun.

Redshank with Dennis and Anne were already away afloat on Friday and so unfortunately missed the pre-CIC dinner. However when we arrived at Tollesbury, they were there in their  canoe welcoming the arriving boats which was a very pleasant surprise. 

Drinks on board Athena with Bram and Penny proved that the HR 34 with the longer cockpit will seat twelve - see picture. We almost had a room to ourselves in the "Tollesbury Marina Harbour View Bistro" and were looked after very well by the proprietors.

Tollesbury Marina offers tennis and indoor swimming but we were not aware of any of our crews enjoying these passtimes, most opted for a walk.

The forecast for our return on the Sunday was SW 5-7 with more wind on the Monday so we were keen to get over the sill and make best use of the tide up the Wallet. We departed between 1420 and 1500, depending on draft, and opted for genoa alone, or a combination of main and foresail for the run home. The strongest gust we had was just over 30 kn but much of the time it was around 20k from the SW until 1700 when it veered to W, enabling us to sail on the other gybe which we carried until eventually, approaching Levington, the F4 wind headed us and on went the engine.              
 
Calidris arrived back on the club pontoon at 20:15 after a fast five and a quater hour run under genoa alone. Redshank surfed the waves at up to nine knots and having taken a more southerly course out of the Blackwater were an hour later than Calidris. Folie Douce, with their sails' reefing capability fully exercised put in a respectable 5 hours 50 minutes. Fyrklover had to slow down a bit so as not to be bounced around too much and arrived at 17:45 after a three and a half hour passage.

Athena of Lymington were at the start of a windy week away and departed Tollesbury for Bradwell. We hope that they enjoyed the warm weather and found some comfortable sailing during their time away.

The weather was hot over the whole weekend and we loved being able to sail in a F6 in shirtsleaves and sun cream in home waters. Having endured wind blown hail on the first trip this season to Titchmarsh on the way there and on the return, this trip to Tollesbury was a marvellous improvement. 

Many thanks to the crews who joined us on Friday for dinner and to all the participants for their company during the rest of the weekend.    
In summary, this was a really enjoyable trip with the first day definitely having the edge. The weather (on Saturday), crew turnout, sailing, pre-dinner drinks, discussion and sheer energy illustrated why it is great to be a member of this club.

CIC to Woodbridge, 23-24 July 2016 
           
The CiC trip to Woodbridge started on Friday evening with an impressive turnout for dinner at the clubhouse. The fine evening weather and expectation of good conditions over the weekend generated a positive mood and spirited conversation. Nine boats and twenty five crew were confirmed during the skipper’s briefing along with the Tidemill Yacht Harbour entry window, pre-dinner drinks/ dinner arrangements and preferred departure times. The two tables received the briefing in completely different ways – the first needed an impromptu test at the end whilst the second were all ears!
           
The weather on Saturday morning was outstanding – clear blue and sunny skies with a very light SW wind. Marguerite was the first to leave around 0900 followed by Santana (who had returned from The Netherlands the previous day), Windrush and Freiheit. All had to motor sail initially to counter the tide and light winds and a flotilla like formation was maintained down to the mouth of the Orwell.

The wind picked up around Languard Point which made it possible to sail up to Woodbridge Haven. Windrush immediately switched to race mode which included reducing the resistance caused by wearing upper body garments! Santana was the first to arrive at the Deben bar where she gave way to vessels coming out of the river. She was then forced to stand behind a smaller yacht who had decided to take an ultra cautious (c2 knot SOG) approach to the bar entrance. This resulted in a Deben Bar ‘traffic jam’ as Freiheit, Windrush and 3 other yachts caught up. All had to maintain position against a strong cross-tide whilst waiting for some clear space ahead. Eventually a way past the cautious yacht was found and a stream of boats entered the Deben around 1230. The bar later proved to be a source of entertainment for other members of the fleet with Spree Three once again taking up a pilot role and Marguerite skillfully sailing almost perpendicular to the bar in order to maintain way without engine support.
           
Conscious of the need to maintain good mooring relations in the Felixstowe Ferry area, Santana handed over a fresh consignment of Amstel to the Harbourmaster whilst underway. She then led the way to Woodbridge and was the first to arrive at the Tidemill Yacht Harbour. With high tide at the marina forecast for around 1530, the rest of the fleet made its way up the beautiful River Deben at a gentle pace. Particular attention was required at Waldringfield due to the number of dinghies racing. All boats arrived safely at the marina by 1630 with Dream Machine mooring briefly in the Woodbridge area so that the family could have a swim.

At around 1800, the group converged for pre-dinner drinks on Lochranza and Spree Three who were moored next to each other. Irene, Jim, Caroline and Marcus kicked the evening off perfectly by providing a wonderful selection of tasty nibbles and a constant flow of drinks. We were also joined by Jan and Leigh as Chevin Star was able to rendezvous with the fleet as part of her summer sail.

Our 1930 dinner appointment at Prezzo arrived too quickly given the entertaining discussion, fine company and sultry evening weather. With choices having been pre-selected via an online menu that required a navigation course of its own, a 125 cell spreadsheet dispatched to the restaurant in advance and 11 separate tabs set up – expectations were reasonably high. On reflection, it would be fair to say that the dinner was eventful – food when it arrived was on the whole good, the staff tried hard to ensure that the dishes went to the right people (aided by some impromptu ‘food traffic control’), much humorous banter was had but the area we were sitting in was hot, busy and noisy.

Most of the group returned to the marina by around 2330 to find an impromptu party taking place on board a powerboat which had made the trip from Brightlingsea. Dr Jones was dispatched to attend to the noise and succeeded in lowering the decibels using an appropriate bedside manner!

Sunday saw a change in the weather with overcast skies and a stronger SW wind. The fleet left in stages determined largely by height of tide over the Tidemill Yacht Harbour sill. Marguerite was the first to leave with Lochranza and Lazy Days bringing up the rear. The Deben Bar proved to be entertaining once again with a 16-20 knot wind requiring boats to punch their way through waves whilst heading for the Woodbridge Haven buoy. Most boats sailed or motor sailed back to the mouth of the River Orwell on the lumpy sea. Conditions at the entrance to the Orwell were very unusual – steep rollers which appeared to be heading upriver (despite the ebb). These led to surfing and occasional cork screwing due to the combination of wind and sea conditions (plus lack of attention by those helming). On the VHF we heard that the Harwich Lifeboat had been dispatched to rescue a blue hulled yacht that was struggling with the conditions. Fortunately, all of our fleet arrived back safely by around 2000 with many boats enjoying a final sail up the Orwell
Participating boats and crew on this trip were as follows:

  • Chevin Star – Jan and Leigh Baxter
  • Dream Machine – Peter Wright and family
  • Eastwind – Heidi and Nigel Seary
  • Freiheit – Jason Vee and Jeffrey Green
  • Lazy Days – Jill and Clive North
  • Lochranza – Irene and Jim Grant
  • Marguerite - Charles Nisbet, Derek and Lynda Simonds
  • Santana – Julia and Bill Wallace-King
  • Spree Three - Marcus and Caroline Bucknall with the Patterson Family
  • Windrush - Allan Jones plus two

CIC to River Deben, 25-26 June 2016

The crews of the five boats taking part were joined by the crews of Dream Machine, Spree Three and CiC Captain Alan Jones at an early Club dinner before joining the bidding at the “Auction of Promises” raising funds for the Club’s new website.
           
In very light winds and under gathering clouds Angel of the Downs, Folie Douce, Half Moon, Keld and Redshank motored down the Orwell the following morning. Passing Lower Reach, the fleet was passed by the MV Balmoral departing Ipswich on an excursion. Built for the Solent Red Funnel Fleet in 1949, she steamed gracefully past with waving passengers as we searched for enough wind to sail.

After a few half-hearted attempts further up the river, the fleet was sailing by the time they crossed the shipping channel and headed north. However, by this time the skies had darkened further and thunder rumbled over Felixstowe. Eventually, the heavens opened and a squall came through, several boats reducing sail quickly.
           
The wind had eased, the rain had reduced to drizzle and eventually stopped by the time all boats were moored in a group off Ramsholt, enjoying a late lunch or afternoon tea and cake. Curiously, the sound of a cuckoo echoed over the water - as did the sound of inflating tenders.
           
At the appointed hour of 1830, all crews took tenders ashore to be greeted by the jovial harbour master George Collins, taking fees with one hand and feeding them into the RNLI box with the other. All crews enjoyed an extremely pleasant drink and meal together at the Ramsholt Arms who gave us a table overlooking our moored boats in the setting sun and turned a blind eye to our canine crew beneath the table. By sunset, after a further short cloudburst, we pulled our tenders to the very end of the concrete slip, paddling and motoring off into the night as a heron screeched in the reeds.
           
Presented with the choice of an early start on the morning ebb or a relaxed start in the afternoon, only Redshank slipped her mooring at 0630. Making the best of the tides, she sailed north to the Orford Light and returned south on the flood in strengthening winds, beating up to her mooring by early afternoon. The rest of the fleet had arrived safely back in the Orwell by late afternoon without incident.

CiC is great way to meet people and for most, the visit ashore at Ramsholt was a new experience. With wide ranging discussion from Jack Russels to Allotments and Border Collies to Brexit, a thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all. Thanks to everyone taking part for the good company.

CIC to Orford, 2016

We gathered in the clubhouse on the Friday evening for fish and chips. At that stage, we were to be a fleet of four boats which became five later in the evening. There was also the suggestion of a sixth boat but with the skipper reportedly at a party in Cambridge that evening, it seemed unlikely that she would make the morning tide.
           
Charts of the Ore entrance were examined. Verbal advice received from the harbourmaster at Orford Quay had afforded little comfort – “It is not as easy this year”; “Keep well off the channel buoys - I have been told they are not in the right positions”.

Planned departure times for the morning were brought forward as everyone wanted to cross the bar before high tide at 11.17 and we would be sailing against the tide for the whole way.

Five boats set off at around 6.30 – ‘Lochranza’ (Jim and Irene Grant), ‘Windrush’ (Allan Jones, Nigel and Sarah Martin), ‘Moien’ (Mike Woollard and Pom), ‘Angel of the Downs’ (Christopher and Sally Nash) and ‘Alchemy’ (Ed Harrison and Susannah Martin) and in a light NE breeze the first boats reached the Orford Haven buoy around 10.15.  

‘Lochranza’ led the way in, cautiously following the harbourmaster’s instructions and her deeper draft was reassuring for ‘Windrush’ and ‘Moien’ following behind. No difficulties were encountered at the bar but there was an uncharted bank in the centre of the channel well inside the river, which could have caused problems at a lower state of the tide.


With the flood tide, we arrived quickly at Orford Quay where the harbourmaster came out and guided us to allocated berths. ‘Angel of the Downs’ arrived a little later and ‘Alchemy’ picked up her mooring in the early afternoon. There was no word of the sixth boat.

Dinghies were launched and some went off for exploratory walks around Orford. Early evening drinks were served on ‘Lochranza’ before a fleet of dinghies set off for the pontoon of the Orford Sailing Club. As we arrived there, shouts from across the river told us that the sixth boat had just arrived.  ‘Sara’ (Tom Louth, Duncan McGoldric, and Sam Cockman), a Sigma 33 with a very respectable draft, had boldly sailed over the bar at around low tide!

The enlarged group of fourteen gathered for an enjoyable supper in the King’s Head pub, a short walk up the hill from the quay before the dinghies returned to their respective boats by torchlight.

In the morning our departure was timed to clear the bar as early as we thought safe and make the most of the flood tide and a fresh NE wind for a boisterous downwind sail back to Harwich. “Alchemy” showed the way, sailing through the larger boats (and older crews) and disappeared into the distance. All boats were 
back in the Orwell by mid–afternoon.

Stangate Creek and Limehouse Basin - Simon and Georgette Harrison, 2016

  • Simon and Georgette Harrison on Folie Douce - Leaders 
  • Peter and Sally Wright on Dream Machine 
  • Nigel and Heidi Seary on Eastwind 

We made it! For Folie Douce it was third time lucky. Dream Machine and FD set off from Woolverstone on the Saturday morning at 0830 and our engines were on and off down the Orwell and half way down the Wallet as the wind was light, variable, and largely NE. Finally it strengthened and we were able to sail the rest of the way to the Medway.  
  
Eastwind had had a new wheel autopilot fitted the day before and her engine would not start at 0830; however the problem was not related and, when a new solenoid had been fitted, a couple of hours later Nigel and Heidi set off in hot pursuit of the other two, down the Orwell, through the Swin Spitway and the re-buoyed Middle Deep, finally arriving at the new shore access pontoon at Queenborough at 1715, just a few minutes after DM and FD. Eastwind took the inside berth with FD and DM rafted outside, facilitating drinks on board FD, followed by dinner on individual boats.  

In the morning, Peter and Sally Wright found a B&B serving an excellent "full English" which set them up well for the trip up the Thames. The low tide was at 1215 and we set off for Limehouse at 1000, nearly two hours before local low water. We arrived at 1715, having managed to sail for some three hours on the way with a light NW wind. Transitting the Thames barrier was exciting as there were two green arrows on adjacent piers both pointing to the left. DM was heading for one span when the lights changed indicating another span, we all quickly ziz-zagged after DM and passed through without further alarm.

It was choppy off Limehouse with the fast Thames commuter catamarans and tourist boats rushing past. We locked in together and assembled on DM for a debrief over a congratulatory drink and discussion of the programme for our stay.

Heidi was very keen to see Beautiful, the musical about the life of Carol King so we all met for coffee on board Eastwind on Monday morning to talk about this. She managed to book tickets for that evening for all six of us and Nigel booked a chauffeured car to return us to Limehouse after the show. We walked from our boats to Covent Garden, the show was excellent, most of the songs we recognised and we were reminded of our youth. A big thank you to Heidi and Nigel.

Eastwind had to get back home and set off the following morning with strong winds forecast. Off Gravesend their engine stopped and the PLA allowed them to pick up a mooring for the night where they diagnosed the problem as a faulty fuel lift pump which they were able to bypass. They set off the following day and made it back to the Orwell by late that evening, very wet and slightly battered. They had the foresight to 'phone the Riverside so that a hot meal was ready for them on arrival - now that's what we call passage planning! 

Meanwhile DM and FD sheltered from the forecast F8s in Limehouse and visited the Ragged Schools Museum located a short walk up the canal, the schools founded by Dr. Barnardo, and the Geffrye Museum in Shoreditch, recommended. The winds continued so DM and FD finally stayed five nights and passed down to Gillingham Marina for a couple of nights. By chance the annual Dickens Festival was on in Rochester, and this was well worth the short train ride. 

On Sunday 5th June sadly we parted company after a great CIC. DM departed for Burnham, edging back towards home, and FD moved to Chatham. We  each stayed for a couple of nights. By Tuesday 7th June, the tides dictated afternoon departures for NE passages. DM made the passage to the Orwell arriving at Pin Mill after dark and picked up a mooring for one last night away. On the same day FD moved from Chatham to Queenborough for lunch and departed for Burnham at 1500 arriving at 2250. It was dark as we approached the moorings off Burnham but we found that our CW radar was able to pick out even the plastic mooring buoys as we passed through them which made finding our way easier than trying to shine a torch on them from the bow. Unfortunately, we also explored the mud in the entrance to the Yacht Harbour which the radar did not spot. We managed to motor off after a few minutes of vigorous tiller and engine work. We were pleased to find a berth and slept soundly.  

FD departed Burnham Yacht Harbour at 1625 on the Thursday to take the tide. Unfortunately, the light NE wind only allowed us to sail from the Spitway to Walton Pier where the wind died completely and on went the engine again taking us past the lights of Felixstowe in the twilight, quite beautiful. We arrived at Woolverstone at 2250 ready for bed and for preparations for the Queen's Birthday Parade of Sail with Dream Machine two days later. 

Very many thanks to Eastwind and Dream Machine for making this extended cruise so enjoyable.
Simon and Georgette Harrison, Folie Douce
 
CIC to Burnham-on-Crouch, 30 April – 2 May 2016

  • Marguerite – Charles Nisbet and Bram van der Have
  • Keld – Mark and Lily Benbow
  • Windrush – Allan Jones and Nick Locke
  • Calidris – Chris and Val Hanson
  • Redshank – Dennis and Anne Kell                    
  • Eastwind – Nigel and Heidi Seary
  • Mornaque – Stewart and Wendy Wallace

After the traditional Friday evening supper in the Club House, seven boats set sail at about 9.30 the following morning in fine weather with a gentle breeze from the north west.  Almost at once Mornaque reported expensive-sounding noises from her propeller and returned to Woolverstone to investigate; sadly that was the end of her participation in this cruise.  We hope that she will soon be fixed and back on the water.
           
For the rest of the fleet the sail down the Orwell with the last of the ebb and into the Wallet with the start of the flood was going well, until around lunch time the sea breeze cut in and the wind went round to the south west, which didn’t help.  Most of us managed to sail for some of the way, but motor sailing was the order of the day, except for Redshank, who doesn’t seem to understand the concept.  All boats were safely moored in Burnham Yacht Harbour by 6 p.m.  Nigel and Heidi Seary kindly stepped in to fill the breach left by Mornaque’s departure and volunteered Eastwind as host boat for a pre-dinner gathering which was much enjoyed by all.

The Swallowtail Restaurant was feeding four sailing clubs that evening, as well as its own locals, but coped well with our requirements, which included rearranging the table layout at least three times.  (One thing that quickly became apparent was that there were plenty of chiefs in this party – it was us indians who were in short supply!) The food was good and the wine plentiful, so we all returned happily to our berths, passing a couple of noisy parties with music and dancing in vast motor boats moored on the same pontoon.

Sunday was warm and bright with the wind still in the south west.  Windrush had to return to Woolverstone, but the rest of us crowded onto Keld and Marguerite for a gentle trip up the Crouch to North Fambridge. 

We had lunch together in the Ferryboat Inn and then spent a couple of hours walking or otherwise enjoying the sun before sailing back to Burnham.  Charles and Bram joined the Kells and the Hansons on board Calidris for drinks and then all migrated to Marguerite for an impromptu supper while the Benbows and the Searys got together for a rather more lavish meal on board Eastwind.  A pleasant and relaxing day.

By Monday morning the wind had picked up to SW4 and the sky was overcast as all boats left Burnham at about 8 a.m.  Once out of the shelter of the river the wind increased to SW5 which provided excellent conditions for a brisk sail home through the Swallow Tail and Whitaker Channels, the Spitway and the Wallet and then up the Orwell with everyone safely back in Woolverstone by the middle of the afternoon.

All-in-all this was a thoroughly enjoyable cruise, thanks to good company, fine weather and first rate sailing conditions for the trip home.