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

Passage Planning for Cruise in Company

The organiser or coordinator may produce a selection of information to start passage planning. it is the owners/skipper and crew’s responsibility to ensure the accuracy of any information used. The  organisers, its’ officers disclaim any responsibility for loss of life or injury to persons or damage or loss of property how so ever sustained which may be incurred by members or their crew or guests whilst taking part in a CinC event. Member’s and their crews must rely on their own experience and their knowledge of weather, tide, sea conditions, navigation etc. 

Photo: Half Moon, Taken by Photography Company Gill Moon.
 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 - Simon Quantrill
 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 Reports

Shakedown Cruise - Allan Jones

Five boats and fourteen crew took part in the CIC Shakedown Cruise to Harwich with lunch at The Pier Hotel. We all met on the club's lawn at 09.30 and had a delightful sail to Halfpenny Pier in good weather and then a rather prolonged lunch which proved extremely sociable before we caught the flood tide back and able to sail all the way back. 

CIC Burnham - April 29th - Nigel Seary

Five boats and 15 crew joined the cruise to Burnham Yacht Harbour over the May Bank Holiday weekend – Northern Light , Spree Three , Keld , Windrush and Eastwind.
Following  the Friday evening dinner at the club  we set of at 07.30 towards Burnham , with  moderate winds, a strong tide  and sunshine making  for  a very pleasant sail until the wind dropped away on entering the Crouch .
The evening started with drinks on board Eastwind, followed by a Safari Supper, with crews moving to different boats for starter and main course before returning to Eastwind for desserts . Judging by the disappearance of the malt whisky, southern caramel cake and apple pie , the evening was a success and was enhanced by Maeve of Keld’s delightful Irish singing .
On Sunday a walk to Burnham was arranged ,with coffee and cake on the balcony at the Royal Corinthian .  The wind was already  gusting to 30 kts from the South East with similar from the South forecast for the Monday . After much debate and consulting of weather forecasts - Northern Light and Windrush  set off  at 16:30  for a fast sail back to the Orwell . The remaining crews enjoyed an evening meal at Bella’s Italian restaurant in Burnham followed by an  05:00 start on Monday , arriving back before 10.30 .

CIC Day Race around Rough Tower -  Sunday May 7th - Allan Jones

Seven boats -Silmaril,Mornarque,Redshank,Islay,Spree Three,Marguerite and Windrush took part in a timed sail around Rough Tower in what started out as a F3 northeasterly on the ebb tide.
It proved a most pleasant sail to Rough Tower with four boats arriving at the tower at the same time. Mornarque decided to go round anti-clockwise on starboard tack which concentrated the minds of those on port tack going clockwise round. The journey home was a dead run and 2.5 miles off Landguard the wind died and if we were going to be in time for supper at the club by 18.30hrs it was decided the iron sails were put into action. Spree Three which was the first to Rough Tower decided they won as they were the last to put the engine on. A convivial evening was had at the club afterwards and we thank the staff.

CIC to Orford - 27th-29th May - Simon Quantrill and Ian Perrett

Four Seasons in one weekend – or is ‘wet hail’ an actual type of weather?

As part of our thorough preparations, we made a detailed study of the impending weather for the weekend as all good sailors should. With hindsight, this forecast seemed a little ‘light on detail’ versus the reality of the weekend. This is not to say it was incorrect but the weather Gods really packed in the full spectrum of available weather options.

A good turnout for the cruise came from:

• Serenity (Simon Quantrill + crew)
• Eastwind (Nigel Seary + crew)
• Islay (Nigel Thomson + crew)
• Sekhmet (Sally and Stephen McCarthy)
• Marguerite (Charles Nisbet)
• Mornaque (Stewart and Wendy Wallce)
• Silmaril (David Cook + crew)

We met at the RHYC on the Friday evening to compare notes and for supper. We enjoyed the sight of 70 odd Dutch sailors dressed up for the evening and having a great time dining complete with accordion accompaniment. We also enjoyed great food with our drinks. Arrangements were finalised and we parted company with the next rendezvous to be the Kings Head in Orford on Saturday at 18:30. What could go wrong?

We were enjoying loading up Serenity early on Saturday morning at Shotley Marina in the warm sunshine with a slightly wary eye on the dark clouds looming. All other boats were departing from Woolverstone at around 09:00. We were all aiming more or less for high water at Orford Haven. As we pulled off the pontoon in shorts and T-shirts, the first raindrops started then increased to ‘wet hail’ as we manoeuvred into the lock. Trying to change clothing ‘under pressure’ in Shotley lock is now mentally noted as a bad idea.

Setting off in persistent rain but nevertheless excited to be trialling Serenity’s new suite of sails, we were still optimistic until the wind effectively died as the rain ceased such that we ended up motor-sailing then motoring up to Orford Haven. Stewart in Mornaque made radio contact with us as he too motored up towards the Ore. On the positive, the weather brightened somewhat and we were all looking forward to dinner. Crossing the bar is always a little tense and we could only find around 8’ water depth at high water springs at the entrance which was not good for the nerves.

En route Nigel Seary in Eastwind lost engine power and we were sorry that he had to return to the Orwell and miss out on the weekend. Charles Nisbet was solo and was one of the first to arrive.

At Orford, the HM was helpful and found us all moorings, including for Stewart and Wendy in Mornaque who could not anchor having lost power to their windlass.

Our secondary purpose for the cruise was to act as a ‘shake-down’ sail with Serenity only having been in the water for one week following extensive work over the preceding weeks – many long weekends and evenings spent at the boatyard but still with many jobs not yet completed. We spent the afternoon on the mooring enjoying the excitement of close up dinghy sailing action in the now fresh breeze at Orford. We completed some of the list of jobs on board then set off for the Kings Head in our tender which looked smaller by the minute in the fresh breeze and wind over tide swell!

Most of us made it to the Kings Head that evening and had a great meal all seated around one long table with good service and a warm welcome. Plans were made for Sunday to visit Orford Ness Lighthouse as our trip coincided with one of the rare open days for the now defunct lighthouse which is due to fall into the sea within the next few years if nothing can be done to save it.

Sunday dawned and the weather was fine and bright and we came ashore to enjoy breakfast on the outside deck at the Riverside Tearooms – the full English is highly recommended! It was also the place for celebrity watching including Nick Robinson. Later several boat crews assembled for the short ferry crossing from Orford Quay to Orford Ness at 13:30 which proved to be very popular on a sunny bank holiday weekend. The lighthouse is clearly visible from the Quay but is still a 40 minute walk away. This was a fascinating trip, hearing about the Lighthouse Trust’s plans to salvage as much as possible from the lighthouse and re-create a half-size replica on land near to the Quay in Orford. The plans include looking at options to lift the light housing off the top with an RAF Chinook Helicopter but the weight is still currently in excess of the Chinook’s cargo capacity of 8 tonnes.

Later we enjoyed drinks on board Mornaque kindly hosted by Stewart and Wendy before sampling the delights of the Jolly Sailor in Orford – again very pleasant and recommended.
On Sunday, several boats had to return to Woolverstone due to other commitments. Originally Serenity, Mornaque and Sekhmet had planned to anchor for the night on the River Butley and row ashore for a BBQ. But due to Mornaque’s windlass developing its fault anchoring was not an option so we all remained for another night at Orford and for us another breakfast at the café on the Quay.

On Sunday night, the storm that passed over at around 04:00 certainly woke us all up and the lightning illuminating the forepeak through the large hatch felt quite dramatic. After a rain soaked re-check of our lines, the storm seemed to abate fairly rapidly and we fell back to sleep on Serenity. We all felt relieved that we were not at anchor during the storm! There was also a lot of activity on the Quay with the fire service and later the coastguard in attendance – someone needed some help somewhere!

On Monday. we departed Orford at 12:00 and sailed gently downwind aiming to get over the bar no earlier than 2 hours ahead of HW. Even so, we had more nervous moments when the depth read only 2’ at one point and although we did not seem to slow, we should have been aground! The yacht ahead of us thought the same and put her engine into hard astern with plenty of white smoke to show for it. The HM had told us that the depth at the entrance can be very varied this year almost from day to day, ranging from plenty of water to almost nothing (in places), as we found out. That said as Serenity only draws 3’10” we have less to worry about than some. 

We then enjoyed a relatively uneventful but pleasant sail back to Shotley with some mist and a little rain and once we had crossed the deep water channel, enjoyed the best sail of the weekend heading into Shotley giving the new sails a proper try-out. It was also interesting, if not entertaining, to eaves drop on at least two distress calls from one or two yachts running aground at the Deben Bar and then on the Horse Sands a little further into the Deben.
Thanks to all who attended and we all thoroughly enjoyed an eventful trip in good company!

CIC to London - 10th June - Allan Jones

Initially 6 boats were going to come down to London but only 4 boats set off- Windrush,Fyrklover,Sekhmet,and Charlotte Sound. There was a f4 to 5 SW and we could only sail down to the spitway and along the Medway. Unfortunately Sekhmet had genoa trouble and had to go to West Mersea. A pleasant evening in a much improved Queenborough(full taxi service included in the cost)took place with the 3 boats rafted up together. The following morning we departed for St Katharine's Dock and once again we could only sail about half way before we got headed. We all had supper together on 2 of the three nights and went our separate ways during the day although we all helped Fyrklover fill up with petrol at a nearby garage! 
After 3 nights we set off again-Fyrclover to gun it all the way home ,Charlotte Sound for Queenborough  but Windrush had 2 nights at Chatham to peruse the Maritime Dockyard. Chatham was bursting with Dutch boats celebrating the 350th anniversary of their victory of the battle of the Medway.  Windrush had a glorious sail in a f5 SW all the way to Brightlinsea crossing the spitway at low water neaps  with ease but grounded in Brightlinsea harbour just beyond LW. The indignity only lasted 10 minutes but we did provide suitable entertainment to other cruisers. A sunny windless journey home took place on the Saturday All in all we all had a good time and of course the weather was sunny,warm and with enough wind-not necessarily always in the right direction