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.

A cop of the Wateralmanak Book 1 which is compulsory to hold a copy of when travelling to Holland and Belgium can be viewed as a PDF and downloaded to your phone or computer. (An electronic copy suffices rather than a hard copy.)




Cruise in Company 2019 


 Date Cruise Destination Cruise Leader
Sunday, 7th AprilLunch - Ashbury Room
Saturday, 27th AprilHalfpenny Pier - HarwichMarcus Bucknall
Saturday, 4th MayBradwell Marina, BlackwaterMarcus Bucknall
Saturday, 25th MayBurnhamSimon and Georgette Harrsion 
Saturday, 8th JuneMersea Mark and Lily Benbow
Friday, 21st June  Ostend Rally Marcus Bucknall 
Saturday, 6th July Woodbridge Jim and Irene Grant
Saturday, 20th July Foreign Cruise Marcus Bucknall
Saturday, 24th August Southwold Peter and Sally Wright
Saturday, 7th September Orford Ken Rolls and Janet Florence
Sunday, 22nd SeptemberRoughs TowersMarcus Bucknall 
Saturday, 28th SeptemberWalton Pond Peter and Sally Wright



CIC Reports for 2019

Bradwell not Orford - 17th September


A review of the tides and reports of shallowing entrance depths dictated a change of plan with Southwold the new target. However the strong northerly’s predicted (and actual) decided the participating boats ( Spree Three, Folie Douce, Sirene and Islay) to head south to Bradwell. A very enjoyable run down the wallet with wind and tide in favour, reaching Bradwell in good time. Whilst Islay and Sirene decided to return on the Sunday in the sunshine against the wind, the crews of Folie Douce and Spree Three opted for a good walk round to St Peters Chapel, and then an excellent Sunday lunch at the Kings Head in Bradwell which has now reopened. The return home on Monday – although a little damp – was again a nice run with the wind having conveniently swung round to the south. Not what was originally planned but the best use of the weather for an enjoyable mini cruise.


Orford not Southwold - 24th August


Five boats were 'booked' a few weeks ago to visit Southwold. However, when confirming numbers just before the bank holiday weekend we were informed there was no room! Very disappointing to all as this is usually a great harbour to be in for a couple of days.

So just three boats went out and up to Orford on a delightful day skimming over the shallow Orford bar at about half tide.


We were found moorings and taken ashore by the friendly Ollie for a walk and a meal in the Jolly Sailor.

Dream Machine -Peter and Sally Wright-motored back to the Halfpenny Pier and The Alma on Sunday while Follie Douce -Simon and Georgette Harrison-and Symphony -Stirling and Ann Morley had the second day in The Ore and The Alde.
Poor Marcus and Mark in Freedom, who could have only joined us on Sunday anyway, had to independently visit The Deben and missed the 'company'.
A delightful, sunny windless two days and for me the joy of listening to the fabulous test match on the way home.
Peter Wright

The photo was at dawn, Sunday morning.






Holland - 19th July

Friday 19th July early morning saw Spree Three, Bluefin and Keld set off for Lowestoft in lightish winds. An uneventful sail up to Lowestoft where we met up at the RNSYC with Islay who had pre-positioned earlier in the week for the crossing to Den Helder. Saturday morning brought fresh winds from the south west so off we set at quite a pace. However a new gale force warning issued an hour into the trip saw the fleet return to Lowestoft as conditions on Sunday looked more promising. Arrival at Den Helder early the next morning saw us lock into the Willemsoord harbour, for a day of rest and sightseeing at the excellent ship museum. A motorsail on Monday alongside the Afsluitdijk dyke allowed the crews to practice communications with flag signals - possibly not all messages being internationally recognizable. The high temperatures temporarily caused the Lorenzsluisen bridge to malfunction  Fire engine attendance with a large pump solved the problem and on to Hindeloopen. A large marina (with a good chandlery) but we had a delightful barbecue site close to the boats for supper - setting the theme for the holiday with everyone chipping in to communal meals (brilliantly coordinated by Lily Benbow and Heidi Seary) in lovely settings. 19th July

Friday 19th July early morning saw Spree Three, Bluefin and Keld set off for Lowestoft in lightish winds. An uneventful sail up to Lowestoft where we met up at the RNSYC with Islay who had pre-positioned earlier in the week for the crossing to Den Helder. Saturday morning brought fresh winds from the south west so off we set at quite a pace. However a new gale force warning issued an hour into the trip saw the fleet return to Lowestoft as conditions on Sunday looked more promising. Arrival at Den Helder early the next morning saw us lock into the Willemsoord harbour, for a day of rest and sightseeing at the excellent ship museum. A motorsail on Monday alongside the Afsluitdijk dyke allowed the crews to practice communications with flag signals - possibly not all messages being internationally recognizable. The high temperatures temporarily caused the Lorenzsluisen bridge to malfunction  Fire engine attendance with a large pump solved the problem and on to Hindeloopen. A large marina (with a good chandlery) but we had a delightful barbecue site close to the boats for supper - setting the theme for the holiday with everyone chipping in to communal meals (brilliantly coordinated by Lily Benbow and Heidi Seary) in lovely settings. 

Onwards south to Stavoren for a night and then the best sail of the trip with a decent breeze to whisk the fleet across to Enkhuizen where crew changes took place. The “Ships in a bottle” museum is a must as well as the Zuiderzee museum. An excellent dinner at the Enkhuizer Visafslag - one of the few evenings we ate out. Next up was Hoorn - and then onto Monickerdam through the Markeermeer. Somehow Islay avoided the dreaded weed but Spree Three, Keld, and Bluefin all had to carry out numerous weed clearance exercises on route - over the side with boat hooks, numerous changes of course and direction, but eventually made it into the Marina Monickerdam.


The trip to Amsterdam was a very different story with the weather changing and strong winds and rain in our faces as we motored into Amsterdam, basing at the Amsterdam Marina. Dinner at Plek, an unusual restaurant which was built within a container stack! The resident dutch connection (Caroline Bucknall) organised a walking tour the next day, which took us to parts of Amsterdam not normally seen on the tourist trail. The end of cruise supper was held in at Kantjil en de Tijger rijstafel  restaurant - a truly magnificent spread as the dishes kept coming. 

With squally winds and bit of a front passing through, departure was delayed till lunchtime the next day, and then bit of a wait at the locks at Ijmuiden. Once through the locks at 20.00, conditions outside were boisterous to say the least, with a 5/6 north easterly wind against the tide. Islay decided to retire back into the marina, but the other 3 boats carried on through the night as the winds abated to virtually nothing by morning for a long motor back to Harwich. Islay followed on the Saturday arriving back to be greeted home by the others on Sunday morning. Another successful cruise - that’s Holland covered ( bar the Islands) for the time being so next year the plan is to head south to France.












Woodbridge - 6/7th July

The weekend started with supper at the club on the Friday evening for a party of twenty-three. Plans for the cruise were made and departure times set.
A fleet of eight boats set off next morning punching the in-coming tide in a mild variable wind, to the Woodbridge Haven buoy. We then enjoyed a pleasant trip upriver on the flood tide to reach the marina, with its tidal sill, in early afternoon and just before high water. The fleet was joined by Jon Bloor and family on Columbine from a mooring at Waldringfield.
Early evening drinks were dispensed on Swansong and Lochranza before the party of twenty-three headed for a pleasant supper at “The Table”. There, we were joined by Mark and Lilly Benbow, who are local residents.
There was time to relax or take a riverside walk next morning as we waited for sufficient water over the sill. The first boats left in early afternoon and by 15.30 all RHYC boats had left and most were speeding down the Deben to catch the tide at the bar.
Lochranza and Half Moon spent another night moored at Ramsholt and the other boats returned to the Orwell without incident. 
 Participating boats – Spree Three, Lochranza, Swansong, Half Moon, Redshank, Columbine, Blue Fin, Morning Star, Reflection.



Ostend 


Predictions of good winds slightly petered out by Friday AM, but Spree Three and Somerset Lady set off at 04.00 to meet up with 3 other participants based in the Orwell (from the Colne YC and Wivenhoe SC) at Shotley spit at 05.00, With the wind faint from the west, it was a motor to the “start” at Long Sand Head(LSH) where the other 7 boats that started at Brightlingsea joining up. The rally’s main objective is to help newcomers to the North Sea crossing to make the passage in company, rather than a formal race, an objective achieved again. By the time we reached the main TSS the wind was dying so

 on with the engines for the tail enders and time for lunch! Spree Three’s crew kept busy ship spotting to see if we could find a ship which they actually insured - to no avail. The boats that had rounded LSH slightly earlier however managed to hold the wind almost the entire way into Ostend. The RSNYC welcomed the fleet of 12 boats, and with their new pontoons, all were able to comfortably berth in close proximity. Police checks on passports completed Spree Three and Somerset Lady found an excellent restaurant close by (l’enfant terrible - Nieuwstraat) for a late supper.







Saturday evening saw a large get together at the RYCO club house, with several prizes awarded in a very light hearted manner.
After a slightly delayed start on the Sunday,  the return leg started off on the motor but by late morning the wind freshened from the north east, so engines off and a cracking sail back to the Orwell .
A great way to do the crossing - particularly for “first-timers” and a very sociable event - to be repeated next year. It is also a good starting point for a European cruise, and indeed the timing usually occurs a week before the Round the Island race, with 2 of the participating boats entering this year.





West Mersea 8 - 9th June

The West Mersea CiC reverted to plan B, wet weather (jobs on boat) on Saturday, followed by 13 members driving to the Oyster Bar in WM for a lovely meal.

Sunday saw an informal race from Pin Mill to Wrabness. Six boats took part but unfortunately the cruising captain had to disqualify all the other five boats for various valid reasons and Keld won even though it was physically last (I think Islay was first but I was not there to see it).

We had a lovely picnic on Wrabness beach sitting in the June sun followed by a brisk trip home.

Lovely.












Burnham and Wallasea  25 - 27th May
A possible record 23 attended the Friday evening pre-cruise dinner but not all were coming to Burnham. Allan Jones of Windrush, with crew Nigel Thomson and Peter, was back to the club after completing the first leg of his round Britain trip having reached Shotley. It was good to see Charles and Jessie Nisbet and Ken Rolls and Janet who were also planing to sail over the weekend but were unable to join the cruise. Dream Machine was first off on Saturday at 0815 and first timer Somerset Lady departed at a very civilized 1020 with the other yachts including the other first timer, Symphonie, at various times in between. There was just a light following wind down the Orwell so we motored. Santana was first round the Naze and found some wind from the south and some sunshine. Calidris, Dream Machine and Folie Douce sailed the Wallet close by and experienced a 90 degree wind shift within moments, from south to west, same course, different tack, just before crossing the Swin Spitway. Burnham Marina were ready for us and later we walked along to the Royal Burnham YC for a Commodore's
Drinks Reception where we were made most welcome by Martin Smith, the Commodore, and David Osborne, the Sailing VC, with his wife Alison. We enjoyed an Italian Buffet but missed the disco.
On Saturday five yachts moved across to the Essex Marina and we moored in line on the outside pontoon. The YC was very busy feeding people from the caravan park a mile west along the river. We all saved a visit to the RSPB Wallasea reserve for another time although it was quite close. A four mile walk across the fields took us to the Shepherd and Dog pub for dinner. Julia elected to walk her two dogs back the four miles to their boat and Bill accompanied her; most unfortunetely the heavens opened half way back, soaking all four. The rest taxied back in the dry.
Drumming from a rave somewhere just west of Burnham carried across the water and disturbed some of us until 0300 on Bank Holiday Monday but Calidris and Dream Machine were away shortly after 0600 to take the ebb to Harwich. The early birds had to motor out of the Crouch but got round the Naze before the tide turned. The later ones had enough wind to sail out of the Crouch but faced an adverse tide around the Naze. C'est la vie. The westerly wind which had brought us all the way to Harwich then veered NW and made for a beat up the river to Woolverstone where we arrived early afternoon. 
Simon and Georgette Harrison
Calidris      Chris & Val Hanson
Dream Machine   Peter & Sally Wright
Folie Douce      Simon & Georgette Harrison
Santana      Bill & Julia Wallace King with Nigel & Sarah Martin (of Half Moon)
Somerset Lady     Mike Firth with John & Sheela
Symphonie      Stirling Morley with Ray 





Blackwater Cruise - 4th - 7th May

Forecasted strong winds on the Saturday led to a flurry of phone calls with the decision to postpone departure to the Sunday morning – a good decision in light of the reports back from the Combined Clubs race 1! Dream Machine, Spree Three, Islay and Aquila set off in convoy with favourable wind and tide for Bradwell. We were joined there by Vanadis with the Askew family on board who squeaked into the Marina with a few centimetres under the keel before the entrance closed. An afternoon recce revealed that the King’s Head in Bradwell village has re-opened and would be well worth a future visit. A very enjoyable dinner at the Green Man was had by all. 

Monday morning saw a work party assisting Peter Wright up Dream Machine’s mast to re-connect the topping lift. Peter’s use of nuts to send a mousing line down unfortunately did not achieve the objective at the first attempt. Aquila and Vanadis departed back for Woolverstone, with Spree Three, Dream Machine and Islay heading for Brightlingsea – Tollesbury having been discarded from the itinerary due to time constraints. Fortunately we were able to berth inside the marina, which meant easy access for an excellent curry at the Raj Spice. Tuesday morning saw Peter Wright back up the mast with smaller gauge nuts to feed through and the topping lift was successfully re-connected. Once the tide gauge allowed, the fleet set off for home, again enjoying a favourable wind which had come round to the South East, allowing Islay to fly her cruising chute, and a brisk passage home. 

A most enjoyable weekend.


Halfpenny Pier - Sunday 28th April

As the Marina was only just opened, only 3 boats made it for the opening event – Blue Fin (Nigel & Heidi Seary’s new boat), Islay and Dream Machine, with extra crews joining from Spree Three, Folie Douce, and Windrush . A brisk North Westerly saw a quick passage and we were helpfully accommodated in the relative shelter inside Halfpenny pier. Lunch at the Pier and then a good sail home to start the season off.