The West Mer
sea 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.
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.