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 2018

Titchmarsh 5th and 6th October

Report from Peter Wright

Our usual end of season trip to Walton Pond was not possible due to works taking place there and a new pontoon being installed. However, Dream Machine, Windrush, Isla and Caladris all departed from Woolverstone together to motor out to a flood tide on a windless, misty morning. It was almost spooky passing through the quiet and dark docks in the gloom but there was enough visibility not to worry, though I did play around with my Ship Finder app on my iPhone just because I could.
The two Halberg-Rassys managed to pop out their genoas in the approach to Island Point and then we all had the fun of the dogleg again into The Walton Channel.
In the afternoon the nine of us walked to Walton Pier and had an hour of ten-pin bowling after which the due rain came and further walking (to the tower) was prevented and taxis were hailed for our return.
We had many drinks on Dream Machine in the warmth of the main saloon followed by a very friendly convivial meal in the Harbour Lights restaurant.
Sunday was a lovely day weatherwise. It was warm and sunny with a light northwesterly which enabled some sailing and indeed tacking into the harbour and then mainly motoring home.
This was the last trip as Captain of our class for Allan Jones, sadly in a way. He has been such an enthusiastic and caring leader and such a cheery soul around the boats and at the dinner table. There were fifteen events this year involving eighty four boat trips! 

Well done and thank you, Allan.  

Orford 25th to 27th August

Simon Harrison did a phenonemal amount of work organising Keld,Spree Three,Windrush,Folie Douce,East Wind,Mayfly II,and Infinity to have a three day week end in Orford and Aldeburgh. Eating arrangements over the week end,organising anchorages and moorings,as well as arranging private water taxis were all done with constant communication amongst the participants. It seemed quite intensive to the mere participant but unfortunately the weather on the sunday was due to be horrendous and all thought anchoring in a force

7 southerley gusting 8 was untenable or ill advised let alone a passage home for some.

Plan B or C came into action at the friday night supper in the club and 4 boats-Keld,Spree Three,East Wind,and Windrush decided to sail around Rough Tower via South Cork Sands and have a Safari supper in Shotley Marina.  All boats had a most enjoyable sail in a force3/4 westerly and got safely locked into Shotley with all 4 boats together. We were joined by Simon Quantrill on Serenity at this stage.The supper on each boat was magnificent and Heidi Seary was DJ for later singing.

On the Sunday morning the wind was already building and a fast genoa reach took the fleet back up to Woolverstone arriving 30 minutes before the rain set in. Despite the forecast and changed arrangements we managed to salvage a very convivial 2 day trip.

Clacton Air Show - 23rd August

On Thursday 23rd August 5 boats from RHYC sailed all the way  with a nice beam reach down the Wallet to Clacton Pier and enjoyed the Air Show.We did have to suffer about 30 minutes of rain but at about 2pm  the skies cleared and we were rewarded with warm sunshine. Windrush anchored behind Dream Machine but we could not find the other yachts as it was like Picadilly Circus.The red arrows as usual were astounding. The journey home proved very enjoyable with warm weather and a favourable tide.If it is to be repeated next year it would be good to meet up in the club for supper afterwards


Holland - 21st July

The main fleet (Windrush, Spree Three, East Wind, Keld) left early Saturday morning 21 July – Colombine having dropped lines straight after supper on Friday evening – headed for Blankenberghe, all arriving within 30 minutes of each other – true cruise in company. Having taken in the excellent Ghent festival on Sunday, we re-convened in Zierekzee on the Tuesday to hand over the Pink Cake Trophy to Nickel Van Dorm of the Royal Maas with a pontoon drinks party and dinner – being joined by Bram Van der Have on Athina and Michael Abrahams on Fyrklover VIII. Leo and Saren Bloor insisted that Mum & Dad stuck with the rest of the fleet and we then all progressed northwards via Marina Zelande, Arcipel Island, Bruinisse, (East Wind doing 7.7 knots under bare poles at one stage up the Volgerak!) Willemstad, Middelharnis (where joined by Folie Douce) An exciting race was organised between Middelharnis and final destination Hellevoetsluis with Folie Douce winning on corrected time from East Wind who took line honours, by a minute! The return leg from Stellendam at least saw some sailing for the second half. 
Barbeques, a couple of dinners, and a lot of fun had by all. To be repeated next year but hopefully going further north.

Woodbridge Tidemill Marina - 14/15th July

A party of eighteen gathered for an agreeable supper in the clubhouse on Friday, 13th July. After some lively debate, departure times were set for the following morning. Everyone was keen to cross the Deben Bar on a rising tide, after warnings of shallow water there this year.
Eight boats, ‘Lochranza’ ‘Spree Three’, ‘Windrush’, ‘Dream Machine’, ‘Santana’, ‘Freiheit’, ‘Serenity’ and ‘Half Moon’, duly set off next morning at assorted times and sailed gently down-river and northwards in a Force 2/3 easterly breeze and against the incoming tide. The Deben Bar posed no real problems and the boats moved up-river on the incoming tide to enter Tidemill Marina in early afternoon, around high tide there. 
The afternoon provided leisure time before a party of nineteen assembled on ‘Lochranza’ and ‘Spree Three’, which were rafted up, for early evening pre-dinner drinks and nibbles. The party then moved on to the “The Table” restaurant, repeating last year’s visit, for another enjoyable supper.
Next morning, everyone waited for the tide and the level over the entrance sill was monitored constantly until the first skippers deemed it safe to set off. Others followed as their draughts allowed. No mishaps were reported and the boats moved swiftly downstream to catch the tide at the river entrance.
‘Lochranza’, ‘Half Moon’ and ‘Dream Machine’ stayed in the Deben for a second night and all boats returned safely to base by the following evening.   

Southern Broads - Friday 15th June

Dream Machine and Windrush set off on friday 15th June to Lowestoft and with light winds initially we motor sailed half way there but a sea breeze kicked in an

We then sailed/motored to Beccles and had a very pleasant time there and the following day we did sail to Somerleyton. Our intention was then to go to Yarmouth and sail up to Norwich but the Haven Bridge was inoperable. We therefore left the Broads and experienced a very nice northerly to take us to Southwold where we met up with Nigel Thomson on board Islay. We had a walk into Waldringfield and had a pleasant meal at the Anchor The following day we attempted to sail to Orford but the SW F5 on the nose meant that we could not reach the Orford Bar in time and sense dictated returning to Southwold with another night in Southwold!d we experienced a pleasant sail  to Lowestoft on a beam reach. We had to get up early the following day to pass through the Bascule bridge at 7am and moored up for a leisurely breakfast before proceeding into Mutford Lock.
However on the thursday the still f5 swapped to being northerly and Orfoird was reached where we met up with Jan and Bruce Moss on board Nixi..We spent a very enjoyable day with them before leaving for Woolverstone on the friday In essence we had some cracking sails and a variety of East Coast destinations.

Titchmarsh Marina - Saturday 30th June

There was a breeze and a forecast of more later. Just four boats departed at 1000 from Woolverstone and motored against the flood. Some sails appeared in Lower Reach then we had that funny, annoying passage through the harbour with one moment no wind then next a gust. Too many big container ships! However, there was a decent wind as we approached Dovercourt Bay, enough to drop our mainsails and just carry a genoa, thus making life easy, my way of sailing, ready for that lovely dogleg at Stone Point.


There were gusts of 25 knots and the passage very bumpy which was not to the liking of my daughter. She says she had too many scares with with me when she was a child! Could that be possible? Julia had come with her two children believing we were just going up the Stour. “Never again,’ she said and had

her sister collect them on Sunday morning by car. 

 It was too blowy to anchor at Stone Point so our intentions of swimming from the beach were thwarted. Three of the boats took a mooring in the Walton Channel for lunch and to relax in the sun. The children swam off the boat.

Taking our berths was tricky due to the strength of the wind and help from the pontoon was very welcome. 

A few drinks on Dream Machine then off  to the barbecue area where we shared our ‘disposables’ to cook and eat al fresco.  We had a very enjoyable couple of hours and made a pleasant change from eating in the restaurant. This is cruise in company at its best when we all socialise and get to know other fellow club members. My daughter did enjoy this part of the weekend!

Sunday morning’s wind was not as bad as the day before so the usual plod along the Pye Channel into the northeasterly was ok.

Dream Machine   Peter and Sally with Julia, Miles and Phoebe
Reflection             Simon and Julie
Aquila                   Jim
Sekhmet               Stephen and Sally 

River Blackwater - Midweek Cruise - June 6th and 7th

Continuing to experiment with mid-week cruises in company, six boats sailed from the RHYC bound for the River Blackwater on Wednesday 6th June, after a pleasant get-together at the club the evening before.
• Brightstar Alan Thomas
• Calidris Val and Chris Hanson
• Half Moon Sarah and Nigel Martin
• Islay Penny and Nigel Thomson
• Redshank Anne and Dennis Kell
• Sekhmet Sally and Stephen McCarthy
Some left a little earlier than others to sail down the Orwell with the last of the ebb and others a little later. Beyond the Harbour, all enjoyed a good NE breeze and following tide to sweep us down the Wallet and into Bradwell. The weather was fine and everyone found the sail relaxing and enjoyable. Many hands were available to assist each other with taking lines as we moored up in Bradwell Marina.
After drinks, kindly hosted by Simba, Sally and Stephen aboard Sekhmet the party adjourned to the Green Man for a filling dinner and a convivial social gathering, wandering back to our boats on a warm clear evening.
Most boats had to return on Thursday and beat back into the NE wind. Half Moon and Redshank were fortunate to be able to extend their stay, walking the loop around Bradwell-juxta-Mare village to St. Peter’s chapel and back along the sea wall before catching the afternoon tide to sail slowly up the quiet River Blackwater to Heybridge Basin for the evening lock-in. On Friday, they locked out early, Redshank taking the remaining flood into the heart of Maldon before sailing down to anchor with Half Moon off Osea Island for a late breakfast, then continuing to beat down river and over the Colne Bar before mooring in the Pyefleet for the night. 
Half Moon returned on Saturday and Redshank on Sunday beating up the Wallet into the very constant NE wind that had remained in place for an unusually long period.
There certainly appears to be an appetite for the mid-week cruise and it was certainly less busy, both on the water and on land. Thanks to all who took part for an enjoyable cruise in company.

Roughs Tower - Sunday 27th May

9 boats,21 people and 3 dogs set off for what is fast becoming an annual event for Cruise in Company if the tides are so appalling to undertake a 2 or 3 day passage and that is a "race" around Rough Tower. 

The sun shone for us,there was occasionally plenty of wind, and line honours were disputed back at the clubhouse particularly as there was no handicapping system applied. Everyone enjoyed it despite on or two turning back early or using iron sails but our President was first over the line on Athena.

It was particularly pleasing to see 2 or 3 new members to the club and to CIC-Edward and Ann
a Caston,and Tim and Arabella Brentall.

We all met up in the club for drinks on the lawn and enjoyed a most convivial supper.


West Mersea - Saturday 19th May

6 boats and 14 crew joined the cruise:

• Folie Douce with Simon and Georgette Harrison
• Spree 3 with Marcus and Caroline Bucknall plus 2
• Eastwind with Nigel and Heidi Seary
• Windrush with Allan Jones plus 2
• Serenity  with Simon Quantrill          
• Redshank with Anne and Dennis Kell 

Following an enjoyable  gathering in the Club for dinner on Friday night , the 6 boats left for West Mersea on the Saturday morning . Sunshine and moderate winds – perfect for the Royal Wedding !
Those keen not miss out on the Royal Wedding came prepared with TVs , aerials and Ipads , and signal permitting , enjoyed the spectacle underway .

Arriving at West Mersea we were directed to swinging moorings in Mersea Quarters for the deeper boats and to more sheltered moorings closer to the packing shed for the shallower boats .
Crews were taken ashore by the Yacht Club Launch and we all met  for a drink on the lawn of the WMYC. 

Dinner had been booked at the West Mersea Oyster Bar where we enjoyed great food , service and a tasty birthday cake that had been smuggled in for Simon Harrison.
On leaving the Oyster Bar to the hammerhead for the launch back to our boats – we were warned that we had just two minutes before the water ran out ! A mad dash ensued and with Paul Hammond , WMYC’s head launchman’s skills and careful repositioning  of passengers on board – we escaped from the hammerhead and returned to our boats .

On Sunday most boats left at around 0600 and either sailed or motor sailed  back to the  Orwell .

Burnham-on-Crouch - Saturday 5th - 7th May

Weren’t we lucky with the weather! Three days of misty dawns, beautiful sunshine, gentle winds from the north east and flat seas. Ten boats took part:

  • Folie Douce with Simon and Georgette Harrison
  • Spree 3 with Marcus and Caroline Bucknall plus Peter and Heather Paterson
  • Dream Machine with Peter and Sally Wright
  • Islay with Nigel and Penny Thomson
  • Keld with Mark and Lily Benbow
  • Eastwind with Nigel and Heidi Seary
  • Windrush with Allan Jones and Graham
  • Serenity with Simon Quantrill and Ian and Lindsay Perrett
  • Aquilla with Jim Dixon sailing single handed
  • Marguerite with Charles Nisbet and Michael Williams

Most of us attended the entertaining and enjoyable cheese and wine evening at the Club on the Friday night and then set off at a civilised hour on Saturday.  The wind was very light to start with, but picked up to about f3 after the Naze, enough for those with colourful foresails but too little for the rest of us who continued to motor sail gently.  All boats sensibly opted for the Spitway route except for Marguerite who scraped through the Ray Sands Channel.  We all reached Burnham Yacht Harbour in good time and gathered for drinks onboard Spree 3 and Windrush – many thanks to our hosts – before progressing to the Swallowtail restaurant for dinner. 

Islay and Windrush returned to the RHYC on Sunday, which was a day of rest and relaxation for most, of cooking and baking for others, and the opportunity for a little exploring by a select group of men whose wives wanted some peace and quiet and sent them to join Marguerite:  

This intrepid band sailed under genoa alone up the shallowing River Roach, passing Paglesham where Darwin’s HMS Beagle is said to have been broken up, until finally running out of water in sight of Rochford at the limit of navigation.  They turned with some difficulty and then motored back to Burnham.  The highlight of the day was a most enjoyable safari supper which Heidi had organised – many thanks indeed to her and to all the hosts for the evening.

Sunday dawned slightly misty and completely calm:  

All boats left around 6 a.m. and motored to the Spitway, by which time the wind had risen to f3, allowing those which could point high to sail along the Wallet while the others had to wait until rounding the Naze before they could switch off their engines.  Everyone returned safely to their berths having enjoyed an easy, undemanding cruise.

Maylandsea Blackwater - Tuesday 24th - Thursday 26th April 

The forecast was not encouraging for a trip down the Wallet to the Blackwater with SW 4 to 5 increasing 6 at times and a wind against tide chop expected. However six yachts with eleven hardy crews assembled at RHYC on Tuesday morning for a final briefing. We all departed before lunch and motorsailed and sailed towards Felixstowe and on around the Naze with some tacking looking for the start of the flood tide.

 The F5 and F6 did not appear until we reached the Blackwater and we mostly furled genoas and motored into the sharp chop with gusts of over 30 knots. Folie Douce at that point found the lure of shelter in Bradwell too great to resist and succumbed. The other nine hardy souls battled on and reached the entrance to Lawling Creek two hours before high water neaps. At first the channel is buoyed, then there are moorings to follow and finally withies but these latter were mostly disappearing under the rising tide. Becky from the Blackwater Marina helpfully came out in her launch to meet us and guided the flotilla the last tricky 2 or 3 cables. Berthing was a challenge with three attempts required for some in the F6 wind to find the mud berths not always avoiding the shallow patches in between. All were tied up an hour before high water and nightfall.

The Blackwater Bistro opened especially for us and we enjoyed reliving the challenges of mud berthing over an excellent dinner.
Wednesday was to have been a trip to the Pyfleet with a visit to the Oyster Fishery by tender but with the forecast mentioning W F7 we decided that Bradwell Marina offered a safer and more comfortable alternative, oysters would have to wait. Departure from Lawling Creek at high water was achieved without incident in westerly F5 and F6 and, with bright skies, the run down the Blackwater was swift and pleasant and all were safely berthed at Bradwell by 1030. A walk to St Peter's on the Wall was followed by drinks onboard Elizabeth Tudor and Folie Douce. Most ate the dinner prepared for the Pyfleet on board followed by some by a drink at the Green Man.
On Thursday the Inshore Forecast was W or SW F5 or F6, ideal for a fast run up the Wallet and after much inter yacht help for those exiting leeward berths we were all away by 1100 and enjoyed a fast run under full genoa in 20k winds with some sunshine. Engines mostly were engaged when headed on turning into Long Reach at Levington and we all arrived home mid afternoon. A great first mid week cruise for 2018.

Simon Harrison, Folie Douce
Dream Machine, Peter Wright and Brian
Elizabeth Tudor, Derek Greenwood and Colin
Folie Douce, Simon Harrison and Russell
Islay, Nigel Thomson and Peter
Margerite, Charles Nisbet singlehanded
Windrush, Allan Jones and Philip

Harwich - Sunday 22nd April 

Seven boats enjoyed extremely good weather for the shakedown cruise to Halfpenny Pier on Sunday 22nd April. At one point 10 boats wished to go but with apologies it came down to 7 with 18 people having a very convivial time at the Pier Hotel for lunch with excellent service. There was sufficient wind in a good direction for us to sail all the way there and back and the Pier Master was very welcoming and helped us to raft safely. All in all it was a very good start to the season.