The weather Gods continued to smile on us for the autumn cruise to Oulton Broad and the change of destination from Norwich seemed to produce dividends, with a good turnout of club members for both the cruising and the eating.
We met up at Reedham on the Friday night – literally at night for a couple of late arrivals – and around 20 members enjoyed a convivial evening in the Ship. Saturday dawned windless and leisurely breakfasts were taken before, with an eye on the predicted 2 o’clock high tide at Oulton, the fleet of six yachts eventually cast off around 10.20. With the tide under us and a light north-westerly filling in, everyone raised their sails and enjoyed the trip running upriver.
Some could not resist stopping at Somerleyton for a refreshing pint or two and Puck was left there while the crew swapped to Pan, but most carried on without a break. Wisp was through the swing bridge first and away, but Pandora waited for White Rose and Avocet so that they could have an impromptu race to Oulton. Owing to uncertainty about the location of the finishing line and John’s victory lap of Oulton Broad, allowing the others to overtake him and moor up first, it is still unclear who actually won….
Three more yachts and four motor boats joined the fleet for the evening, along with several visitors by road, giving us a good turnout for the much enjoyed carvery in the Wherry. Improving the sociability of the occasion by moving the numbered tables around to improve the seating plan to our own design didn’t confuse the staff too much. Hopefully.
Sunday again dawned windless, but this time with some sunshine, which became quite hot by midday. Despite it being a tack against the tide, as the wind slowly woke up, Wisp and Pan set off to Somerleyton, making the whole journey under sail, despite some slow and frustrating moments in the dyke. Jessie May and Melody followed, finding to their pleasant surprise that the man fishing at the trickiest part of the dyke was not the least bit bothered that every yacht in succession found itself blown down onto him.
We reassembled in the garden at the Duke’s Head and enjoyed a convivial lunchtime basking in the sunshine before going our separate ways. Only Puck rose to the challenge of sailing to Reedham, despite the tide being with us; with the rest perhaps feeling that the morning’s heroics had been sufficient.
Boats present: Aelfleda, Avocet, Force Four, Jessie May, Lazy Breeze, Melody, Misty Morn, Pan/Puck, Pandora III, Seabird, White Rose, Wiggy, Wisp