The Cruising Section organises Cruising in Company with a mix of yachts and motor boats. The aim is to provide sociable and non competitive cruises to various destinations including marinas and suitable anchorages on the East Coast and Thames Estuary.
It's a great way to start going further afield for anyone venturing into new waters for the first time. We focus on fun, enjoying an evening supper whether in a kindred yacht club or a beach barbeque.
For the more experienced of our fleet, there is always the annual Ostend rally which is an inter-club event over 3 days. Many use this as a springboard for then cruising around Holland or France.
Saturday 31st October saw the last cruiser event of the season with the popular ‘Rowhedge Rumble’.
The day burst forth with lovely gentle winds, mild weather and sunshine, it really was a lovely gift of a day! This day also coincided with Halloween. Thirty-seven adults and two young twins gathered at the Anchor at Rowhedge, all dressed in various outfits of a ghoulish nature. The weather was so good all crews were able to sit outside and enjoy the autumn sunshine and the buffet provided by Darron and Ed.
There were 10 vessels attending with two cars and one cycle (James Hancox), two ribs along with various yachts and motor vessels as listed below. James had cycled all the way from Bentley. That is true dedication! Our illustrious Commodore having commandeered one of the ribs fixed for James to have a return trip down the river! Unfortunately, James’s not-for-arachnophobes Halloween headgear got blasted off when Explorer was at full chat and a MOB had to be performed with a good outcome.
Explorer and Valiant – Ribs
Beulah IV, Fortune, Kotick, Spindrift, Trilogy, Pascall II, Epona, Capella
Happy Christmas and Happy Sailing!
Roger Burrows and Janice Bell
Cruiser Captain and First Mate
ORWELL RALLY – 2015
Sketched by rally coordinator, Dave Atkinson
Sometime ago while in a confused state I allegedly agreed to deputise for Cruiser Captain Roger at the forthcoming Orwell Rally. I quickly realised that my ensuing defiance and protests were futile particularly when Janice advanced towards me and began to shriek. This was the background to me nervously picking up the baton last Saturday morning at the start of this year’s rally.
First things first thought I – better get the passage race under way (noon start) and show who’s boss. This unfortunately came to an untimely end when en route to Brightlingsea I decided to cancel it due to forecasted light winds and a sense of perceived lethargy by all concerned. First mistake was that while I remembered to stand Tom Sargeant down who had generously offered to start the race from Batemans (thanks Tom) I didn’t inform the actual race entrants. Imagine my surprise when I duly arrived and discovered everyone roaring to go and a strengthening SE wind. Word of the aborted race was getting round. I sensed the developing fury with the North pontoon reminiscent of a bear pit. Self-preservation persuaded me to proceed with the race as originally planned so I cunningly recruited Rick (Le Bot) to inform all concerned while I pretended to be busy down below.
I suggested we best all gill about somewhere in the vicinity of the start line until everyone turns up – this excluded Dave and Helen (Cantare) who had already set off slightly confused I would think – pity because I believe they are new to our rally’s and probably got the wrong impression (joke I hope!). Because we didn’t have a race starter someone in the fleet suddenly pretended to be a cannon and shouted bang – and off we all went some with and some without ensigns.
We were all beating down the river against a foul tide and as we did so witnessed the CYC power boat fleet thundering by at very close quarters sounding for all the world like a troop of wailing banshees. This was probably in part due to John’s (Serene) exhaust system having melted and fallen off just prior to him leaving. I don’t think Dave and Karen (Fortune) correctly interpreted our collective signals because they just nonchalantly waved back. As soon as our sails filled with wind again we pressed on.
There was a four boat tussle as we rounded Colne Bar – it was at this point that Danny (Burlesque) requested permission to briefly start his engine because he wanted to test his chart plotter. We freed off and positively romped up the Wallet – Breakspear, Burlesque, Le Bot and Triss jostled for position and remained within spitting distance throughout – Nut Cracker gainfully following.
At Walton pier the wind died and motors were started one by one - so the race was duly declared null and void. This was a relief for me because by then I had realised that I hadn’t organised anyone to calculate the handicaps/results. I felt even more vindicated when Commodore Graham confirmed that the Club had been unable to identify the appropriate race trophy as its official photo wasn’t to hand. At this stage I awarded myself 3 out of 10 but remained confident that I could win my spurs at the BBQ.
We motored up the Orwell aiming to spark up the BBQ in readiness for food and presentation at 6pm sharp. We heard that the power boat fleet were all safely berthed and we sailors were all about on schedule. That was until Ipswich lock announced that there was an indefinite delay apparently caused by a barge or similar getting totally fouled up within. More and more boats arrived in the pool outside the lock until there was an armada of some 40 craft including the Orwell Queen laden with passengers. It started to rain.
It was decided that the hot food prepared by Carol (Triss) in readiness for the BBQ might as well be distributed to the waiting masses – so the Dunkirk spirit lived on as spring rolls and pizzas were transferred from boat to boat. It was still raining.
All boats finally negotiated the lock and were berthed by 8pm. By then and as darkness fell all thoughts of the BBQ had well and truly fizzled out and various groups detached themselves and went off to the Chinese and/or the Pizza place. As the evening and rain developed there was increasing speculation of approaching storms and tempest with a growing majority of skippers deciding to leave Sunday morning rather than hang on until Monday – the exodus began at 4.30am!!
Four boats remained in Ipswich and their respective ship’s companies finally lit the BBQ on Sunday evening before retiring to Colin and Sandra’s (Beulah V) for late night refreshments.
It was still raining.
All boats returned safely and I handed the baton back to Roger.
The fleet: Beulah V, Fortune, Serene, Burlesque, Cantare, Breakspear, Nitebird, Aura of Stour, Nutcracker, Le Bot, Triss.advice and information is always available from our Cruiser Captain: Roger Burrows and 1st Mate: Janice Bell.
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