What a great start to the 2019 Sailing Season. Even if your boat isn’t afloat yet, I’m guessing that the fantastic Easter weather allowed you to really get on with those last minute pre-launch chores.
The weather certainly helped make the Club Cruise to Ipswich Haven a most memorable one. Thirteen club boats set off for Ipswich in warm, sunny weather and about 15 knots of wind, ideal for the first shakedown cruise of the season! Aboard Lollipop, we motored out to the number two buoy before hoisting sails and beating into Harwich harbour. The wind held until we reached Pinmill, by which time it’s strength had gone and, with free flow at Ipswich lock fast approaching, we furled the sails and started the iron topsail for the final run up to the lock. When we radioed in just after the Orwell bridge, we were told that the flood gates would need to be closed in about 15 minutes (due to the very high tide). If our timing had been a bit tight, Peter and Donna Dukes aboard La Mouette had a much narrower escape as they were the last boat in before the gates were closed. A couple of minutes later would have resulted in a fairly long wait!
As usual, other club members assisted late comers make fast when they arrived, and soon the usual banter was being exchanged. As on recent trips to Ipswich Haven, the “old clubhouse” had been made available for our use and Gill and I hosted a get-together with drinks and nibbles there on Friday evening. At the same time, Gill took orders for the following evenings planned fish and chip evening. Most crews ate aboard their boats on Friday with just a few (including ourselves) eating ashore. Saturday provided an opportunity to explore, shop or catch up on last minute boat chores and for many, the shorts got their first outing of the season! The promised fish and chip supper arrived a little late, due to “an unexpected rush” at the fish and chip shop. However, the excellent fish and chips were well received and good value at £5.50.
Sunday saw about half of the fleet leave on the lunchtime free-flow, but not until hot cross buns had been savoured aboard “Atlantis”. Many thanks to John and Marion who provided this much appreciated “Easter” treat. The remaining crews enjoyed another really warm day in Ipswich before departing late on Monday morning. While some sailed virtually all the way back (notably Moody Blue on Sunday) most crews chose to motor in the fickle winds which prevailed.
To finish the weekend, a large group (30) of tired but hungry cruisers plus other cruising friends congregated in the club bar at 6pm on Easter Monday before retiring to the dining room for an excellent meal. Good food and excellent company, what better way could there be to finish a very enjoyable weekend.
Boats on the Cruise were: Lollipop, Moody Blue, Mistress, Atlantis, Tortuga, Samphire of Hamford, Viky, La Mouette, Les Bonairs, Romteskip, Seahorse, Palmira and Philomina. We were joined on Saturday evening for Fish and Chips by David and Jenny Cocks, Carl and Janice Targett, Mary Adams and Mike and Helen Stokoe.
The next Club Cruise to the River Deben (16th – 20th May) is being organised by Roly Jarrold and I’m sure that details will be available soon. Please watch this space and the club notice board/newsletter for full details and a sign-up sheet.
Wishing you all Fair winds and great Cruising.
Chris Bridgwater (Lollipop)