After a long spell of high pressure and settled weather, the forecast changed for the worst just in time for our intended Southwold Cruise.
The forecast wind speed and direction for Good Friday was reasonable enough for us to go to Sea. With this in mind we altered our destination to Lowestoft giving us the option of a return trip through Mutford lock and up the river.
The fleet of 11 boats including 4 first timers met at Berney Arms on Friday morning for Skippers Briefing. It was a beautiful sunny morning with a North Westerly Force 4 wind. With the wind direction and tide in our favour, we checked on the current sea state and along with the support crews, agreed that the trip could go ahead.
We slipped our moorings at 0945 and made for a 1030 Haven Bridge lift.
Once out to sea, conditions were all we could have hoped for with a gentle swell pushing us down the coast. The fleet spread out and Denise, our official photographer, took pictures of us.
We ran at a sedate 8 knots and those with faster boats had a play and opened up. Just before 1200hrs we entered Lowestoft harbour and went into the Hamilton dock – with the sun still shining and the crews in good spirits, we opened the bar on Evita and enjoyed a few safe arrival beers.
Later we were collected by minibus and taken to the RN&SYC for dinner and a super evening.
The crews relaxed on Saturday as the weather blew up as forecast. The younger members were treated to a trip to Pleasurewood Hills.
On Sunday morning the wind had abated slightly but was still south westerly force 5-6. Too much for novice crews so the fleet split into two groups with the less experienced going through Mutford lock whilst Evita and the experienced crews headed back up the coast to Great Yarmouth.
We were very pleased to have got to sea and that the first timers enjoyed the experience and the social side that comes with it. We look forward to the Wells cruise in April.