Historically with our Cruising Club we have required pretty well flat calm conditions for the cruise to go ahead meaning many have been cancelled. Recently we have realised that most of our members quite like the challenge of a bit of swell & the experience of conditions that you are likely to encounter at some point when you are seriously cruising. Now we are not talking about sea states that challenge the boats abilities and conditions need to be such that we can transfer an engineer from one boat to another via our 6.2 metre RIB, safely.
Our Southwold Cruise left on Friday the 9th of June on a 1000hrs Haven Bridge lift with a shipping forecast of South Westerly 4 or 5. Given that the wind direction was westerly, the sea state was forecast to be smooth or slight. As we exited Great Yarmouth Harbour, the wind speed was 10 knots and conditions were lovely. We made our way down the coast at 7-8 knots in the sunshine.
Once beyond Lowestoft the sea picked up gradually as we were further offshore but the fleet took it in their stride. We entered Southwold Harbour just after 1300hrs and rafted the fleet together outside the Harbour Inn.
We enjoyed some excellent social time in Southwold over Friday afternoon and Saturday before preparing to leave on Sunday at 1200hrs. Once again the shipping forecast was south westerly F4 or 5 and there was certainly a decent swell awaiting the fleet as we headed south easterly out of the Harbour before turning North for Great Yarmouth and the relative comfort of the sea behind us. Once again as we passed Lowestoft, the swell reduced significantly as we covered the last 7 miles to Great Yarmouth and a 1500hrs Haven Bridge lift.
Some great experience gained & much fun and laughter enjoyed over a sunny & breezy weekend.