Often with our Cruising Club, making the decision to go to sea or not is a real judgement call. Taking into account forecast wind strength and direction and tides to judge whether the sea state will be OK for our members.
We had no such problems on our St Kats Cruise. The forecast for our planned departure date was South Westerly F4-5 and wind over tide down the barrow. The forecast for the following day was variable F1-3 and sunny. No question then, we delay a day and enjoy a full Sunday Roast with all the trimmings at the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club.
The following morning after an 0515hrs VHF briefing, the fleet departed Lowestoft at 0530hrs in bright sunshine and light airs.
We motored down to the Thames Estuary in super conditions at 18 knots plus a bit of push from the tide giving us around 20 knots over the ground. At the bottom of the shipwash bank we met one of our boats that had come out of the Orwell & then continued to the Barrow deep. By this time the sea state was oily smooth, perfect conditions.
We made our way up the Thames slowing down just before Gravesend and taking in the sights all the way up to Tower Bridge arriving just after 1400hrs.
We locked the fleet into St Katharine Dock in two locks and moored on the super new pontoons & decking in the centre basin.
The crews relaxed for a few days whilst on Wednesday the fuel barge came into the dock and the support crew assisted in fuelling the 15 strong fleet ready for return.
The forecast for Friday was by far the best so we locked out on Friday morning at around 0700hrs and made our way back up to Great Yarmouth and a meal for all at the Reedham Ferry who looked after us beautifully as always.