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17 May 2017

Running our Cruising Club can be a very frustrating business. No more so than when we were watching the weather as our departure date loomed. After a prolonged period, of light south westerly winds, the wind shifted to the North East and increased in strength to Force 4-5. That neatly knocked our plans for Wells Next the Sea on the head for Friday.

However the forecast for Sunday was better and the forecast for Monday was better still. The wind was still North Easterly but was dropping off nicely.

Southwold looked quite do-able arriving Sunday pm and returning Monday. Plans were made, moorings for 19 boats booked & itinerary written for the second time that week.

However by Friday morning all had changed, Sunday had worsened slightly & Monday now looked terrible.

All change then. The Royal Norfolk & Suffolk kindly agreed to take us at short notice & bring in extra staff at short notice. Being in Lowestoft gave us the option of Mutford Lock and the river for the fleet to return to the Broads. New plans and itinerary were drawn up and we were off.

The boats met at Reedham Ferry on Saturday evening where we were superbly looked after, as always, by Paula and her team.

The following morning the fleet gathered at Breydon for a Skippers Briefing. The weather was North North East 4-5 which is slightly more blustery than we would choose but with the sea behind us we were expecting reasonable conditions. Having confirmed the actual sea conditions with various friendly Harbour Masters along the coast, the support crews decided it was safe to go. We had 5 boats that were new to the Cruising Club & so were keen that they at least get a short sea trip that weekend.

We passed through the Haven Bridge and through the harbour to sea at 1200hrs. Conditions as predicted, were reasonable and the fleet were able to have a play and turn around to experience the difference in ride when the sea is behind you and if you are going into it.

By 1330hrs all the fleet were safely tied up in the RN&SYC basin. After a drinks party aboard Evita at 1500hrs, the crews descended upon the Yacht Club bar for more social followed by a superb Sunday Roast in the club dining room.

The following morning the weather was as forecast. North Easterly 5 to 6. The Bascule Bridge was booked for the 0945 lift and the support crews assisted the fleet up through Lake Loathing & through the lock.

Not what we had planned but some valuable sea experience none the less and as always, very enjoyable.

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