East Cruise September 2015

This years cruise was later than usual, as four of our EAST skippers and their boats were in Holland for some of the summer. However, we managed to have 6 boats for the Autumn cruise, and 5 Visually impaired sailors, resulting in another successful EAST week, blessed with good winds and fine weather!

We all met at Suffolk Yacht Harbour on Friday evening, before having a communal meal at the EAST Waterside Community Centre, getting kitted out with audio compasses and the new EAST life jackets, before setting off to bed ready for a sail on Saturday!

Saturday was spent familiarising ourselves with getting to know the boat and crew, before meeting up at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club. Ian Jewry, our First Admiral for the week, had given all guest crew a list of tasks to fulfill including engine checks, man overboard under sail, and passage planning! The list went on, but was good fun!

Sunday saw us all heading to Burnham-on-Crouch, it was a wonderful sail, lovely sunny day, and wind to our liking! Monday morning we then headed to Brightlingsea, where some crew took the water taxi ashore, and some used their tenders! One crewmember even managed to take a swim whilst there!

Tuesday was a serious day! Race on! sailing Brightlingsea to Bradwell via a few named buoys. As always with a race there was dispute over the starting gun and race tactics. One boat even had to pull out after fouling their propeller with a lose line! The race was going sweetly until the wind died, and many just drifted with the tide to Bradwell. One boat even decided to try their luck at getting into Bradwell a little too early, and sat on the mud for a while!

Upon our arrival, we all put on our Hawaiian gear ready for an eventful evening! We first started with cocktails on Sulis before heading to the clubhouse for a group meal, followed by a singing competition.We had all been assigned two songs to learn and perform and everyone made an exceptional effort, some seemed to take it more seriously than others, but great fun was had by all!

Thank you to those who organised a good evening!

From Bradwell, we headed back to Shotley. Unfortunately one of the boats had to leave us here, for prior engagements! So now there were 5!

Meals were enjoyed onboard, ready for a local sail the next day, before returning to Shotley, as plan A was to go to Aldeburgh, but due to the strong onshore winds we decided to stay at Shotley!

Some of the crew took the Harwich ferry across ,to have a look around Harwich, others ventured out around the Roughs Tower! Yet another boat made a dramatic rescue of an empty lifejacket on the River Stour, which led to the deployment of the Harwich inshore lifeboat and three teams of auxiliary coastguards -all for a false alarm.

We all then met in the Shipwreck for a quiz, and guess the weight of the coconut! Another enjoyable evening!

From Shotley we all headed for Titchmarsh marina, at Walton-on-the Naze! We all met at the barbecue area, for more fun and shenanigans, guess the drinks, wet your skipper with water bombs, and guess who I am game! The sun also shone for a fun-filled evening!

Last leg was to Ipswich, where we all enjoyed an Indian takeaway, before all meeting on Samphire for presentations and thank yous! And of course a good old sing song, to finish off a splendid week!

Thank you to all involved in making this week such fun!