Sunday, 29 September 2013

Hickling Broad, Drascombe Association Rally; 27-29 September 2013

Twenty five participating boats:
Coasters: Daisy II, Evelyn, Tyboat, Sapphire II, Dottie Two, Pamela, Blue Peter, Nonsuch, Appuskidu, Mudskipper
Dabbers: Mudlark, Teifi Bach, Coot, Teal, Blue Teal
Drifter: Damson
Luggers: Piper, Clare, Muckle Flugga, Trigger's Broom
Scaffie: Blue Moon
Longboats: Jenny Morgan, Harnser
Gig: Tra Bhui
Faversham 14: Merlin
Drascombes at Hickling Staithe, Saturday morning
Some boats arrived by water, part of longer cruises.
Jenny Morgan's skipper at work

Coaster Tyboat, visiting us, all the way from Eire
Most arrived by land, launching at Whispering Reeds boatyard, negotiating its famously crooked slip.  The tip of my mast caught on a telephone cable running across the yard, whilst on the trailer.  This has slightly damaged the masthead light fitting and I shall have to tend to this over winter...
Crooked slipway at Whispering Reeds boatyard (see later pictures)

Drascombe Gig Tra Bhui
Skipper's briefing, Saturday morning

Final rigging on Daisy II
The plan for Saturday was to sail on Hickling Broad until about noon, then along Deep-Go Dyke and Meadow Dyke into Horsey Mere, stopping at Horsey Drainage Mill for lunch.  Winds were easterly F5.
Daisy II on Hickling Broad
These action-photos of Daisy II were kindly taken by skipper and crew aboard the Dabber Blue Teal.  As has often been the case this season, when needing to reduce sail, I ditched the mizzen and sailed with reefed main and a few rolls in the jib.  This seems to provide a very balanced sail plan - no pull on the tiller and she seems to point as well as usual.
Daisy II on Hickling Broad

Lugger Clare, plus my usual reefing camera trick...

Dabber Blue Teal

Dabber Blue Teal on another tack

Faversham 14 Merlin shielding lugger Trigger's Broom

Scaffie Blue Moon

Merlin and Fiddler's Broom continue their tussle

Drascombes at play, beating up towards the south eastern corner of Hickling Broad

Scaffie Blue Moon

Scaffie Blue Moon

Coaster Blue Peter and Gig Tra Bhui

Coaster Pamela and Dabber Blue Moon

More Drascombes fighting with reefing 

Longboat Jenny Morgan glides along majestically

Coaster Dottie Two

Dabber Teifi Bach

Dabber Teifi Bach

Coaster Tyboat shielding another Drascombe!

Jenny Morgan and post

Clare and another post

Jenny Morgan and reeds

Coaster Appuskidu, under new ownership

Dabber Blue Teal

Gig Tra Bhui

Lugger Piper

Coaster Nonsuch
At Horsey Mill, many skippers took a short early afternoon stroll to the North Sea.  Others had a leisurely lunch.

Drascombes at Horsey Wind pump staithe

Lots of Drascombes!

Lots of Drascombes from the other end!
The photo below is a particular favourite of mine - 25 Drascombes created a wonderful spectacle and rather dominated a Silhouette Owners Association Cruise which had turned up.
Drascombe masts!

Blue Teal departure

Blue Teal departure

Drascombes inching along Meadow Dyke

Coaster Sapphire II
Forty-nine punters turned up at the Pleasureboat Inn for a splendid evening meal on Saturday.
Drascombers choosing

Drascombers chosen

Drascombers satisfied with choice!

Chairman's address
On Sunday, winds were certainly stronger and gustier.  A few boats on an extended cruise made an early getaway in order to negotiate tides at Yarmouth.  A small number, with long journeys ahead, took their boats out and headed home.  Some boats headed for West Somerton. I made for Potter Heigham.  I had a wonderful beat along Hickling Broad with jib and mizzen, and then motored the remainder of the way back, knowing that I would be set up nicely for a wonderful run back to base later that morning.
lugger Clare

Coaster Blue Peter
At Potter Heigham, I had an early lunch and watched some of the Drascombes unstepping their masts and negotiating the two bridges, the second of which (not photographed) is rather narrow.
Dottie Two departure under the first of the bridges at Potter Heigham
On the way back, Dabber Blue Teal joined me for a run down Hickling Broad, whilst various windsurfers darted along the water at high speed.
Blue Teal running

Blue Teal making light work of F5/6 winds
Daisy II on a run along Hickling Broad

Blue Teal returning to base
Fortunately, by the time I reached the slip, it was free and Daisy II was uneventfully recovered onto her trailer - uneventful, other than the jockey wheel breaking...
Whispering Reeds crooked slip

Whispering Reeds crooked slip

Whispering Reeds crooked slip easily negotiated by Blue Peter

White: Saturday morning: trip to Horsey Mere; red: return trip from Horsey Mere; Green: Sunday trip to Potter Heigham and back; 19.4nm; season's total 633.8nm
This was the final Drascombe Association rally of 2013; I think we put on a good show!