Sunday, 27 September 2015

Seahopper Meeting, Horsey Mere, 26th September

Earlier this season, these pages reported on the latest addition to the fleet, a still unnamed 2.4m Seahopper  - the model known as a 'Nifty Fifty'.  Thanks to the reaches of Facebook and the Seahopper Owner's Group, several fellow owners converged on the wonderful Horsey Mere for a weekend rally.  I was only able to attend on the Saturday and, even then, had to make a double trip over having left half of the kit back home in the garage...  I think an equipment checklist may be in order...

The following video gives a fair reflection of the day.

Winds were light but not inconsequential - probably for the best, since the sailing experience is very different from the Drascombe experience: much more responsive, very unstable but, in its own way, just as enjoyable!

I only started recording the track half way through - as recorded, 2.1nm.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Mooring or Trailer-sailing?

Perhaps today's trip will potentially be significant.  Will it be the final time, at least for a season or two, that Daisy II is launched with the purpose of returning to her mooring home for the past eight years?
For several seasons, I've mixed mooring-based sailing with one or two trailer-sailing breaks each season, breaks usually with the purpose of attending a Drascombe rally.  This has worked well, and, for the greater part of the season, I've much enjoyed having the boat, ready-rigged on her mooring for day sailing or extended cruising.  
So, what's changed?  Well, acquiring a Seahopper dinghy has provided an interesting new dimension.  Perhaps this as yet unnamed boat could fulfil the day sailing function, leaving Daisy II for rallies and extended cruising.  Purchasing a new car, with 4x4 drive and hence much more assurance and capability on slipways, makes trailing more manageable and enticing.  I'd like to attend more rallies in different parts of the UK.  I've also become increasingly concerned about the potential wear and tear on a boat left afloat for such a long time.  It was certainly true that I was slowed down this summer by a barnacle-infested hull, despite having applied the usual anti-fouling paint.  It would be great to scrape off this paint and not to have to reapply it each spring!  It's also good to have the boat at home for the purposes of spending a little more time on modifications.
On the other hand, Pin Mill is such a wonderful location, handy for delightful, varied day sailing and extended cruising to a number of fantastic destinations.
There is still time to think this through and next weekend's Seahopper rally at Horsey Mere in Norfolk will be a great opportunity to see just what the new boat can do.
In the mean time, Daisy II returns to her mooring home at Pin Mill and, weather permitting, there should be time for at least one more cruise prior to the end of the season at the end of next month.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

River Yare - Drascombe Association Rally. 11-13 September 2015

Settling, as we seem to have done, into a three year cycle of venues for the annual Norfolk Broads rally, this weekend it was the turn of the River Yare.  As a cruising river, the Yare demonstrates the Broads at its best - wide reaches with stunning scenery, frequent cuts leading to interesting Broads, varied wildlife and, of course, plentiful pubs along the way.
We had planned, as before, to launch at Reedham Ferry but their plans for a music festival forced us upstream to Cantley.  On first impressions, this new venue is rather dwarfed by the imposing sugar factory but, looking the other way, the old charm of the region is just as evident, the slipway is very serviceable and enjoys everyone's favourite price tag - it's free of charge!
Following a very large, tasty supper on Friday evening at the Reedcutter's Inn, we set off upstream in damp conditions on Saturday morning.  
Cruising this river is something of a pub crawl and we were spoilt for choice.  Our first stop was for lunch at the New Inn at the head of Rockland Broad.
Moorings at Rockland Staithe 

After lunch, we headed back across Rockland Broad, using the more westerly exit back onto the Yare. which point the wind dropped and we enjoyed splendid sunshine.
Jenny Morgan

Muckle Flugga
Following another diversion through Surlingham Broad....
Marsh Magic
 ...we homed in on our destination, The Ferry House Inn at Surlingham, where the process of arranging stern-to mooring was a challenge without a mud weight...
Fleet at Surlingham Ferry
...but we managed in the end!
The pub did us proud once again - excellent food in great company!

Another night's sleep in the peace and tranquility of Broadland and we were ready for the return trip - although the wind forgot to blow...  Splendid scenery, however....

Longboat Cruiser Lucille

Coaster Evelyn

Pit stop for Jenny Morgan

The fleet heads downstream - the Drascombe mafia...!

Returning to Cantley, Broads cruisers were enjoying a very sedate race whilst we returned boats to trailers and parted once again to various corners of the country - Bristol, Kent, as well as closer to home!
Little wind for these Broads cruisers