Monday, 25 August 2014

August Bank Holiday Weekend

The forecast said “there will be sunshine all day on Saturday” so we decided to go sailing!

The sunset on Friday night was good and the sunrise on Saturday morning was also good!

The plan was to cruise gently down the river in the motor boat, moor at the end of Upton Dyke, collect the sailing boat and maybe go for a sail down to Acle and back then tow the sailing boat alongside the motor boat, back to South Walsham.

When we got to Upton Dyke, the only mooring at the end was full with a large sailing boat which was intending to stay all weekend (maybe for the beer festival in the village pub) so plan B came into force.

This was to take the motor boat back to our mooring and drive to Upton to collect the sailing boat and, as the weather was looking good, to sail back to South Walsham.

All went according to plan, except we had to bale 15 buckets’ worth of water out of the sailing boat before we could sail, but we eventually took to the river together with two or three other sailing boats.

A lovely sail upriver for about half an hour when we noticed a huge black cloud behind us.  “Don’t worry” said the skipper, "it’s going the other way!When a few raindrops started to fall, we thought back to a few weeks’ previously when something similar had happened and the friend we were with decided to put on his full wet weather gear.  We were sceptical but followed suit, just before the heavens opened!

With this in mind, we donned our wet weather clothing, except I had forgotten to bring my waterproof trousers!  The skipper, who was wearing shorts, kindly said that I could wear his waterproof salopettes – rather too big for me but I went for it anyway!

A good move, as the cloud which was “going the other way” suddenly changed direction and decided to dump its contents on us.  The wind was still blowing so we gallantly carried on sailing and after about ten minutes the rain stopped, however the wind disappeared as well!  As the tide was against us, we were eventually going backwards and the other boats which had set off just after us gave up and turned round.  I felt this was a wise move but the skipper said “let’s go into the reeds and wait for the wind”.  By this time I was thinking longingly of wine rather than wind!

By this time there were black clouds all round us but we sat in a patch of sun for about 20 minutes when the reeds started stirring so we let go and began to sail again.  Unfortunately we sailed right under one of the black clouds which again kindly dumped on us and the wind got up to storm force (it felt like it!).  We were racing along and could have done with a couple of reefs – we overtook another half-decker at speed, went round the bend at Thurne Mouth to head up the Bure in a gale, hail, thunder and lightning but as quickly as the storm had started, it passed over and everything stopped, apart from the tide running out!!

Out came the paddle and, to cut a long story short, about an hour and a half later we arrived back at South Walsham, cold and with aching arms and shoulders.

I have to admit that we put the heating on in our motor boat and never was wine and chocolate so gratefully consumed as it was on Saturday evening!

NB - we had a lovely sail back to Upton on Sunday, in warm sunshine and a steady breeze, 

stopping for lunch at Thurne, so had a good memory to end the weekend.   

Although it was a long weekend, being August Bank Holiday (August? - really?) we took note of the forecast for Monday and stayed in the dry!!

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