Anna Leah Party Boat
Anna Leah Party Boat

Safaris, thongs and sing songs

This year’s cruise started at Suffolk Yacht Harbour with four boats and four VIs that had all been before! We all enjoyed Supper at the East Waterside Centre, before having an early night ready for our week of sailing on the East coast!
Saturday was a sail to Brightlingsea and getting to know each other and the boats we were on! When we arrived at Brightlingsea, it was a lovely evening, and as we were on a floating pontoon, we sent the skipper and crew from Samphire ashore for a fish and chip supper for 14, which we all thoroughly enjoyed upon Anna Leah, the party boat for the week!
Sunday morning was a day sail in the Blackwater. The weather was very changeable, one minute we were in hot sunshine, the next was waterproofs on ready for the rain! We also saw twisters and very black skies over land! We all ended up in Pyefleet creek for a quiet night surrounded by wildlife and just the noise of the birds! Lovely evening and beautiful sunset!
Monday morning saw an early start to get the tides right for a southerly passage to Chatham, it was a cracking sail, although at times, we had to have some assistance from the engine! When we all got into Chatham, one boat managed to snap their boat hook in the lock! When you have four good Skippers, everyone is looking for tiny mishaps for the Knoll Knockers Trophy, which is awarded for the most mishaps in the week, just a bit of fun, but has been going for a few years now!
The Safari theme this year, started with a cocktail party, with original names of Wild Tiger, Skippers Approval, Playing Fields of Eton, and Safari Gargle Blaster, and the winning Cocktail went to Rosabella for Simba’s Sunset Surprise. The evening was a group meal at a local pub, which was thoroughly enjoyed by many!
Tuesday was a slow start before we headed to Queenborough, the sail there was slow too, one Skipper decided to get out and swim behind his Boat to help it along!
After arriving on the concrete lighter for the evening, we had a Safari Supper, each boat preparing a course, and moved from boat to boat for each course, it was a very enjoyable evening and super food! Costumes were also well thought out, and some looked stunning, but not sure about the leopard print thong! Lol!
Wednesday was a trip back to the Blackwater to Bradwell, unfortunately the wind was light so a lot of motor sailing, which didn't go down well with some, so one yacht had very clean windows by the time we arrived in Bradwell!
After some had a walk to St. Peter's Church or the village, the evening brought a Safari quiz, and a chocolate tasting contest! Some were not too overjoyed at the thought of eating chocolate covered meal worms and locus, but another great social evening!
We had a change to the itinerary for Thursday, as Plan A was to anchor at Osea Island, but because the weather wasn't favourable, we decided on Ipswich Haven! Unfortunately, the wind was an easterly again, which saw a lot of us motor sailing back! So the fun that day was a slight diversion, due to the firing practise from the shore! None of us wanted to be part of their targets!
Some boats went straight to Ipswich, while others stopped in the Stour for lunch, before heading into Ipswich for the night!
Friday was a very slow start, as one Vi was departing, and Ipswich lock was having engineering work done, so we didn't leave until Midday, with a short journey to Shotley, via a mooring buoy at Levington for lunch!
Carol Bloyce made another fantastic curry supper for all skippers and crews, and some of the neighbours around came to join us too! Auntie Carol is a fabulous cook, and the meal was thoroughly enjoyed by all! Thank you Carol! The evening was finished with a little sing song, led by Vivian and Terry.
Saturday was a short trip from Shotley to Suffolk Yacht Harbour, but some went via Stonebanks buoy and Wrabness or Erwarton bay for a lunch stop! It was a cracking day sail though, enjoyed by most I think!
Unfortunately, the trip back to SYH brings the Cruise to an end, but it has to finish at some point! We all met at the Waterside centre for a final night BBQ, and trophy and prize giving!
The Knoll Knockers was presented to Samphire for the first time, for running aground while playing with water pistols! Well done Samphire! Lol!
The Martine Trophy was presented to Barbara Dutch for all the hard work she puts together before the Cruise begins, and the winners of the Safari hunt was Rosabella for finding the most animal related buoys throughout the week!
Well done to all.
The evening was finished off with a game of call my bluff, which crews worked hard on throughout the week! This was won by Sulis.
Another successful East cruise!
Thank you to all Skippers, crews and Vis for making these weeks so enjoyable!
Collecting fish and chips from Brightlingsea (Samphire)
Collecting fish and chips from Brightlingsea (Samphire)
Evidence of Samphire running aground!

Evidence of Samphire running aground!