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Blackwater Cruise

On the 20th May 11 Seavets met at the Stone SC for our annual trip to the Blackwater estuary -  Andy, Dave G, Martin, Owen, Steve, Simon, Mike & Margaret Brace, Maurice & Barbara Humberstone and myself. With a good weather forecast on Monday three of us arrived late morning and quickly set up camp and took to the water for a pleasant sail down to Maylandsea. On our return most of the others had arrived so it was decided to have an impromptu BBQ as the sun was still shining. Later we went to the beach to watch a glorious sunset.

Tuesday was cruise day and with light winds and rain forecast it was decided to do a shorter version to Maylandsea for lunch and back. Nine of us launched at 10.30 and with the help of the incoming tide and a gentle but steady wind, we made good progress and reached Maylandsea in exactly an hour, with a couple of seal sightings along the way.

On landing at the local SC we were met by Barbara who had cycled there and had discovered a new cafe next door. This seemed a better option than eating the normal fish & chip lunch outside in what was now fairly heavy rain, so we sat under umbrellas and were served coffee and a cream tea for an unbelievably reasonable £4.87.

We set sail again just after high tide at 12.40, and with no problems mud-wise had a pleasant sail back past the friendly seals again. The return trip took exactly an hour in the same conditions, with help once again from the outgoing tide. The evening was spent at the very good Indian restaurant attached to the Stone PH a short distance away.

With a mixed forecast on the Wednesday suggesting a dry morning followed by rain and strong winds in the afternoon we had a split camp.  Four of us decided to sail up to Bradwell in the morning, and four opted for a bike ride to Maldon. I was in the sailing group and enjoyed a good sail downwind in a steady force 3. At Bradwell the coffee shop at the marina was closed so we set sail back, beating into what was now a force 4 and had a great trip back. The wind was still building as we landed but the rain held off so we were able to pack away in the dry. Some returned home that evening and others had a short board session in the afternoon, and returned home the next morning.

Despite the changeable weather we enjoyed a great three days of activities and good company in this lovely location. The wonderful facilities and hospitality of the Stone SC were as good as ever, and we look forward to returning again next year. Many thanks to our resident photographer Barbara for braving the elements to take the photos on Tuesday. You will find her photos on our Facebook group page.

Richard Williams

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