Merry Mersea Minus Mud and Mayhem! Our planned cruise round Mersea Island was moved to July this year avoiding the August crowds. Even so several people were unable to book onto the campsite which has reduced the number of touring pitches to 25, although Barbara & Maurice Humberstone managed to get onto Waldegrave next door. On Seaview Joe was the early arrival on Sunday in time to watch the Euro final in the newly refurbished clubhouse. According to Joe it was “jumping” packed with local youth out to have a great time. Heavy rain overnight Sunday brightened up for the Monday when everyone else – Andy & Linda, Richard, Steve & Dianne, Keith & Mary, Simon and Owen & Rowena arrived. The easterly wind was just enough to get planing on raceboards after a quick trip along to the town. Tuesday was the planned cruise day. We were joined by local sailor Paul Reynolds. After a couple of false starts (forgotten daggerboard and harness) the fleet assembled and set sail on a reach in the steady 12mph from the N as forecast, slightly overcast but warm and the sea as flat as it gets. Two tacks took us into a quiet Brightlingsea harbour where the pre-ordered fish and chips (a new chippy – Winkles) were ready to be collected. The conditions were little changed after lunch and with clean wind round the back of the island we crossed the Strood, paused coming out of the harbour and arrived back at base in good time. It had been one of the easiest sails we could remember, but none the less enjoyable for that. To quote Stanley Holloway, “The waves was fiddling’ and small, no wrecks and nobody drownded, fact nothing to laugh at all”. In a gloriously warm and sunny evening we had a communal BBQ at the campsite with Maurice and Barbara hacking their way through the undergrowth to join us. Games of Smite and boules provided entertainment for players, spectators and various dogs and toddlers who also participated. Wednesday morning was the usual bike ride to the east end of the island and visit to the vineyard and brewery for a cream tea, with more sailing, bike riding, dog walking and ice cream in the afternoon. Simon clocked 27km on his short board, 4km more than the cruise. Thanks to Richard for all his work in organising the cruise and fish and chips, and everyone there for making it another very sociable and enjoyable trip.