The Blackwater Cruise 11th August 2022
Stone Sailing club set up an event for Seavets to allow camping in the parking area and use of the club facilities for 3 days and nights all for the princely sum of £10.00.
Staying at the club were Richard Williams, John Ellis, Andy Lacy, Simon Barker, Maurice Humberstone (with Barbara) and Joe Coulson; Dave Rabbetts joined us for the cruise on August 11th.
Order of the cruise day was a shorty suit and rash vest with a fair supply of fluid to drink on this very hot day and the usual Phone and cash in a waterproof pouch.
The plan was to sail round the islands in an anticlockwise direction with a stop for coffee opposite Northey Island and a stop at Maylandsea for fish and chips.
Check your Kit!
We started at 10:30 drifting with the tide on a run in very little wind at first. Wind was an easterly about 5 knots but with the tide running at 3 Knots we had little steerage way. Some gybed, sailed one handed and dipped feet in the water to try to cool down. After an hour we landed on a beach instead of the usual concrete and found an excellent place for coffee.
On setting off to round Northey the wind picked up so the pace quickened; Just before the causeway Joe went to hook in and found no hook or harness! He turned back to look for his harness in the café and on the beach with Andy and Dave coming back to help. No harness to be found; Dave of strong arms lent his harness to Joe and the three decided to sail straight for the Maylandsea spit. Dave and Joe found that the board pointed at least 10 degrees lower when not using a harness – and it was increasingly difficult as the wind increased and the tide started to ebb. Dave made the spit then we all did a run and broad reach in gusty and weedy conditions to Maylandsea . Here we had the customary fish and chips at £5:00 a head for the pensioners’ portion!
A very generous American, Kenny Hobbs, lent a harness to Joe without which the return to Stone would not have been possible. On returning the harness later Kenny gave Joe a tour of his 5 boards and many sails. He has an early Starboard longboard and wants to join us next year. He is a short board expert using a 3 metre sail in strong winter winds!
Ease of starting from Maylandsea after lunch depended on the length of one’s fin with some fighting the mud for several minutes. After landing at the spit to re-group we set off on a long beat in what was now a mid force four sea breeze blowing against the tide. Lumpy condition but fast and fun.
Back at Stone Joe found his harness sitting in the changing room – hence the title – check your kit!
Other memorable events were a BBQ on the beach below the high water mark an excellent curry on cruise day at Indian Ocean and a seafood lunch at the fish shack at Stone Pub.