RNSA East Coast team checked out a couple of their favorite haunts, Harwich and Burnham-on Crouch.
Well, the 'planners' picked very civilized tide times and the weather forecasts improved hourly as we approached our second outing of the season.
With a weekend such as this it was inevitable that we should sail (on a blissful Good Friday afternoon) to a Harwich welcome at the Alma. Tipped off by the attentive waitress that the elderly rock guitarist went quite barking at 22.30, we re-embarked with 'Dire Straights' ringing in our ears(also by this time barking, but pleasantly so). Thank goodness yachts don't have sound rooms!
Our progress down the Wallet and up the Crouch with a lively North-West wind and a middling tide was impeccable, if a little lonely (perhaps everyone else had succumbed to the forecasts?).
On arrival at Burnham Jacqui- B was prepped to receive a lively shore party. We were very pleased to be joined by a new East Coast Member, James Simpson and our delightful Treasurer (Vivien) and Phot (Val). Everyone was warmed up in Jacqui-B's cosy saloon and when flying speed was achieved we adjourned to the Oyster Smack where Chris Jones led us through the labyrinth of life unwrapping maritime disasters (Mrs J is especially saintly in looking after our Extra Master at large when under full steam!)
Unlike the other sleepy yachtsmen on the East Coast nothing daunts Burnham dinghy sailors on a Sunday morning so departure meant becoming an unwitting participant, ducking and weaving amongst every class from pram dinghies with a sail to 5 tonners. Managed not to brass anybody off!(then we are flying the Blue Ensign)
Arriving back off Felixstowe the conversation on Channel 71 is the nearest one gets nowadays to Masefield's:
"Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke-stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days....."
There is always an ocean going ship on the way in or out...... but the "road-rails,pig-lead, firewood, iron-ware and cheap tin trays" have been supplanted by a million anonymous containers! Now there's another world with many secrets........... which we will no doubt discuss at our next outing.