We have regular cruises on the Northern and Southern Broads. It's a great way of enjoying the beautiful rivers and broads in the company of other club members. There's always someone on hand to offer help and advice and there's an enjoyable social element to it as well.
For the more adventurous we also have our ever popular two week East Coast Cruise which sees a fleet of yachts sail around the coast of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. This is a great opportunity to gain more experience of the tides and sandbanks around the East Anglian coast and to work on your passage planning and navigation skills.
For those who can't spare the time for two weeks at sea we also offer a Taste of Salt Cruise giving skippers and crew a short sea passage from Lowestoft.
Northern Rivers Cruise Bure, Thurne and Ant
East Coast Cruise East Coast
Southern Rivers Cruise Yare & Waveney
The 2022 Southern Rivers Cruise by Tom Parkinson
The 2022 Southern Rivers Cruise was originally intended to include a regatta on Oulton Broad but that had to be cancelled due to the lack of replacement masts reducing the racing fleet. As it turned out, very little of the original plan survived and Michael Sparrow put together a new plan for the participants: Grebe, Owl, Quartet, Summer Wind, Wagtail and Zig Zag.
We gathered at the Anchorage on Sunday 31st July ready for the Breydon Crossing but Owl had a high engine temperature caused by weed in the water filter and Wagtail arrived with an engine temperature of 100 degrees for unknown reasons. We put departure back a day to give Bob and Judy Jarvey time to get their engine sorted and Sunday provided an opportunity for me to have a sail on Zig Zag and be reminded how fast and agile the Pegasus 700 is. Peter and Maggie passed on their way to the dismasting pontoon nearThree Mile House.
Unfortunately, Wagtail could not make it for theTuesday
so the rest of the fleet left at 06.30 on the falling tide.
Michael had discovered that Reedham Ferry Inn doesn't
serve food on Monday or Tuesday so we planned stop
at Reedham to get the masts up and the push on to
Surlingham Ferry for the evening meal.
Disaster struck for Summer Wind when the mast foot broke just short of upright, we believe due to a crosswind that took the mast sideways.
The mast was two-thirds down when there was a terrific bang and it fell sideways off the boat, just catching Michael and knocking him off his feet as it hit the ground. Fortunately, none of us was injured and the mast sustained no damage.
We reached Surlingham without any more disasters. The river was remarkably quiet with very little traffic so we could enjoy the sights of the Southern Broads. We were joined for the evening meal by Alison McDermid, Alison McTaggart, Sandy Mitchell, Bob and Judy Jarvey and Tracy and Martin Salisbury.
We had a lay-in and then headed for Loddon where we met Peter and Maggie who had their own adventure,
discovering at Langley Dyke that they had a bilge full of wate from the engine exhaust feed to a deteriorated gland on the transom. At Loddon, we were able to get into the basin together, but we lost the Commodore, who moored at Reedham Ferry and decided to go home the next morning having lost his glasses overboard. We spent the
evening moving chairs to keep in the shade whilst enjoying the usual beverages.
The plan for the morning was to get Summer Wind into the boatyard and remove the mast
as Michael was determined to finish the cruise as a motor boat.
We left Loddon and headed for the Waveney River Centre for a shower. We were surprised to be the only visitors in the basin and had a quiet day keeping cool and chilling out. The shock of the following morning was that the centre had no diesel until a new tank was installed and that there was none for sale at Oulton Broad. The
nearest was Beccles, Brundall or Burgh Castle. Fortunately, we all had enough to complete the journey, but members should be aware that access to diesel on the Southern Broads is limited.
Peter and Maggie left early the next morning to get the tide across Breydon and the rest of us went to Oulton Broad. Michael was leading the fleet and when we got near the marina appeared to go to one side to let Owl moor first. It transpired that he had run aground and had to be rescued by the harbour master. Never a dull moment!
Michael had arranged fora visit to the Lowestoft Cruising Club to see “Simply the Best” the Pegasus 800 made by Don Beales whilst he was at the Pegasus Yard, but now for sale. The boat was immaculate and looked as if it had come out of the manufacturing yard that day. Don gave us a description of how he built and registered her
to Lloyd’s standard. The Commodore’s eyes lit up when he saw the boat and by the time he got back to the Marina he was the new owner!
We had a super mooring at Oulton on some new finger pontoons that faced up the broad so we could see the whole broad and admire the sunset. In the evening we went to the Wherry Hotel where a meal had been very kindly arranged by Neil and Deirdre Sutherland and we were joined by them, Mark, Bob and Judy,
who all came by car.
As we were left with only three boats one of which was heading back to Loddon, Mike, Julia, Mim and I decided to leave the next morning to head back North. Once again, the river was empty, and we had a super crossing and moored at the Anchorage. Mike and Julia headed back to Upton while we ha a rest and later headed back to our mooring in Horning where we spent the night.
We would all like to thank Michael for the effort he put into planning the trip and all the mooring and meal arrangements he made, we hope that Summer Wind is up and running before too long. Wagtail is now also up and running again.
The 2022 East Coast Cruise by John Blackburne
With excellent weather forecast we set off to Great Yarmouth, but disaster
soon struck! Cho Cho San’s mast broke as Nigel and Simon prepared to
head out to sea.
Thankfully neither was hurt and with us circling, offering help, they managed to recover everything that had fallen overboard, and then sadly set off back to Boundary Dyke.Shocked and upset, Déjà Vu (Margaret & Jeff), Strega (Sue & Pio) and St Helen (John & Mark), unsure as to what to do, decided to sail to the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk and meet up with Michael and Lester in New Horizons to talk over the options.
We decided to continue on down the coast next day. A really good sail southwards to Shotley ensued and we were soon through the lock to our familiar moorings there.
This was followed by great day sails up the Stour to Mistley, once an important port, as well as across to Pye End and peaceful Hamford water in the Walton Backwaters, where we anchored for a relaxing lunch before returning to marinas at Levington and Woolverstone on the Orwell.
New Horizons managed to get a rope around her propeller but a quick lift out and some adjustments saw us all dressed overall in bunting the next day, ready to join 80 other boats for a Festival of the Sea and Jubilee Parade, with lots of fog horns and cheering, as we passed the dignitaries and
crowds at Ha’Penny Quay. Mike Perkins and Ray in Toodle Pip, from Levington, joined in the fun for a couple of days.
Lester & Mark now left and were replaced by Simon & Mick.Two nights in Ipswich and a good sail down to Tollesbury saw us in the Blackwater. The weather continued to be glorious for a BBQ, with Pat coming by car to join us for the evening.
An amazing sail next day with all four boats in line sailing past Brightlingsea entrance and then back to anchor off Osea Island for lunch and a swim, returning to Bradwell for the night. Then a headwind sail back to Shotley, followed all too soon by a sloppy, following wind sail back to Lowestoft (St Helen continuing to Great Yarmouth). With wonderful weather and some lovely sailing this was an East Coast Cruise to remember.