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
Cruising in company
The 2023 East Coast Cruise by Mark Collins & Nigel Wordingham
This year’s East Coast Cruise was a great success, with seven boats taking part in a voyage planned by John Blackburne. Saturday 4th June saw St Helen, Strega, Cho Cho San, Caballero, Simply the Best and Déjà Vu demasting at the Anchorage and heading downriver, to be joined in Lowestoft by New Horizons the following day. The late morning departure to catch the low tide threatened to clash with the Three Rivers Race, but we were past their final mark at Stokesby in good time and, in the event, most competitors chose the Thurne for their opening gambit.
Having been warned by RNSYC of unpleasant sea conditions at the entrance to Lowestoft Harbour, the decision was taken to travel across Breydon Water and spend the night in the vicinity of Oulton Broad for a passage through Mutford Lock the following afternoon.
After remasting, some dined at the splendid Hatfield Hotel and the rest at the RNSYC, where we all spent the night.
The next morning, we headed down to Suffolk Yacht Harbour on the Orwell, with a good north-easterly breeze. The wind direction and rather “disorganised” waves saw us relying on genoas rather than mainsails to avoid gybes, but nonetheless, with a strong tide behind us, we all got there in record time.
We spent two nights at SYH, meeting up with previous members Bob & Ann Gant. The lightship being closed, we got our steps up with an excellent walk to The Ship at Levington. We also had a good sail on the River Stour, passing the Antarctic exploration ship MV Sir David Attenborough. We practisedpicking up buoys at Wrabness Point, some (notably Cho Cho San) needing more attempts than others. Two warm, sunny days at Woolverstone ensued. The restaurant was closed after a fire, but we enjoyed a pilgrimage through the woods to Pin Mill’s Butt and Oyster.
Friday saw us sightseeing on the Orwell before mooring up at Ipswich, where Simply the Best developed a fuel blockage, skilfully sorted out by John and Pio. These sea journeys are notorious for shaking up fuel sediment , and it’s always a good idea to change the filter before leaving! Caballero, above left, showed us how to be prepared.
We said goodbye to New Horizons, who returned safely to Lowestoft, welcomed some new crew members coming in by car and train, visited the local supermarket for supplies, and planned the second week’s adventures. On Saturday evening , we enjoyed the Chinese buffet restaurant, which had just reopened.
Brightlingsea was Sunday's destination, at the mouth of the River Colne. We received a warm welcome into the harbour – much better than being out on the trots and having to rely on water taxis. Also, 5- star bathrooms! We explored this lovely little town, which boasts an excellent chip shop, chandler and sailing club.
We were soon off again, to Bradwell Marina on the River Blackwater, where former pirate ship Radio Caroline, aka MV Ross Revenge is moored mid-river. Radio Caroline North still broadcasts at weekends and a group of enthusiasts keeps her going. On our second day at Bradwell John led us on a trip to Osea Island where we practiced anchoring in rather choppy waters for lunch amongst the lovely scenery. In the evenings we discovered the Green Man pub only a few minutes’ walk from the marina.
Wednesday 14th saw us back at our old haunts in Shotley and a welcome meal at The Shipwreck, praying for a change of wind direction for our trip back up the coast. But no such luck - the north - easterly was stubbornly on the nose the whole day once we left the harbour.
Luckily, we again benefitted from a healthy tide, but we had to motor all the way to Great Yarmouth for demasting. Strega showed us how to tackle the waves! At Yarmouth, the tide was just turning in our favour for the passage up the Bure to the Anchorage.
It was good to be home after a long and tiring day, but we all agreed it was a great trip in good company and well - planned by John, with special thanks to Jeff for getting newcomers up to speed with Navionics (and his magic tricks!), Pio for his engineering skills and everyone for great social events and teamwork.
The 2023 Northern Rivers Cruise by Martin Salisbury
Monday evening 8th May, saw the fleet, comprising of Mim and Tom on Owl, Judy and Bob on Wagtail, Alison and Florence aboard Tranquility and Tracey and Martin on Breeze, assemble at the Anchorage ready for the Northern rivers cruise.
On Tuesday morning Tracey & Martin departed for Potter Heigham for a quick repair with the others going to Stokesby for lunch. It was a pleasant sail tacking to PH and a delicious meal.
The afternoon brought a terrific thunderstorm, and torrential rain. The wind dropped and we were forced to motor back the Anchorage. We all ate on our boats in the evening, and enjoyed a chat and wine in the clubhouse.
On Wednesday morning we all moved off to South Walsham, a useful wind saw us arriving early afternoon, in glorious sunshine. It was Mim’s birthday, which called for cake and wine on the bankside where we sang Happy Birthday.
James and his friend Steve sailed down from Stalham on Dayspring arriving just in time for the wine. Unfortunately at about 1700 the heavens opened again and we were forced to retreat to our boats out of the rain and thunder.
Thursday morning brought us lovely sunshine and had a sail on South Walsham Broad before heading off to Salhouse. James and Steve had to depart for home, via the Malsters for a pub lunch, so we said goodbye.
From South Walsham the fleet headed to Horning in hot sun and welcome wind. We decided not to continue to Wroxham. As we left Horning the dark ominous clouds gathered and it rained heavily all the way to Salhouse. Where we moored up and ordered fish and chips for our evening meal.
On Friday morning, after a chat with everyone, it was decided to call it a day as the weather was cold and raining again. After farewells we all departed for home returning in the evening to meet up at the Kings Arms in Ludham for an evening meal.
It was a lovely cruise, but unfortunately the weather defeated us in the end. Thanks to all for coming along!
Programme for the 2023 Northern Rivers Cruise
Tuesday 9th - Saturday 13th May 2023
Members will notice that the start date has slipped by a day from the notice in the Red Book. The reason is simple – the Coronation weekend and Bank Holiday have been announced, Saturday 6th May to Monday 8th May, and members may have other plans. You can easily mix and match. Perhaps gather at the Anchorage on Monday evening for a relaxed start the next day, or join the fleet on Tuesday.
A straw poll of members recommended a holiday cruise with time to see the sights. Some rest and recuperation as well as shaking out the sails and running the engine after a cold and wet winter. No bridges for hectic mast lowering and raising, and plenty of relaxation built in. A good introduction to local hostelries, with plenty of social time built in.
Monday 8th May
Arrive at the Anchorage for an overnight mooring if you wish. Eat on board or walk to the Bridge Inn for a meal and a drink. The Club gas BBQ is also available.
Anchorage to Potter Heigham public moorings, either Martham Bank or Repps Bank, for a walk into Potter and lunch. Return to the Anchorage for overnight mooring. Curry or Chinese takeaway can be ordered from Acle and delivered to Acle Bridge, or cook on board.
Anchorage to St Benet’s for coffee and walking tour. Across to Fleet Dyke moorings for lunch on board, a sail around South Walsham Broad and/or a walk to South Walsham Marshes or Pilson Green.
Stay bankside or drop mud weight overnight. Evening meal on board.
South Walsham to Wroxham and moor at Broads Tours. Evening fish and chips and a pint perhaps? Buy provisions at Roys in Wroxham as needed, and see the sights with the holidaymakers.
Wroxham to Ranworth Island and moor for lunch. Passage ashore by one of our motorboats to tour NWT wildlife walkway and visit St Helens Church. Eat on board in the evening or over at the Maltsters. There will be a charge for overnight mooring.
To the River Thurne for moorings at Womack Water (Hunters Yard for yachts and public moorings for motorboats), for coffee or lunch at the Kings Arms, Ludham. Return to the Anchorage for overnight mooring if you wish or depart for home.
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 water 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.