Old Gaffers Association

Season update September 2010

The summer began with some good weather and we took the opportunity to sail down to Kyson Point for a BBQ with friends. Tom took his Topper down as there was a good breeze.

During August we joined the August Old Gaffers Cruise. We took Blue Moon down river on the Friday night ready for an early tide. The wind blew so hard in the night we didn’t think we’d be going but dawn was calmer and we set off over the bar. There are no pictures as we were on our ear all the way down the coast, as this was a passage race we sailed down the river in gusty conditions down to the Ipswich Wet dock. The weekend was great fun with lots of regatta events, drinks in the penthouse and a BBQ. The wind would not relent however and most of the next few days sailing was altered. We ended our week in Levington Marina where Tom and I left George and Mark to sail her back round the coast. The wind was kind and they had a good passage home.

The 2010 season began with ‘Bluebell’ a very pretty Drascombe Lugger which Mark couldn’t resist. She was moored just off the DYC slip-way. Sailing friends of ours suggested that we joined the OGA (Old Gaffers Association) and we signed up to do the Walton on the Naze event. Towing Bluebell and taking a tent, we had a great weekend in the Walton Backwaters and completed a race around the island, with Tom sailing a Mirror ‘Orca’. The OGA is great for the boys as there are so many children of all ages. We met lots of fantastic characters and even won the pirate race to Stone Bank. Bluebell has now gone to her new owner.

We are very excited to be the new owners of Blue Moon, Mark’s parent’s Cornish Crabber. Having spent many happy holidays aboard her when the children were small we are very pleased to be able to keep her in the family. This weekend we took her down the River Stour to Wrabness for the Royal Hospital School Rally. We moored on a buoy off the beach for two nights. The Saturday saw us sailing across to the RHS for a superb school dinner. The children then raced the small Smacks Boats back across the river in time for the main races (Tom’s boat came 2nd). We entered the ‘Small boats, Shrimpers and Smacks boat’s race. The course took us about three hours in a good breeze, but despite our crack crew we lost the fleet, who were much quicker boats. However much to our surprise we won first in class! Sunday was a beautiful sunny day. Tom and Mark left at 6:30 for Tom’s paper round. Mark was back on board by 8:15 and we cast off. We motor sailed out past Harwich and down the coast, in company with Paul and Jo on Clytie. We crossed the Deben Bar at 12:15, eating strawberries and cream and sailed with all cloth back to the mooring.

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