Met for lunch in the Falgate at Potter Heigham as usual. All members present despite the ban on flying caused by the Icelandic volcano eruption. Alec had traveled over from Germany by car a few days in advance and so avoided the queues building up for the cross channel ferry. He had been staying near Mike D so they traveled together. Pete & Denis live closetogether so they shared transport and Brian had driven from Sheffield. For Mike C and me the drive up to Norfolk had been easy on a bright and sunny morning, but with practically no sign of wind.
The landlady at the Falgate had been forewarned of our arrival and had remembered who we were from last year – is that a good sign? Well is seemed that it was as we had a warm welcome. The pub was decorated throughout with England flags, T shits and so forth ready for St George’s day, the following Friday. There are to be big celebrations and live music. Could be a good way to finish our week as the King’s Arms in Ludham, the nearest pub to the yard, is now run for young people’s taste with loads of lager and loud pop style music.
After an excellent lunch we drove down to the yard with the sun shining out of a clear blue sky and a southerly force 2 blowing gently. Having loaded, chatted to the yard people, and set the boat up for the sail we set off for the Lion at Thurne. I found Hustler 2’s performance disappointing. Normally she is no slouch and can keep up with the best of the others, but not this afternoon. The sail looked tired and had many horizontal creases above the boom and was looking generally ‘soft’ even if correctly set. We noted that the cockpit floor has been renewed with wood block lookalike non slip vinyl tile finish and, as it still looked brand new, thought that this may be Hustler 2’s first outing of the season.
We sailed on past Lion Dyke and round Windy Corner wher we saw a boat moored up that was well on course to win the ‘Ugly Boat’ award for 2010. Then we turned back to moor for the night in Lion Dyke. Approaching the bank I put over the helm but she refused to make the final turn up into the wind. Fortunately friends were on hand and we landed safely. Something did not seem quite right.
The afternoon had been warm and we had been sailing in short sleeved shorts. Quite unusually warm for a late April afternoon. A glass or two of Woodforde’s Wherry and Adnam’s Broadside were enjoyed, along with an evening meal. On returning to our boats we wrapped up warmly as the temperature had dropped considerably and the night sky was completely clear.
The moon was in the first part of its crescent phase with a blaze of stars spread across the heavens. A wondrous sight, unfortunately lost to us when in the cities.