Sabrina II 2014
River cruiser: Sabrina 2 (2014)
Posted by John Holmes, 3rd June, 2014
Now I've had some sleep and feel a tad more human here's Sabrina 2's 3RR .......
Arrived at Horning Friday afternoon and was welcomed alongside by the crew of Brilliant and their mother ship Broad Ambition. Apart from Peter I've never met them before although have read their various tales on this forum. Their combined hospitality is to be recommended, on Saturday morning I took up an invitation by Griff to join them for cooked breakfast which was only spoiled by my crew turning up half way thro', sorry I couldn't help with the washing up but a mutiny was in the air!!!
Anyway that avoided, on to the race, as you all know very light airs and foul tide to start, got over the line only about a minute late and then joined the rest of the first cruiser start jockeying for position down the street, I think at one point I was actually in front but only briefly.
By Cockshoot a few of us had managed to get thro the log jam of dinghies and were clear. Did Ludham first although it did take us nearly 20 mins to actually round the buoy, even 'supporting' friends on the bank had run out insults before we were off again.
Down Fleet Dyke to South Walsham next without any problems, back across the broad, token placed and back towards the dyke, we managed to negotiate the dreaded wind shadows at the entrance well and were soon back at The Bure.
Now the decision whether to stick to the original plan of Hickling then Acle or the other way around. We had reached Thurne Mouth much later than planned so working tides etc we decided to do Acle first so off down The Bure. Sharing duties we managed to all get fluids drank and food eaten when en route to Acle and back and made it back to Thurne Mouth without trouble.
So up towards Potter and beyond to Hickling, very few other boats about and a relatively decent breeze took us up to the bridge, lowered the rig a bit early so paddling / quanting further than we should have done with the last of the ebb was hard work, apparently there were still people on the bridge cheering but I was too busy paddling to notice but friends moored between the bridges cheered us on!! Rig up and on the move, a few problems tho' meant another RCC got past us but soon we were under sail again and caught them up in Heigham Sound and we went across in tandem. Water levels not a problem this year and into Hickling. Found the buoy and turned back but this is where it went a bit wrong. It was pitch black by now and I completely lost my bearings and went out of the channel and hit the putty. 10 mins of swishing rudder and weight transfer we were back inside the posts, Thank you to the guard ship crew who came over but we declined their assistance. Safely back down to the Thurne but with the flood now getting stronger and the wind having dropped completely we only managed to make to the end of Martham Boats moorings before we were going backwards so a handy piece of rope on someone’s bungalow front was utilised.
There we sat and managed to warm up a bit for about 2 hours until the tide changed. Just getting light but misty we drifted down to the bridge, rig down, under both bridges (our turn to shout insults at our sleeping friends) and rig back up, seemed easier this time, it was really a drift with the tide until Womack went a breeze came up and soon we were at Thurne Mouth, a good feeling that 'all' we had to do was head for Horning when other boats around us still had to do Acle.
Once in the trees past water works what had been a relatively steady breeze became very light and flukey, with a foul tide not helping it was very challenging getting round Cockshoot, The Ferry and into The Street.
With a whole gaggle of other cruisers appearing behind us I was worried we would be swallowed up but we managed to find a favourable breeze which took us over the line at 10:06 hrs !!!!
I'd to thank again the crew of Brilliant and Broad Ambition for their hospitality.
More importantly THANK YOU to my crew, Malcolm, Robin, Tine and Claire for their efforts and for suffering the cold and damp and a slightly tetchy helmsman. I should also say a big thank you to Sue for the supplies.
Next year........shoot me if I ever suggest it again!!!
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