It was suggested that this year the event be held later in May, as in the past, the earlier date in the month had been dogged by bad weather. This proved to be a wise move as the earlier available date was indeed beset with strong winds and would have been abandoned. On the day, 9 boats enjoyed some grand sailing in near perfect sailing conditions. It was pleasing to see some of the more hesitant sailing crew out over the bar and enjoying the day… The channel out of the Deben is slightly changed to last year but the depth of water is improved. The up-to-date sketch map is available on-line at www.eastcoastrivers.com.

As always, this cruise is an opportunity to have a bit of a shakedown, check that all the gear works and confirm that the reefing lines are threaded in the correct way! It is also an occasion when those skills involved in dinghy handling and preparation are put to the test. I must confess that the previous weekend, I had a ‘learning’ moment concerning the dinghy. I found that with a fully laden boat, it is best not to leave the oars behind as it makes for difficulties when leaving Ramsholt slipway at low water plus the potential for disaster should the engine fail. I will not forget in the future. Other memorable moments arose on the day. Having briefed the newcomers to the event on the procedure for picking up a buoy, they found an unusual situation that I personally had not encountered before. The pickup buoy and strop had wound it self around the large marker buoy and would not unravel with a boat hook. Fortunately, I was on hand in my hard dinghy so was able to unwind the coil and pass up the strop, yet another lesson!

SAD’S were enjoyed in pleasant sunshine followed by a meal at the Ramsholt Arms. 27 members enjoyed the occasion and it pleasing to see new faces around the table.

The trip home on the Sunday was testing for those returning to the River Orwell. The wind piped up from the Southwest to near gale force and gave Expedious (John Crowe & Paul Shaw) and Nelli Kim (Derek Downer) a wet and lumpy passage home. Hotspur (Richard & Christine Bull) delayed their departure until 0400 on the following day and had an enjoyable sail home in calmer conditions. Suffolk Legend (Sheila & Norman Craig) opted for the Tidemill and returned to SYH in more favourable conditions!

In summing up I would say that the Deben Discovery lived up to it’s name and whilst it was not too adventurous, it proved most enjoyable.

Participants were Gansa, Kalypso, Suffolk Legend, Rully Blue, Islander, Susanna, Nellie Kim, Expedious, Myrtle & Amy.

Tony P