I’m alive!! Yes I’ve survived another year of the dreaded Norfolk Sailing Weekend. I only got whacked on the head once by the boom and no-one fell in or got stranded on a mud bank this year. Amazing.
The winner of the Bowsprit Award for the helmsman inflicting most damage on his boat was Rick. The citation reads: “For not looking up and noticing the overhanging tree and so demolishing the mast top burgee(little pennant that indicates wind direction)”. Admittedly a minor offence, but somebody has to take the trophy home. Well done Rick.
This year we were forced to try a new base since our usual holiday let at Thurne is due for demolition, so we relocated to some very nice barn conversion cottages near Ludham on the river Ant. Consequently, we were able to explore waters that we hadn’t seen for many a long year. Probably not since our famous week aboard the Wherry Albion in 1973 where I fell backwards into Salhouse broad in spectacular fashion just as a big pleasure boat full of tourists with cameras was passing. It says something for the longevity of friendships that five of us sailing this weekend were on that trip 44 years ago.
Passing through Horning, I realised that I had forgotten that this is the posh end of the Broads. The riverside houses are large and expensive looking, many of them thatched
Some have expensive looking statuary like this magnificent looking wooden horse and foal
All this is a far cry from the humble little chalets that adorn the banks of the Thurne up at Potter Heigham. I can just imagine the conversation between residents of each at a party. “Oh, you have a riverside property too. Where is it?” - “Potter Heigham” – “Oh,” sniff, “how, um, quaint.”
We managed to sail all the way to Salhouse to revisit the scene of my historic backflip and moored up for lunch on Salhouse island where our boats lay empty like the Mary Celeste while everyone paid a visit to admire the bushes (or something like that). Here you see the very tree that won the award for Rick.
Probably the best bit of the weekend was the launch of the vinegar and baking soda Coke bottle rocket launched by Frank, who should stop smelling of vinegar after a month or two after his first attempt sprayed all over him before he could retire to a safe distance. It might be 44 years on but we’re still big kids at heart.