This is the first event I have organised for the Westerly East Coast Group and I am so pleased it was such a success! Burnham Yacht Harbour was extremely accommodating, making sure all eight boats were on the same pontoon and quite close together, providing us in advance with our berthing positions and giving us a generous discount.
The weekend got off to a flying start on June 27th with a beautiful warm Friday evening spent aboard Snow Queen for refreshments and a chance to get to know one another. The WOA Banner duly arrived during the evening brought by Nick van den Brul, who made a special detour on his way home from work – thank you Nick. Well, who could blame him for breaking his monotonous car journey to join us for a beer and chat in the tranquillity of the Marina?
Boats seemed to be arriving all evening, and somehow we managed to bring out 'round two' of the refreshments. It was something of a coincidence that of eight boats, four were Griffons and this gave the owners the opportunity to show off and compare their boats, their handy work and expertise! Almost too late to get a table for dinner, some of us retired to the Swallow Tail restaurant, whilst others retired to their boats for home cooked food and a well-earned rest!
Saturday was a chance to rest and take in the beautiful morning. Some mooched around the shops and cafes of Burnham while the more energetic amongst us tested the Crouch footpaths, which I must add are very peaceful and full of wild life.
As the evening turned out to be rather inclement, I provided a taxi shuttle for those stranded by the rain. We all met in the bar of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club for pre-dinner drinks at 7pm. Those who had not experienced our Yacht Club before, were smitten by the beautiful views from its balcony and, even though there had been some earlier heavy rain, we were blessed with an amazing sunset. As Gillian and I are members of the Yacht Club, we arranged for the dinner to be a joint event with the RCYC Cruiser Fleet which gave everyone a change to swap stories and experiences. The evening was a huge success and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. An delicious three course meal was beautifully served by a very professional, friendly team, and I cannot thank the Club enough for helping me with my preparation beforehand.
In all, eight boats participated: Snow Queen, Falcon, Pure Joy, Blue Oyster, Westerly Way, Hobo, Bright Star and Astrid Therese and two people joined us by car for the dinner on Saturday as, unfortunately their crew was taken ill shortly before the rally. It was particularly refreshing to welcome a family who brought along their twodelightful children. Good to see some younger members amongst us!
Sunday morning arrived all too soon and some boats bade farewell to Burnham. Those of us who remained passed a relaxing day.
On Monday, with little wind and an overcast sky, we headed home to North Fambridge accompanied by Falcon and Blue Oyster who spent their final evening together.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the weekend rally and we hope we can arrange a similar event in 2015 - perhaps we will see more boats joining us.