This second annual gathering of Cape Cutter 19’s is taking place on the Suffolk coast and rivers. Having spent Saturday at Suffolk Yacht Harbour getting five boats launched, to add to the two already intend water and a local boat which came to join us, we already had the largest ever gathering of this type of boat.
Our first cruise was from SYH at Levington on the Orwell to Waldringfield on the Deben. So it was that 8 boats (Aurora, Mary Ann, Ladybird, Halcyon, Sapphire, Samphire, Meisje and Irene) took the last of the ebb down the Orwell and beat through the river mouth. The boats made a fine sight, comprising red, white and blue hulls, tan and white sails, UK and South African-built boats. The weather was fine, with a SE F3. We made excellent progress on main and staysail, though others had Yankee too.
Once onto the open sea it was a brisk run to the safe water mark at Woodbridge Haven. We dropped our sails and motored into the Deben mouth carried in by the flood. With the wind in a favourable direction, many of the others kept their sails up through the entrance. At Felixstowe ferry, we picked up moorings and had lunch.
During this time, we were joined by a local boat Bella Mia, whose owners had only days before launched the boat for their first time.
Our lunch break was punctuated by a rain shower, but it passed quickly and slipped the mooring and moved up the river Deben on staysail only, with both wind and tide behind us. This was a very leisurely passage between fields and trees through the beautiful Suffolk countryside.
As we passed Ramsholt, we were then joined by another local boat, Capers and history was made, as the gathering of Cape Cutters passed double figures and ten boats sailed together along the river. We soon arrived at Waldringfield and were shepherded to moorings by Mark Barton the friendly local boatyard owner, who also lent us tenders to row ashore.
Graham saving us a row
The trip was easy enough at that time, as the tide was high and the was no current, though we cheated and accepted an offer of a lift on Bella Mia’s tender, which is equipped with an outboard. We had a most enjoyable evening in the waterside Maybush pub, which was concluded with an interesting row back to the boats. We had two tenders shared between the nine boats on which crews were sleeping, and the tide was ebbing fairly swiftly at that point in the evening.
17nm travelled at and average speed of 3.5kt.