After a lay-day in Cowes, we caught the ebb tide down to Yarmouth. This involved an early start (ropes off 7.30), but we got away in time to catch nearly two knots of West-flowing tide. This was just as well because the wind did not fill in very much, so we had a very quiet and gentle sail past Newtown Creek. As Cowes slipped behind us, we could see a number of other gaffers making their way to a large gathering in Yarmouth (“YoGaff”).
We trailed a buoy on a warp and Alice enjoyed a swim alongside the boat; although we were making over 3kts over the ground, speed through the water was slow enough for Alice to easily swim against. It became a gloriously warm and sunny day, as the sun broke through the early morning mist, so made for a most enjoyable sail. We arrived at Yarmouth with plenty of time before lunch for pottering around the beach; initially we were placed in a visitor berth, but we soon made arrangements to join in with the gaffer event. Formailities over, we wandered around the picturesque town, as the large fleet of gaffers assembled.
Over 100 boats were arriving, each decked out in colourful pennants. The central part of the harbour was taken over, with boats rafting 3 or 4 deep. The boats ranged from modern gaffers (our Cape Cutter, Crabbers and Shrimpers, Yarmouth) to genuinely old gaffers. Time for welcoming beers and a barbecue, followed by a perfect sunset and an early retirement before the events begin tomorrow.