The title of this year’s rally was four Essex rivers, and we did indeed sail on at least four rivers. The tides were not right for a trip higher up the Colne (though Tystie made it to Waldringfield) and it’s a challenge to move within the Blackwater, as all of the marinas are tidal. However in our six sailing days, the fleet sailed more than 130nm – a creditable total for a nineteen foot boat.
We had our share of minor mishaps, but that all adds to the challenge of the occasion and makes the trip even more memorable. The benefit of sailing in company is that we all keep an eye on each other and are available to lend a hand when needed. Some of these hiccups were immortalised by very perceptive caricatures drawn by Bob Steele during the course of the trip. I’ll let you guess the nature of the mishaps from the content of the cartoons…
The Class Association has a trophy which was kindly donated by Cape Cutter Marine, the builders of this wonderful boat. The trophy is awarded for the best seamanship, and this year was awarded to Katie and Alistair Bell, of Tystie. Over the week they consistently showed us all how to sail fast and took so much pleasure in sailing all the way, where others (myself included) would have fired up the outboard. In fact, suffering from engine trouble, Tystie’s crew made it look effortless to sail right up to the pontoon.
Here is a summary of the trips logged by Aurora:
Friday 24th May – Return trip from Fambridge to Burnham-on-Crouch – 13.4nm
Saturday 25th May – Return trio from Fambridge to Brandy Hole – 4.3nm
Sunday 26th May – Fambridge – Roach (Potton Creek) – Burnham-on-Crouch – 24.4nm
Monday 27th May – Burnham-on-Crouch to Tollesbury – 22.7nm
Tuesday 28th May – Tollesbury to Brightlingsea to Heybridge – 24.4nm
Wednesday 29th May – Heybridge to Maldon to Pyefleet – 19.0nm
Thursday 30th May – Pyefleet Channel to Brightlingsea – 1.9nm
Friday 31st May – Brightlingsea to North Fambridge – 28nm