Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club
This was a late change of venue from the Berney Arms Mill, due to the mill being under restoration and subsequently the rear meadow being fenced off. The moorings were open but we had nowhere to put up our gazebo!
We didn’t have Loddon on this year’s calendar and so we decided to change to there, but unfortunately it was a bit of a squeeze as we shared the moorings with another boat club, although 9 boats managed it (thanks to Steve’s exacting harbourmaster activities) – with another 2 of our boats preferring the Basin. The local Broads ranger also helped by earlier persuading 3 or 4 of the regular “continuous cruisers” to relocate for the weekend, leaving just one, who was no bother having moored out of the way - at the northern end of the moorings.
The weather was glorious, hot and sunny all weekend – but an inconvenient gusty wind played havoc as we struggled to erect the gazebo on the Saturday afternoon, with the velcro straps tearing off everywhere.
Most boats arrived on the Friday, with only Dave & Dawn coming along early Saturday morning.
Saturday begun with members sitting around in the warmth, a few going into town early for provisions, others chatting to members from the other boat club – “Reedham Smartset Boaters” they were known as, with some recognisable faces from the Surlingham Ferry pub. It was all very cordial, both clubs helping to move boats around to accommodate all, and luckily they only had 8 boats in attendance.
The (un)official club ramble to Loddon began about midday, some going the long way via the road – others going across the dry fields – but all meeting up at the church. Also met up there with Peter and Bob – who were on their bikes, on way to see club members at Pyes Mill. The shorter route, via the boatyard, was apparently impassable due to a broken bridge! Once in town, a little shopping was done before meeting at the Kings Head for the usual lunchtime drinks. We returned to the boats about 2pm, to find Bob and Norma had arrived by car to visit everyone and have a chat and a drink. We then began putting up the gazebo, supervised by Dave and Dawn, with everyone helping – including Zeus the dog. Not so easy in the strong southerly afternoon breeze, especially as the side panels appeared to have shrunk, - but an hour and 20 or so cable ties later, it was done. It was too hot to go inside the gazebo, so we milled about outside. admiring the 2 smaller pop-up gazebos that the other club were using! We were too tired to even put up the flagpole and fly our flag in the face of those other moorers.
Time for beers and to lay out our BBQ’s, beginning cooking about 5.30. Ron and Joan came by car to join us. Some used the new metal BBQ stands provided, others cooking and eating by their boats or near to the gazebo. It was a beautiful late afternoon, very warm with a lighter wind, perfect for our third Club BBQ of the year. Bob and Norma had left before the start of the BBQ’s and Ron and Joan left just after the cooking and clear-up. The rest of us had finished after 7pm and began to get ready for the evening’s music entertainment in the gazebo, which was began by John at 8.30pm. Not a packed “house” this time, which was a good thing as it was very warm in the gazebo – even with the “doors” wide open.
Music was good as usual, Bim this time on ukulele; John on guitar; both sharing vocals; finishing up at 11pm or so before we cleared up and retired to our beds. A lovely evening.
Another lovely sunny day, but still that strong southerly wind. A few of us were up early at 8am and turned our boats around on their ropes – to face down the Chet and the way out. The gazebo was dismantled and packed away by 10.30, coming down a lot quicker than it went up! Steve and Angela left early, as did Bim and Jackie and Malcolm and Carolyn, with the rest of us drifting off later, after lunch, on the ebbing tide.
It had turned out to be a good meeting after all, despite the late change of venue and the worry of mooring space availability.
The next 2018 event is the annual Funday and BBQ at Beccles yacht station on Saturday 4th.August.
See you all there!