Summer BBQ - 20th July - Pyes Mill, Loddon Report
A fantastic turnout of 16 Boats (including 1 old member boat & a member's son's cuddy boat) + 3 cars.
41 members and guests attended the BBQ.
This was the middle of the late July "Heatwave", but no one explained that to East Norfolk!
The Friday was warm and sunny, with a nagging cooling NE wind, but both Saturday and Sunday were overcast and showery, still warm, but it dulled down the proceedings - and those blustery winds from the North Sea were moving the gazebo around a bit! The majority of the UK was basking in tropical conditions - just our luck not so in Loddon. ( mind you, on Monday, the sun and heat moved once again into Norfolk - causing us to moan that it was "too hot". Fickle lot us Brits?)
Many of the boats arrived on the Friday, worrying about the availability of moorings, but all settled in OK. In fact, "Sea Moon" was there on Thursday - first time we had seen Dave's boat since early last season. it looked pristine as well after nearly a year laid up.
Steve lives local, and so he left one car at Pyes Mill whilst going to his boat at Reedham in Angela's car. Thus he became our paperboy and "town" taxi service for the weekend - very useful - well done Steve! He was soon back with his boat, so a few of us put down our drinks and set-to with the task of erecting the gazebo - the usual fun & games! Where does a 2B pole go?
We then set up chairs and tables and continued to drink and chat away until teatime, welcoming the rest of the incoming boats that Friday afternoon - including "Nighthawk". Lovely to welcome back Colin and Chris, and also their boy, Jamie. ( who had followed along on his small cuddy cruiser - which was immediately claimed by Andrew as a "water-taxi" for the weekend?)
Steve went off for the fish n'chips, and, in the gorgeous sunshine, all sat around outside, eating and drinking until retiring into the gazebo for the rest of the evening.
Saturday morning, we sorted out the moorings ready for the few more boats that were due. Steve had gone for the newspapers, so it was a relaxing breakfast time - with "Ocean Way" arriving at 10.30 as the first of the Saturday boats. Then an old member turned up - Brian on "Playful Spirit" popped over from his mooring at Loddon and joined us for the weekend. Nice to see him and catch up on all his news. Jen and I then went into the town for the BBQ shopping and to check that the Kings Head pub was still in business ( yes it was - and Dave L. joined us for a very pleasant couple of lunchtime pints). It was a quiet afternoon back at the moorings, before starting the BBQ's at 5.30pm - between showers. Just then, new member Martin ("Eze-Life") came along with his son, John, - causing us a little grief in trying to reserve the very last mooring for him. Still, it was nice to meet Martin - one of the original founding members back in the early 90's. The river was very busy early evening, as the "Water Rats" jazz band was playing at the White horse pub that night - always a big crowd draw (in fact, Steve, Angela and Dave L. sneaked off for most of the evening to watch them)
Most members and their guests ate their food in the gazebo, then we quickly cleared up - shifted the chairs around to make some room for John and Bim. They entertained us for the rest of the evening - John on guitar and Bim on ukelele. It was great fun - lots of well-known ditties, and a few made-up ones as well! Jen joined in to lead us into some community singing, and a good time was had by all in that crowded tent. There was a bit of an interlude when a dogfight (literally) erupted outside but Brian (the Red Baron?) sorted them out - sustaining a bitten, broken finger in the process! Poor Brian was then subject to getting "the finger" from all who passed him for the rest of the weekend ( he's OK though - his local hospital sorted him out late on the Sunday when he got home, no lasting damage?)
The evening ended late - after too many bottles of wine - so I didn't surface until the early-birds had (thankfully) taken down the gazebo and packed it onto "Ocean Way" ready for the Funday in 2 weeks time.
Sunday was a peaceful day. Steve delivered the papers; members chatted and said their farewells; plenty of cups of tea and coffee. Some of the boats had decided to stay for a day or so more as the weather began to improve, others went off at various times - "Eze-Life" first to go just after 9am. Most of us left on the ebbing tide at lunchtime, and I was followed downriver by Andrew and Amy on "Halcyon". It was lovely on the Chet, so much so that I couldn't help prancing about on the bathing platform in front of "Halcyon" - culminating in a quick "moon" at them. Not a pretty sight! Hope they didn't have their camera handy?
The finish of another happy club event. Ken July 2013
Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club