Summer BBQ - 15th July - Berney Arms Mill - Report
Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club
The 3rd. Near-Northern's Run
Brilliant turnout of 21 boats over the whole weekend, with 11 boats arriving on the Friday.
Many boats arrived around lunchtime on the Friday, others a little later.
Unfortunately it was still Spring tides, so once more the tide rise & fall was severe. Deja-vu on last year - high water around early afternoon – but the big fall by evening, again requiring adjustments of the mooring ropes on the Saturday, where the tide fell another foot or so from the Friday. Weird! As for the previous visits, I had cocked-up the tides again! Tide times are no problem to obtain for many years hence, but I can’t find predicted tidal heights as well, just the moon phases, so I have to guess? All by August 4th. this year – when we decide next year’s calendar.
Weather was warm, - cloudy with sunny outbreaks over most of the weekend and an offshore wind to keep the boats off the quay. Some light showers as well, but not enough to interfere with our BBQ’s on Saturday afternoon. Mind you, Sunday afternoon was entirely different – severe storms for an hour or so and strong easterly wind appearing from nowhere. Just as we were leaving. Very weird once more?
The remainder of the boats arrived during Saturday morning, when we had the first run-ins with the new cafe owner – who insisted on charging for use of his section of moorings. The extent of his moorings was debatable, even necessitating intervention of the BA rangers on “Spirit of Breydon”. His cafe was closed for repairs, aggravating the situation as no reimbursement was possible.
We eventually managed to all close up on the “free” B.A. and English Heritage mooring sections, but that left no room for other private or hire boats, and these either left hurriedly or stumped up the fee. Not a good advert for the new cafe?
Only one of our boats ended up paying, Delia and John’s new boat “White Mischief”, but they had brought along their family and were not staying long. Lovely to see them at their first outside event.
The Mill was closed to the public, including us, due to water ingress damaging the electrics last April.. Shame, as a few members had yet to see inside the Mill – have to wait for next year now?
This didn’t stop us erecting the gazebo on the lawn behind the Mill, and this was completed by lunchtime on the Saturday. The club flag was flown on the mound in front of the Mill – for all river users to admire! Saturday was a nice day of leisure, drinking and chatting along by the moored boats, before starting our BBQ’s at 5pm or so. Most had finished by 7pm and began taking up their positions in, what was to be, a crowded gazebo. Luckily it was a warm night, with a beautiful red,sunset, and many just sat outside to listen to the music.
Music was really good as usual, Bim on keyboards; John on guitar; Kath on added vocals; and star-turn Ivan singing towards the finish. Lots of dancing and singing from the audience – but still we didn’t find out who the feck was Alice? The drink flowed ; conversations flourished; another brilliant club night, finishing up around 11.30pm.
Sunday began early (for me at least) with the sounds of boats leaving. Members pitched in around mid-morning to get the gazebo dismantled, and the flagpole down, and packed quickly away before rains came. A few hardy members and their ladies organised a club ramble – hiking across the fields to visit the famous Berney Arms station halt. I was able to decline, what with dodgy hip and foot all weekend, and could sit in peace on the boat with a few more beers. They all returned within the hour, and then a few of us petrolheads watched the British Grand Prix on TV, before leaving around 3pm on the flood tide – in the teeth of a sudden gale-force storm! (luckily, short-lived)
Where did that spring up from?
Some boats were staying another night, and battened down the hatches to avoid the storm and enjoy another night at the lovely Berney Arms Mill moorings.
It had been another fantastic club weekend and again, in thanks, the club will be sending a donation cheque of £50 to English Heritage, who maintain the Mill.
The next 2017 event is the annual Funday and BBQ at Beccles yacht station on Saturday 5th.August.
See you all there!