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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Wandering along – Report on two recent cruises

Two cruises were recently held for dinghy sailors from WYC, to the Kings Hall in Herne Bay on Saturday 7th July, and to Shipwrights Arms at Hollowshore near Faversham on Thursday 26th July. The next cruise is planned for Saturday 11th August, so contact Richard Maltby if you'd like to take part. Click below to read reports from both cruises provided by Ian Hay. Photos by Andrea Oliver.

Cruise to Kings Hall, Herne Bay, Saturday 7th July
What a day to pick to do a cruise. Football coming home with England playing Sweden, and I was assured by all the apps in the world that good, strong favourable winds would whizz us back for at least the second half. Richard, John Berrington, Ian, Kate, Fef, Dave Bardwell and Ian and Glenda made up the Wandering fleet. It was a great sail out with the wind on our port close quarter, a steady breeze and the ebb tide under the lee bow. Skirting all the “shallows and miseries” of the falling tide, leaving Whitstable Street well to starboard, we sailed far enough out to sea for the vague outline of the Kent shore almost to disappear in the haze.
On landing at the beach between the groynes by the King’s Hall almost at the point of low tide I was expecting far more mud. I was pleased to find that at Herne Bay the sea bed below the shingle is sand rather than the romantic, sunset soaked mud flats which adorn Whitstable. Our initial sorrow at being abandoned by our leader Richard Maltby for the club race was made good by his keeping his (seemingly vague) promise to catch us up, which he did arriving with John just in time before the tide turned and the wind died. Fantastic.
Needless to say the voyage back was not blessed with strong winds. Despite the flood tide in our favour and hoisting spinnakers we took longer than coming. Actually with the tide at times running faster than the the stalling wind, collapsing spinnakers did as much to hamper as to help with progress. Mercifully the breeze picked up towards the end and we returned with the last 15 minutes of England’s quarter final victory to enjoy. For all that a great day.

Cruise to the Shipwright’s, Thursday July 26
A steady wind meant an uneventful and beautiful clear passage. One of the great delights of sailing together as a fleet of small boats, sails all set against a blue sky and sandy beaches, is the company of the occasional seal. As we approached the Swale Alex Grantham appeared on his beautiful looking RIB, dressed for the Mediterranean, with a white peaked cap pointing the way to the Shipwright’s Arms.
With a strengthening breeze we rushed in to our mooring, in our case very rapidly as the main refused to drop. However Kate laid expertly along the shore.
A beer, sandwiches, conversation on the bank and then the urgency of a falling tide meant a reasonably rapid departure, but the wind strongly opposed our efforts to sail away. Various methods to leave the lee shore were applied. Ian and Glenda rowed across the creek and rigged their boat on the windward bank. Peter paddled out in his Miracle and made fast to a buoy. Richard engined out to another buoy. Although his engine tangled with a mooring line he also got away. Kate and I tried to paddle out but getting nowhere Alex kindly towed us out - twice. The first attempt being just a practice run I think.
We were off and a hard time we had of it. The return passage was an exciting experience. High winds against tide meant big waves breaking over boats and the repeated drenching of their occupants. Tacking right out to the Pollard buoy and then as far in as possible. Two boats went briefly aground. Kate helmed our boat into the waves holding the close-hauled tack while I kept the boat upright by leaping about. Ian and Glenda again showed their seamanship by reefing the main in mid Swale and had the most comfortable sail home. Peter and Dave left all standing. Fef showed us how to do it by keeping closer to the channel and use the fastest tidal flow. All were safely gathered in without mishap and the Honourable 33rd came 33rd. Suitably exhilarated by her first experience of sailing in a cruise, Andrea threatened to come again.
Ian Hay