July has been a very busy month for the trust. Having moved Maud onto the southern rivers – the first leg Womack to Acle then Acle to St. Olaves – we then set sail for Beccles, as part of the Beccles Charter Weekend, based at Hippersons yard. With a prime mooring spot it was lovely to be there amongst so many historic boats gathered together for the public to enjoy. On Sunday in particular people turned up in great numbers – with a hot day, good food, live music – it all added to the mix in what turned out to be a super weekend.
Leaving Beccles on July 10th we returned to Hardley Mill, taking a group part way to Somerleyton. That first leg was a great sail but in the afternoon the wind got up and from the wrong direction, together with the tide against us it made sailing tricky, but still skipper Kim guided Linda through the New Cut sailing “scandalised” (with the peak of the sail dipped). We arrived quite late at Hardley Mill.
The following weekend we sailed to the Ferry at Surlingham with new members from the friends of Hardley Windmill on board. At Surlingham Sonia, landlady of The Wherry House pub and her team made it a memorable weekend and looked after us so well – thank you Sonia for all you did.
While moored up Maud was open for viewing and, with the four up-stream short taster sailings we did over the weekend plus the return trip to Hardley Mill, it was financially the best weekend to date for the trust.
During the week ended 24 July Maud was open for viewing at Hardley Mill on two occasions, providing extra interest at their AGM and also at the Coldham Hall Sailing Club barbecue.
So the last weekend of the month is here and we are setting sail for home. Don’t worry, with the warm welcome we received and the new friends we have made we WILL be back next year.
article and photographs by Neil Thomas, July 2016.
On Saturday 7 May John Cook took the following four photos :
And Martin & Lynette Taylor took some photos on Sunday 15 May when six new members came for a short sail as part of a joint event with the Wind Energy Museum. Two mill enthusiasts had come from further away than the others, in fact from Florida. All look a bit chilly, but happy.
Well, who would believe such a change in the weather since our last trip on 17th April?
The 17th April photo of people on the foredeck showed us all in nice, warm clothing, but 3 weeks later there we were in brilliant sunshine, wearing tee shirts and even with a touch of sunburn by the end of the day.
We left Womack at about 10.30 and had a gentle sail round to Ranworth, arriving on the Broad sometime after 1pm for shore leave. Soon we heard the wonderful sound of the bells of the church ringing out for a wedding and learnt that Neil Thomas’s wife Nikki was one of the team ringing.
On the return trip to Womack we were helped by the tide but hindered by a head wind on some reaches. We left the sail up and used the engine in the tender to push us when needed. As often happens we had a fair wind on the last reach before the entrance to Womack and were sorry to have to lower sail.
There was an experimental element to the trip. We do have quite a few members who are dog owners and whose pooches are quite happy on board boats. So, with the consent of all those on board, Tom was allowed to bring Pip and Mollie with him.
Mollie the Collie (above) enjoyed all the attention from dog-loving members and didn’t tire of chasing a stick thrown a short distance for her in the hold.
Pip, a much larger dog, was quite happy as long as Tom wasn’t far away.
Other members will be sending photos and they will be put onto our website once received. Watch this space.
On a chilly but bright afternoon we made about a three-hour trip from Thurne up to St Benet’s Abbey and back. Six new members on board enjoyed a first experience of wherry sailing. Kim Dowe was our skipper and Neil Thomas (one of the WMT Trustees) was his understudy. Neil is taking every opportunity to learn from Kim as he hopes to graduate as a wherry skipper soon.
We had some good bird-spotting too. Two cranes were riding the thermals above our head for a while and a male marsh harrier gave us a fine display.
On the bank near St Benet’s members of a camera club were very excited to see a wherry out and about and promised to put some of their pictures of Maud on Facebook.