On Friday 28th July Maud, skippered by Jeff Stamps, made the journey from Cantley on the Yare to the Forsythe Wherry Yard at Womack, Ludham. Images by Adrian Wincup

Below is Jeff’s report on the trip.

When we arrived at Cantley there was little wind and the tide was just on the turn. Slack water at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station was to be at about 13.30.

With a full complement, we left at 10.15 and with the wind SW and gradually increasing the members and crew hoisted a full sail.  With the wind mostly off the beam or astern it made for very pleasant sailing.

Members and crew alike were given the opportunity to take the helm in the warm steady breeze.

Reedham railway bridge is one of the two bridges on the Broads which will (usually) open to allow tall vessels to pass between the piers but relies on train schedules to make it possible.  I had already made phone calls to the bridge operators (who were most helpful) and I was advised that the bridge was certain to be open at 11.30 – but if the trains were late………..

As we approached Reedham, and being ready to drop the rig, we saw trains pass in both directions.  A quick call to the bridge, ‘I can see you, I’m now just opening.’

A rare delight, we sailed through Reedham bridge with full sail on a following wind.  What a pity that we couldn’t see what we looked like from the bank.

The voyage to Breydon was uneventful, still with a soldier’s wind and swapping helms on the way.

We arrived at Berney Arms about 15 minutes early, so halfway across it was decided to scandalise the sail to take off a bit of way.  Members standing off in the tender had plenty of opportunity to take photos.

Arrival at GYYS was at 13.15 and we hoisted the rig as we were passing the moored boats at the yacht station.

There were only one or two areas where it was necessary to use the tender to push us along against the breeze until we reached Acle and had to lower for the bridge.

Hoisting after Acle we romped all the way back to Ludham only to find our way into the shed barred by Albion. She had been out on the same day and was not yet back in the shed, so Nigel, who was on the helm, suggested that we take a turn round the island to kill time, returning in time to put Maud to bed after a long, but most rewarding and enjoyable, day.

And comments from members who enjoyed the trip:

From Debbie:

It was my first trip on Maud and initially I was a little daunted about such a long day on the water, what would I do?  But there wasn’t a dull moment – either something interesting, exciting or even calming was happening all the time and it went in a flash. 

There were many special moments but for me seeing a Bittern in flight, gracefully going past the boat (I had never seen one before and had only moments before said as much to Penny when she encouraged me to get my binoculars out), was just unbelievable. Watching Simon using the quant to take Maud round the head of the island on Womack water, such a skill. Bacon butties were gorgeous, and how Nicki managed to make them and coffees on the go was astounding.

Everyone, crew and members, were friendly and shared information about the broads and beautiful Maud. Such a special day. Thank you.

From Simon’s email:

… what an amazing trip…first of all seeing the Cantley sugar beet factory close up, such a serene trip down the river towards Breydon, going past all the various mills in various conditions, and being told by one of the crew the history of the Rivers and the names of the inlets and the work each Mill did, and the areas we were in, absolutely enthralling…..

… When we got to Breydon, this was an absolute dream for me, as the last time I had gone on a boat trip across Breydon the weather was atrocious and the only dry person was the Captain under his cover! This day, the weather was stunning, sails were full, and we could see flocks of Golden Plover, Curlews by the dozen, a few Knots and Sanderlings on the mud flats, unworried about this huge black sail going past them…..not forgetting the bacon sarnies and coffee and cake that was coming from the hatch in a continuous run.

… Thank you all for the chance to be on this trip, it has been on my Bucket list since I joined the Maud trust.