It is frustrating to turn up at Hunters Yard in Ludham to find that there is just too much wind for us to sail Sundew, the Waveney One Design half-decker. It was like an end-of-summer day out for us all, but it was a wise decision. We have never sailed anything like it and although ae confident, it's simply not worth taking risks with your own safety, the safety of others and potential damage to valuable, classic boats.
We hung around hoping that the wind would drop a bit - it was gusting to about 26 knots - by walking around Ludham Marshes alongside Womack Water to the Thurne but, it was clear that the wind was picking up. We watched one experienced sailor struggle with a cabin yacht. It was an emotion of mixed envy, admiration and relief: it really was blowing and the sail was reefed in, but he was still heeling. It was going to be a day of constant sail trimming, all hands ot halyards and sheets with possibly not a moment's relaxation to enjoy the beautiful landscape.
That landscape is truly magnificent: how on earth does Norfolk get away with it, keeping it all so secret. The Broads has a bit of a reputation for being the place your grandmother would see as slightly dull, but even the first ten minutes revealed that Nelson's county is a fabulous place with just the right mix of classic English landscapes, chocolate-box villages and kiss-me-quick chavs on a weekend bender. All life seems to be here.
It's a bad sign when you start noting down the houses for sale. Time to go home.
Photos of AK Ilen ready for launch - Nigel Towse of Sherkin is a gentleman and scholar – I know this because he has very kindly sent me these great photos of the launch of the AK Ilen via my m...
3 days ago