East Coast Branch

Event Reports 2015

30th Anniversary Celebration

What a superb way to end the sailing season! To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the MOA the East Coast Branch held its laying up lunch onboard HQS Wellington moored on Embankment on the river Thames. HQS Wellington has quite a history and is also the livery hall for the Honourable Company of Master Mariners – how very appropriate! The 64 members who had managed to book early enough to attend eagerly arrived on the Embankment where they saw the MOA Battle flags flying high from the masthead of HQS Wellington, with the London Eye and the Shard as backdrop.

drinks 2A champagne reception on the quarterdeck allowed everyone to mingle and look at the impressive view across the river with all the various craft passing back and forth. Once everyone was gathered and ready the big brass ship’s bell was rung for lunch. There followed an excellent meal beautifully presented and served, with wines to match; special mention must be made of the cinnamon ice cream that accompanied the poached pear with white chocolate crème-anglais and raspberries that was the dessert, served with port! We dined in the wood panelled Court room with all its paintings and silverware treasures, which all contributed to a wonderful atmosphere, with an ever rising volume of chatter and laughter! DSCN0801-webJeremy Batch, who ran the lock at Limehouse for many years, gave us a most entertaining and informative talk about various invaders, explorers and shipbuilders the Thames has known over the centuries. Some members then went to visit the London RNLI boathouse at Westminster for a tour while the rest explored HQS Wellington and admired its wonderful collection of marine antiques, including priceless paintings and model ships. Built in 1933 HQS Wellington is the last surviving member of the Grimsby class of sloops, which served valiantly during the Second World War mostly as a convoy escort vessel. (Appropriately again, Grimsby is part of the East Coast area and we had 2 members with us from Grimsby!)   Everyone seems to have thoroughly enjoyed the day and left (eventually!) with happy memories of a truly memorable Laying up event and a good sailing season. We all look forward to meeting up again in the 2016 season.

Cheese, Wine and a Quiz in Grimsby

cheeseAn enjoyable cheese and wine tasting evening was held at the Humber Cruising Association in Grimsby. Eleven members attended the evening including a couple who moor in Monnickendam in Holland. News of how good the East Coast events are must have travelled that far! One couple braved the journey north from the southern end of the East Coast area and were made most welcome, and a good natter was had by all. One member looked resplendent in his wine waiter attire and did an excellent job of hosting the wine quiz which added to the enjoyment of the evening. The quiz became harder as the evening wore on and the brain cells dimmed as more wine was drunk – in the end it was more of a guessing game as to which wine was which. There were a few sore heads on the pontoon the next morning but everyone said what a thoroughly enjoyable evening it had been.

Rally to Burnham-on-Crouch

The last sailing rally of the 2015 season was held at Burnham-on-Crouch on the last weekend of September. This has become one of the favourites of the MOA season because not only does it include the hospitality and camaraderie of most MOA rallies but it coincides with the Burnham Carnival on the Saturday evening (with a fun fair but I didn’t spot anyone on the awesome rides!) and an event run at the Marina which includes a great buffet lunch with live band, optional sailing race, boat/chandlery sales, all topped off on the Sunday morning with boat jumble wafted over by the smell of bacon rolls! What’s more the sun shone and those who sailed to the Crouch enjoyed a cracking sail both ways burnham1There were 54 people sat at a very long table for the Paella and Pizza lunch, from 12 boats including new members, and quite a few ‘virtual’ boats. Several boats sailed round on the Friday to make a long weekend of it so a very sociable time was had by all. burnham2After the lunch and band we retired to Colin and Yvonne’s host boat for drinks and cakes – Yvonne had made some really wonderful cakes. Wisely Colin had arranged for Raindance to be berthed next to their boat so it could take the overspill, no Moody should have to accommodate that many people! Then it was off to the carnival. It is amazing the effort people put into the floats and costumes. Somehow after all that lunch and cakes we still managed to wolf down a tray of sausage and chips! Perhaps that’s why nobody fancied going on the Waltzers on the way back!

Rally to Tollesbury Marina

The weather forecast in the week preceding the Tollesbury rally swung between summer autumn and winter which caused the organiser Chris Hennah a bit of a headache trying to give the Harbour View restaurant an idea of numbers. In the end six boats and a car made it to a sunny Tollesbury Marina for a most enjoyable get-together. The early arrivers were entertained with some refreshments on Raindance which were further enhanced when Endeavour our host boat arrived.
We had Shadowfax and Betty who sailed up from the River Medway, Pigwig from the river Orwell, Raindance and Endeavour from the Blackwater (intrepid or what?!?) a virtual Wispa from the Walton Backwaters as unfortunately due to a technical hitch Derek and Elaine had to come by car, and Tollesbury resident Panjandrum. The Harbour View restaurant was the venue for the evening meal with 16 MOA members enjoying a superb meal along with a convivial get together with thoughts and planning turning to the 2016 season and where we would  hold the rallies (well done to the crew on Shadowfax looks as though we will be going to the River Medway !).  
Tollesbury has limited access due to a cill which means boats come and go in a quite narrow window of time making it a busy time with ropes and berth-hunting, but it all adds to the fun and enables the drinks and nibbles part to start promptly! For anyone visiting Tollesbury a useful hint we were told is not to enter/leave before top of tide if there is east in the wind,  leave it to just after high tide as wind and tide combined can make turning into/out of berths a bit hairy in the confined marina. We speak with experience! Most departed Tollesbury on the Sunday even though it was Bank Holiday on the Monday as the forecast returned to autumn/winter winds, but we’d all had a lovely convivial time with a good meal and made new friends. We’ll have to leave exploring the wonderful walk of Tollesbury Wick and crossing the salt marsh to the Lightship for next year’s rally to Tollesbury. Sunrise in Tollesbury – Thanks to Chris for the organising.

Rally to Heybridge Basin

Again we had yet another HOT HOT HOT Heybridge rally which was wonderful.  Five boats took advantage of the forecast and sailed to Heybridge for the Friday midday locking. This meant there were 17 people sat in the pergola area of The Jolly Sailor on Friday evening for a meal, and lots of chatter.

The Saturday locking welcomed the remaining  six Moodys.

Then with everyone happily rafted in 3s we all retreated to the shade of the barbeque area for some lovely summer Pimms, chilled wine or beers to wash down the tasty canapés and nibbles, with of course lots more chatter. We were joined by six more MOA members who for assorted reasons had come by road rather than the river Blackwater, a pity as it is a nice sail past Stone, Osea Island and up to Northey Island where the Chelmer and Blackwater canal meets the river at the Heybridge Basin lock. There is a pub with tables on the side of the lock so the shenanigans of trying to stuff 5 or 6 boats into a space big enough for 4 gives much entertainment and amusement to the pub clientele. There can only be a maximum of 2 lockings per tide to conserve the canal hence the cats-cradle of ropes fenders and springs in the lock with someone’s pulpit across another boat’s stern quarter to try and get them all accommodated! Then a very large and very solid old Smack with bowsprit decides it wants to come into the Basin. Fun and games for everyone!   Talking of fun and games, it was also the weekend of the Heybridge regatta so besides the Locking-in game there were sailing and rowing races to watch, a greasy-pole-across-the-lock competition (Even with a promise of a front page picture in Compass alas no takers) a marquee with stalls including an RNLI one so I have now got my 2016 diary, calendar and Christmas cards! How organised is that? Pity I won’t remember I have them or where I’ve put them come November! The Tiptree cafe and ice-cream shop was doing a roaring trade as were the two pubs! As the heat subsided a little the barbeques were lit and out came all the sausages and the wondrous array of foods that are cooked on barbeques these days. Still more chatting well into the evening, we even had one of our members bring his ukulele along!                 A really enjoyable rally as ever at Heybridge with a gentle breeze to see members off to their home ports.  

Rally to Titchmarsh

Typical summer weather of winds, thunderstorms and rain showers with occasional glimpses of patches of warm sun was encountered by the 10 boats that made their way to Titchmarsh Marina. Solar Wind, Fair Rosalind and Raindance decided to go on the Friday rather than face an early departure on the Saturday and had a pleasant sail, the rest of the fleet – Toodle Pip, Namaque, Teteli, Epona, Ixia, Coxon and Serupin2 – shot into the Twizzle like a dose of salts in the cold wind that blew on Saturday morning.                 We were all made very welcome by Derek and Elaine who berth Wispa at Titchmarsh, and having shifted a few picnic tables into the shelter of some well positioned bushes a lovely convivial afternoon was spent chatting and mixing with old friends and new. We were so engrossed in the chatting that we didn’t get around to playing Boule which Derek and Elaine had thoughtfully proposed! Duncan and Janet off Barbarel joined us all the way from a mooring in the Twizzle and Ian and Linda joined us from Astral Loot also berthed at Titchmarsh.     We re-convened in the same sheltered spot for a barbeque, more nattering and a great evening was had by all. Many many thanks go to Derek and Elaine for their excellent organisation and for hosting such an enjoyable event. Hope to see you at Heybridge on the 4 and 5 of July.

Fitting Out Lunch

A novel experience awaited most of the 31 people (13 boats) who attended the Fitting Out lunch on Sunday 26 April – not the excellent meal at the Butt and Oyster as we’ve all had that before – but arriving at the pub down a narrow single track lane from the village and having to find a parking spot!  The Butt & Oyster is always entered from the river Orwell or at least from the wonderful riverside footpath from Woolverstone marina. The wind, rain and cold meant all 31 attendees abandoned plans to sail there and ran the gauntlet of the narrow lane. However it was well worth it as we had a great time chatting and eating in the private room upstairs (so our somewhat loud banter didn’t bother the other clientele!). The cold and miserable weather was totally forgotten with such a warm and friendly get together. A big thank you to Robin Harris for organising the day and choosing such a good venue. “Good company, good wine and good welcome can make good people” said the famous bard from Stratford-upon-Avon so I guess that means we should all be pretty good now! Also thank you to all of you who came and made it such fun.  The pub is in a lovely setting looking across the Pin Mill moorings and assorted houseboats and even though the tide was out for some of our time there it was enough to get us eagerly anticipating the trips we will be doing to the Orwell during what I am assured is going to be a lovely warm sunny force 3-4 summer!!!  See you there hopefully! The next East Coast Moody Owners Association meeting will be a Rally to Titchmarsh on the weekend of June 6-7