This was undoubtedly the best visit to Bewl Water that Aquarius SC has ever made,
and it was totally unexpected.
The wind forecast was not good and we expected a bit of a drifter. On arrival we
were told that all racing had been cancelled as of Saturday. Something was not right
and the duty officials seem to think the problem lay with the clubs current management
However the OOD, who had nothing to do other than provide safety boat cover was
really accommodating and offered to put some buoys out for us to race around. We
decided that because the wind was actually pretty good we would just go out onto
the water and enjoy ourselves. Imagine having the club and Bewl Water to virtually
By now everybody had arrived. This included Nigel with his son Andrew and Andrew’s
girlfriend Rachel. Richard and Rodger, Tony Hopkins, Alex Seaman, Roy Melsom, Keith
and Madeline, Lyn and I.
There was also our old Hawker friend Bill Poulton, Between us we had two SigneT’s,
a Graduate, Enterprise and three Lasers; a total of 14 people.
The OOD suggested that we if we sailed across Chingley Deep and down the Bewl Straight
to Dunsters Bay we could beach there and walk up to the Bull Inn at Three Leg Cross
Keith and I however were unhappy about leaving Madeline and Lyn at the club. No
problem, and obviously because he hadn’t got anything better to do, the OOD arranged
to run them across in one of the clubs ribs. He even provided them with a telephone
number to call and be picked up afterwards. Talk about service!
Keith and I spent a hour or so playing with the spinnaker gybing ‘Saint’ back and
forth across the lake before turning down Bewl Straight and beaching with Roy and
Alex in the Grad at Dunsters Bay. On the way down a very fast moving rib with Lyn
and Madeline hanging on for grim death went hurtling passed us.
The Bull was about half a mile up the lane but was worth going to. We decided on
a liquid lunch during which we were joined by the others. It turned out that the
pub also does bed and breakfast so we duly noted that for the future.
When we got back to the beach Maddy called up the clubhouse and the rib was dispatched
to bring them back to the club. Keith and I were halfway back up Bewl Straight when
we were ‘buzzed’ by the rib. The girls had told the driver to get us wet and he did
just that to the accompanying screams of laughter from Lyn and Maddy. We determined
to get them back.
During the afternoon Lyn suddenly announced that she fancied a sail. Now any of you
that know Lyn will be shocked by this. Lyn’s happy in power boats, her father used
to have a large cruiser, but generally she’d rather have her teeth pulled out than
get in a racing dinghy. Keith was so surprised that he offered to take her out before
she could change her mind.
So, togged up in my wet boots and buoyancy aid and less rings and watches, she went
afloat. Maddy and I watched with interest and forty minutes later she was back having,
in truth, thoroughly enjoyed herself.
Lyn never ceases to amaze me, a few years ago I watched her snorkelling and diving
on a coral reef off Lombok. This is a girl who can’t stand getting her face under
the water but she just decided to learn and do it.
I then took Maddy out; or rather Maddy took me because she is actually a very good
helm in her own right. By about 16:00 the wind was dropping but Keith went back out
for a final solo sail and within the hour everybody was coming ashore.
It was a great day in scorching sunshine and a breeze just right for carefree sailing.,
10 to 15 knots.
Over packing up it was agreed to meet at The Grasshopper, just outside Westerham
on the A25, for dinner. This pub has a large car park which can easily accommodate
all the boat road trailers.
I think the restaurant were a bit surprised when we all trooped in but recovered
quickly and provided us with our own seating area so we could all be together. A
perfect end to a perfect day!