It was a real treat to meet up with the Shipmate Owners Association East Coast Rally boats, five of whom came down to the River Blackwater, extending their holidays, after the River Orwell rally ended for a sail in company. We had a fab day with Mike coming along in Swallow too only for the light winds at the very start of the day, and my refusal to catch hold of Keith's tow rope which was his reply to my handshake greeting on meeting him on his shipmate Solo in Goldhanger Creek. He wanted me to get down the creek to meet the lads quicker than my dear little Shoal Waters ambling pace of just over one knot per hour in light to no wind! This meant we didn't get to raft up as planned but winds did come as they usually do and we eventually had a great sail, cruising to East Mersea where the chaps carried on up the River Colne to stay the night at Wivenhoe SC before making their way back up to Harwich. Once again it was great to sail in company with you all and I hope you enjoyed your short stay in the brown stuff at Maldon the night before.
More on shipmates:
I've been in correspondence with a nice chap who owns a shipmate senior trailer sailor. To cut a long story short he has been rather taken with my creeksailing antics previously in Huffler and of course now in Shoal Waters, both gaff cutters, and had been wanting to create a boat he could do some similar cruising with.
Well, the dream is now a reality for I have seen the boat in person and my she looks a cracker and is going to make a wonderful creek sailor. Congratulations on such a fine and fettle little ship. In all honesty I was a little envious of her professionally made spars and iron deck fittings. Everything is just so. It is Dave Patient after all that had been commissioned to the works and they know how to make a stick or two so what else could be expected. And now that she is rigged and in proportion she awaits a new suit of sails which are coming by way of a well known Brightlingsea sailmakers. I'm really pleased for her owner who I know will now have an ideal little gaff cutter for his wants and I'm looking forward to hearing about her sea trials and receiving a couple of pictures to ad into the shipmate bag on this site.