Monday, 23 August 2010

My Mersea Week II

Tuesday 10th August. My first - and, as it turned out, only - race of the week, on the TM’s beautiful 1962 classic yacht, Black Diamond. Not one of the sunnier days this month, but not cold, either. Got good and wet upon the rail, hanging on tight as the boat heeled over, slicing through the grey waves. Exhilarating stuff. Very glad of my ‘Po suit’, aka red oilskins, with vast baggy trousers which make the question ‘does my bum look big in this?’ wholly redundant!

Photos taken with my point-click from a bouncing boat are always fuzzy and disappointing, but here are a few which are just about publishable.

The smack Maria.

The transom of Richard Hayden’s Boatox. Richard did a fine job as Commodore of Mersea Week, and also managed to race.

The beautiful Kismet (originally launched in 1898, she spent some 50 years lying in the Essex mud until rescued and recently restored) slicing through the smack fleet, cheating the flood tide on the Bradwell shore.

West Solent No. 2, Suvretta, overhauling a very well-sailed Boadicea. Suvretta, built in 1924, is a modern classic by comparison with Boadicea, who is 202 years old!

Suvretta slides gracefully past Boadicea.

But everything isn’t going Suvretta’s way! West Solent Black Adder is well away down to leeward, and will lay the No. 1 mark a couple of minutes ahead. Black Adder has the best boat name in Mersea for their tender, ‘Baldrick’!

West Solent Suvretta preparing to cover smack Mary before the gybe mark at No. 1. Sistership Black Adder (W18) has already gybed and is on her way across the river to the most seaward mark of them all, the dreaded No 10. (OK, as long-time readers of Musings will already have surmised, I have received some considerable expert advice on the captions to one or two of these photos!)

Tuesday ended most enjoyably with the annual 'Coast Road Evening' in Peter Clarke's flag-bedecked Shed - a lively get-together of Mersea folk from every generation, with hot food, a bar and a thumping good night's dancing with music from perennially popular local band The Poachers.

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