Buffeted At Bala (JanP)
In spite of the strong winds and showers everyone enjoyed themselves. Keith stepped in to organize the meet and 14 boats in all turned out over the weekend. It was good to see old friends again, IainH trying a new crab claw with two outriggers this time and an OCSG member with a MacNaulty Huron and C-Wing joined us on Saturday. Peter, a canoe guide publisher from London, came along after talking to members at the Birmingham Exhibition and Renate & PaulW from Cambridge came to pick up their new sailing canoe from Solway Dory.
Although Friday evening was calm enough for a lazy paddle and some gentle sailing after supper, the wind began with a vengeance on Saturday morning and did not abate all day. People decided to venture out, some of us two up and with ketch rigs, others reefed or not for the fast run to the other end of the Lake for lunch at the cafe. As we left in small groups for the beat back we all knew full well that it would be rough and wet. Dinghies were zipping about all over the place as we set off. Maatsuyker (Steve & Louise) and Petrel (Dave & Jan) got away smartly and after a false start Lark (Dave & JimB) and JohnS followed. John capsized in the big waves that had built up substantially at this end of the lake and Lark landed to bale out water. They also tried paddling for a bit but eventually resigned themselves to the hard slog to windward under sail. Huron's rudder came adrift so he caught a lift back to the campsite for his car. Keith and DaveT brought up the rear of the party. Boat by boat arrived safely back on the beach at the campsite, cold, wet and relieved to escape the buffeting and constant deluge by the waves. The day ended pleasantly with everyone gathered in the group tent to chat and see the pictures from the recent Hebridean trip on Keith's laptop.
On Sunday decisions about racing were delayed until 11.30 and then abandoned as the conditions (though calm overnight) were still very windy. Instead we took up Steve's suggestion to have a short-reefed (to 30 sq ft) race. It took about 15 minutes for the fastest boats and looked to be quite long enough from where we stood on the start line. Everyone completed the course and by the elated conversation afterwards, I think they thoroughly enjoyed it - but not quite enough to do it again! So with the wind still raging we packed up and left fairly early in the afternoon.
On the weekend of 13/14 July about 14 boats assembled at Silver Say for a beautiful weekend's sailing. The weather was sunny with a steady, gentle breeze. 'Mediterranean' was DaveT's description. After LisW's and PeteH's traumas (cracked ribs, broken leg) the group was glad to see them back in action, albeit Pete still on crutches.