A brilliant turnout of 18 Boats, including 2 new members, + 2 cars. A total of 39 attendees.
Despite two heavy, but short-lived, rain showers, this turned out to be the highlight event of the season so far.
Most boats arrived early morning and took up what little space remained - some rafting up until overnight boats had moved off, and then quickly claiming the recently-vacated quayside space. A passing B.A. ranger was helpful and allowed us to extend our moorings into those normally reserved for the Parish - fingers being crossed that all usual parish moorers stayed out on the river until our event was over!
Even then, a couple of our late-comers had to remain rafted until Sunday morning - but it was quite a sight to see all those club boats assembled right along the length of the Common.
As usual, the best fun game of the day was putting up the gazebo and us fellows set-to with gusto to show how quickly it could be done when the wind is light. An hour and some beers later, it was done - and in moved the chairs and tables, quickly filled before the first of the rains arrived. The members from Reedham Marina (well, it was Keith's actually, but all others just piled into it!!) had brought along their own small gazebo and used this for BBQ's in the afternoon, and overspill accommodation (adjacent to the club gazebo) in the evening. Worked great as the main gazebo was packed to the gunnels by then.
The first rains delayed the start of the fun and games for an hour or so, and (after sorting out into 7 teams) we could only manage a few quick rounds of Boules ( with Bob standing comically at the receiving end to pinpoint the Jack, using his own boules as marker!!), and then quickly on to the "Play-your-cards-right" afternoon finale. Our 7 teams were reduced to six when "The Muppets" (their official team name) of "Nighthawk" didn't make it to the first oche - preferring to spend their time clearing out their blocked loo? Nil points were awarded for their efforts as it wasn't an official game!
Sylvia, and new member Norma, also tried for extra points by playing the "Gazebo shower" game - by standing under the eaves of the gazebo whilst Dave pushed the rain off the roof! Their team was quickly renamed "Wet,Wet,Wet"!
The finale quiz was programmed to begin at 8.30pm, prior to the start of the music night, but it was decided then to abandon that and the team winner of the afternoon events - "Iron Maiden" (Pip/Colin and John/Fay) was declared the recipient of the "Paul Hodgson Trophy" for 2012. Big cheers!
The start of the BBQ's was also delayed by rain - but that blew over for good by 6pm and speedily away we all went. The smoke at times was worse than a smoggy day in old London town, but the resultant food was great. The wine and beer flowed to compliment the occasion and soon it was clearing up time before fighting for a place in the gazebo for a night of lively music and song.
Keith and Sandra, who had come along by car, had to depart then and so missed a brilliant show.
It began with John and Bob on their electric guitars; then aided by Bob's boy Sean on his acoustic guitar. New member, Kath, provided a near-professional singing voice for some numbers; and Keith strummed and sang some folk. Jen led us (forcibly?) in the community singing again, ably abetted by John's Sandra, before Pip joined us with her Melodean - in true "wandering troubadour" style. Keith encored with a lively rendition of "Wild Rover", with all members joining in, before John/Bob/Sean continued with Beatles medleys and other tunes right up to 10.30 or so. A well-entertained audience began to slowly dissipate into the night, back to the boats. All agreed, what a great night!
Sunday morning started warm and dry - so the gazebo was quickly packed up and the site cleared.
Members' boats slowly moved off throughout the morning and early afternoon - although a few decided to hang on at Bramerton and relax after such a hectic, but enjoyable, weekend.
Check out the photos taken by the official Club photographer (Winkle John) - albeit on his little (standby?) compact camera!
Well, nearly end-season,(all say, aaagh?) so please all try to make the next event - August Bank Holiday at Oulton Broad yacht station. Don't forget to phone for booking - promises to be mega-busy this year? Our official club BBQ is on Sunday afternoon, 26th.AUGUST, followed in the evening by music and dancing in the BOULEVARD CAFE (organised by the Yacht station staff and open to ALL moorers).
There's also my two cryptic quizzes for the weekend - all proceeds to charity. Themes are topical for London - THE OLYMPICS and LONDON TRANSPORT stations (the "Tube"). If you want to receive these and can't make Oulton, please contact me on [email protected]
Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club