Broads Adventure 2017 – How it happened!

Wow! I honestly can’t believe that on Easter Saturday we were waving goodbye to crewmates who’d turned into friends and the beautiful yachts which had been our home for the week.

We were jumping into our parent’s cars and trying not to stink out Norfolk train carriages (too much) as we carried bags of unworn thermals & waterproofs (what beautiful weather we had), empty cake tins (thank you to all the star-baking parents!) and a tonne of washing…..

What a fantastic week of sailing we had. We were blessed with light winds which were a super opportunity to refine our sailing skills, and some stronger winds which were an absolute blast and allowed us to show off the underside of some of our hulls to one of the many cruisers floating by. The trip to the beach for games and seal watching was a highlight too! We ventured under both Ludham and Potter bridges… just… how do they fit under such a low bridge! Tacking up some very narrow rivers (please try not to get stuck on the reeds again…!…tea break anyone?), racing around the island in time trials, practicing some stunning synchronised sailing on the broads and learning the man-over-board drill drew us closer as crews and tested our capabilities as sailors!

We transferred our yachting skills to Ragged Robin the half decker & our dinghies and it was glorious to watch our crew mates simply messing about in boats as the sun shone and many of them learnt to row well The tuckshop on Nenya being some distance away was definitely a good incentive for them to learn quickly! The regatta is always a highlight so massive congratulations to the crew of Palace who made an impressive comeback on the score sheet, (following a slightly less impressive inspection score through-out the week!) On that note, I suppose we should say a big well done to the crew of Leda who won inspection by a notable margin and cleaned bits of their boat I don’t think had seen day light in years! However, their daily chants of “following the Leda, the Leda, the Leda” didn’t show much humility – maybe this is something to work on before next year boys!?

On to what else we learnt and a massive thank you to Skipper Mark who wrote some great study notes looking at the life of Moses. Everyone enjoyed learning about this awesome guy throughout his life and comparing his journey to ours in our morning sessions. This was followed up each evening by some silly songs and shanties (thanks Skipper Helen!), worship time and remarkable sailing themed, bible based talks and stories from the Skippers. It was all squashed up into one fun hour each evening where we discussed jumping aboard, choosing our crew, changing direction & tacking through life, working out which boats we need to get out of and which sea’s we need to step into, sheeting in the power of the Holy Spirit, fighting the tide, staying ship-shape and mooring together. It’s always a delight and such an encouragement to see how God is working in the young people’s lives. Having time to simply chat and learn to listen together to what God is saying to us is such a privilege.

Throughout all this, many cups of tea were drunk (thank you to the lovely crew!) and a whole lot of food was eaten! So, thank you to the amazing Skipper Andy (with support from Skipper Dave, Skipper Grandpa and Mrs Grandpa!) for heading this up for the first time, and making sure we were all well fed and a huge thank you too, to Skippers David and Ann who provided us with a scrumptious roast Sunday lunch and even the opportunity to bake our own hot cross buns as we celebrated Good Friday together. I think all of us learnt some new cooking tips and tricks (please never put teabags in the kettle again girls!) and enjoyed some yummy meals along the way – even being civilised and using cutlery most of the time!

Finally, a massive thank you to Jamie (our Commodore) and Skipper Dave (Number 1) for their work behind the scenes and all the BA 2017 team who had so much fun, but were so exhausted by the end of the week! It was inspiring to see so many old crew members becoming bosuns, mates and even skippers (Rebecca, Charlie, Oli, Nicola,) as they step up into leadership roles. But most importantly, a huge thank you to all our crew who, every year, surprise us with their ideas, adventures, enthusiasm for life, courage to ask difficult questions and incredible attitude and appetite for fun! It’s an absolute pleasure to journey with you all!

Hope to see you all next year! Best wishes!

Skipper Jemima – and all the Broads Adventure 2017 team!