2014

BROADS ADVENTURE 2015

The Cruise of Broads Adventure this year was one of the most challenging that I can recall in over thirty years of sailing in Norfolk. The weather governed our programme as this account will show, but undaunted we relied on God’s protection whilst sharing the Spiritual Programme splitting the challenge of the Gospel News up in the evening size chunks.

We set out to collect our four yachts, two from Upton and two from Martham, the kids arrived promptly and other than an overheated engine, everything went well with the two largest yachts navigating under Potter Heigham bridge without difficulty to rendezvous for the first night rafted up in a back-water off Womack Water.

It was the next morning that the first challenge arose, due to a large amount of rainfall the water under Potter was too high and the fleet could not travel north as planned to explore Hickling and Horsey mere’s normally the areas where sailing is at its best. High winds were forecast and so we moored the second night rafted up, sheltered in the trees on South Walsham Broad.

The wind had strengthened and instead of making a second attempt at Potter bridge we sailed and ended up outside Hunter’s Yard pausing for showers this early in the week was very unusual as normally this would be planned for Wednesday/Thursday, and then we moored in a back-water off Womack Water. The forecast was now for very strong winds so it was decided that we would head West towards Salhouse Broad.

The wind had strengthened and instead of making a second attempt at Potter bridge we sailed and ended up outside Hunter’s Yard pausing for showers this early in the week was very unusual as normally this would be planned for Wednesday/Thursday, and then we moored in a back-water off Womack Water. The forecast was now for very strong winds so it was decided that we would head West towards Salhouse Broad.

The next two days were spent in/around Salhouse, both reasonably sheltered spots but experienced a gale for around 18 hours where the wind probably peaked at up to 50mph (Force 8). The boats could not sail, or even move far in this weather, although we decided to moor near the beach to permit games ashore, followed by wet weather games back on board as the weather broke with squally showers blasting through. A second night mooring in a different spot put us in a position for a visit to the Nature Reserve of Hoveton Great Broad – the walk was enjoyed by all but the weather had obviously kept most of the wildlife out of sight!

Thursday saw us get a sail at last back to a mooring at South Walsham Broad where a dinghy Regatta was organised, and as usual this was great fun with a real competitive atmosphere and some skilled sailing. Friday again saw us get a sail and overnight mooring back to the staithe outside Hunters Yard for our last night.

The last morning is always a scramble to clean ship and the two large yachts with their masts already lowered left to get back under Potter Heigham and the yard, leaving the other two to travel south back to Upton.

So with the leaders very tired, but not this year through strenuous sailing, as we probably sailed less distance than most years, but more from the activities required with organising alternative activities as dictated by the weather this year, we returned from another Cruise where we saw real evidence of God at work in our lives and in the lives of the young people.

Had we ventured north of Potter we would have been completely unprotected during the strong winds, and so in this way we recognise that God had His hand on this venture in a very real way.

We experienced God’s protection from the literal storm as we do in our everyday lives. All were kept safe and we trust in His Grace to have revealed Himself through His Spirit to several young people during the week through our ’Squashes’ on board Palace. One young girl witnessed that she had never felt so close to God than this week.

This is the reason we continue to do this work and at times clearly glimpsing the advancement of God’s Kingdom here on earth. Thank you for your Prayers of support.

Philip, & all the BA 2015 team.

- By Philip Cooke (Aka Skipper Grandpa)