This was our first overnight stay on the boat this year, which was a long time coming! And as we finally had a new mast, and the sails had been put on, we made the most of the weekend.
We took along a bucket barbecue I bought from Waitrose last Summer that we hadn't got round to using, and bought some burgers, sausages and salady bits. My brother in law became head of the barbecue and, unlike disposable barbecues, our food was ready in no time.
There are certain times on the boat when everything feels just as it should. There is a nice atmosphere, you feel relaxed, everyone is comfortable with each other. I think the fact that sleeping on a yacht is so similar to camping in that you have to respect the people around you and to watch how much noise you are making, the lights coming from your boat and so on, so it can be a slight struggle to feel relaxed, especially when you have children.
But with no many people around anyway, it was a really lovely evening.
The following day, with everything packed in the cars. We all jumped on board and went for a sail.
All was going well until we found ourselves in the middle of a dingy race. No biggie, we thought, we would just up the power and motor on through. Then we realised we weren't going anywhere. We had power, but no speed.
We were able to get our job (smaller front sail) open and to lightly sail to a safe area, drop our mud weight so the men could see what the deal was.
Our propeller had slipped out of where it was supposed to be and there was no way we could get it back in.
So, we had to be brave and get the sails back up and try to sail the longish way back to our mooring.
It was going well. I was in the cabin with the boys and the dog. And then I heard "I've lost the steering. I've lost the steering".
I looked out of the porthole and saw the sail had been dropped quite quickly.
Due to the propeller coming loose, it had jammed our rudder, only giving us half of the steering we should have.
We were stuck. And we had gone just a metre past the ideal bank to moor up at so we could arrange getting help.
A couple stopped in their yacht to tow us to the bank but their engine wasn't big enough and we were left in the middle of the Broad, eventually drifting into the reeds.
We called the boat shed for help and we were rescued...although as the boats were being tied together the battery on the rescue boat went! We gave them ours so in theory, we rescued the rescue boat!
It was certainly an experience. And we were all amazed at how calm we were. Despite it being mid afternoon and we hadn't had lunch, and had no food on board.
This year has definitely been completely different to last year, where everything seemed to go really well, which was frustrating as we couldn't sail at first then!
And now we can sail, it isn't going as well as we hoped. But, we won't let it put us off. And this weekend we will hopefully enjoy ourselves watching the Three Rivers Boat race and won't require rescuing of any kind!