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A picnic in the Dardanelles

Sarah Adie brings us an account of where 15 boats went on Sunday 9 June during the OGA Swallows & Amazons event 2024.

We woke up to blue skies and a chilly northeasterly wind at the top end of F4. This was too much for some, though others reefed and in all 15 boats ventured out for a sail and picnic, setting off before the club’s own dinghy racing fleets launched. We gathered at the end of the creek and sailed towards Hamford Water where the water seemed unexpectedly flat. There was no shelter at Stone Point so we headed one by one into the Dardanelles, to anchor for our picnic lunch. This was a simply lovely and very special moment to be part of as most hadn’t ventured up this creek before, not even some of the locals! We anchored together or apart, rising slowly with the tide to look over the disappearing saltings towards the main channel beyond. It was truly magical!   

‘Inisheen’ weighed anchor first with their long drive to Windermere in mind, heading back towards the creek entrance and the main channel. Read ‘Inisheen’ skipper Tim’s account of the weekend here. ‘Minnow’ headed in the opposite direction, further into the creek, to investigate the wall which now blocks the creek at the south shore of Horsey Island. One by one, other boats upped anchor and followed. 

The Gafflings, ‘Catsnip’, ‘Philomena’, ‘Bel Ami’ and smacksboat ‘Ripple’, with Sunday’s youngest crew, 18 month old Max Masters, took the deep draught route home. Several smacksboats did make it over the wall, in one way or another.  Apparently there is one place where you can cross, on a big tide, without bumping. Ask ‘Eureka’ . . .

Words: Sarah Adie, East Coast OGA