Gunfleet Cadet Week - The Fun Starts Here
MONDAY: Today it all kicked-off and, great news, we could get on the water. Toppers, Topazes, more Topers and even more Topazes – plus Seb’s Byte and Matt’s Contender; and if you didn’t get wet – well you weren’t chucking yourself off the boats enough. A chance to catch-up at Lunch and find out all the gen, and then off for another thrash about on the water – with the wind starting to freshen. At the end of the day a few battle scars (how’s the leg Josef?), a lot of salt water, a lot of boats to pull up the ramp, a lot of people all wanting to shower and change at the same time....and a lot of larfs..COOL!
TUESDAY: It started a bit wet...but then we were going to get wet so...everyone on the water and let’s see who can capsize the most – jump off the boat most – leap from one boat to the next most. Lunch came just in time as someone switched off the wind. In the afternoon we started with a race to de-rig the boats, paddle them round the beacon, bring them back up the beach, and re-rig them again (now whose idea was that then?!). Then it was record breaking time – how many Cadets and Otters can you get on a Topaz? Well, we were going great with about 16 or so when someone sneezed! Next was touching the bow of the boat with your nose!! Easy in’it, until we discovered the boat was on its side...mmm whose the sadist who dreamt that one up? What? Up the mast? You gotta be joking...but no you weren’t. To end it all, when the boats were put away it was a relay swimming race to a buoy and back. Well it was a great day, we only broke five boats (but all were quickly repaired by the onshore team) just a few knocks and bruises...very little blood; cakes that were brill and what’s more...we can do it all over again tomorrow..COOL!
WEDNESDAY: Thanks Katie for preparing 60 separate picnic lunches....we all set off for a bit of a blast up the coast on our “Picnic Cruise”. With a freshening wind we reached along the coast at great speed and soon landed in a secluded spot (well it was ’til we got there). Out with the picnic – a bit of trading went on...I’ll swap a cheese sandwich for your chocolate bar; oh alright, a cheese sandwich and an apple then...some people drive a hard bargain. Hang on, Big Andy’s organising a rounders game and it’s all going well until...the passing sheep dog ran off with the ball!! Still, handy having a spare one up our sleeve (ball not sheep dog). Damn, it’s a bit of a beat back to the Club but the sun is shining and there is still a good breeze...just follow the smell of cakes. Having slipped down a few lumps of chocolate goo / fruit cake / iced buns / more chocolate goo, it’s time to have a go at helming different boats. William’s really getting the hang of that Topper, the Witham boys are practising some downwind stuff in their Laser3000, with the asymmetric kite up, and Lydia has managed to stay in the Topaz without her mobile phone for more than 10 minutes; things are really looking up. Hang on, whose head is that that just bobbed by – oh yes it’s Beth, and there goes another Beth...and now comes the boat sailing without anyone...what the hell was in that cake?..COOL
THURSDAY: Day 4 and the weather looked a bit dodgy with a strong southerly wind and big seas....so Big Andy chucked us all up on the green in front of the Commodore’s House to play British Bulldog, followed by rounders. As the rough and tumble up the top grew so the wind and waves died down (how did you do that Andy?). Then it was everyone into the sea to cool down before lunch....sausage, mash and beans. Then we were out in force – Toppers, Topazes, the Byte and the Contender for a sail up to the Air Show. We fought the tide to get up there and the planes seemed to fight us!! I’ll swear they were dive-bombing us at times?? With the two Club Rescue Boats acting as Mother Hens (Well Dave and Simon seemed to be clucking a lot) we kept well outside of the exclusion zone and just showed off our boats to all the yachts moored off West Beach. Who was the clever dick trying to sell Mars Bars to the yacht crews for £1 each then? Someone on one of the big boats asked if we were the replacement act for the Red Arrows – funny guy eh? Having had enough of winding in and out (and up) the “yachties” we reached back to the Club to demolish the cakes (however many they make for us we can always demolish the lot), then we all went out again for a play on the water...the only place to be..COOL
FRIDAY: As we yawn into dawn all we can see is grey sky and rain..bluuugh, but as Team Gunfleet comes down the steps the cloud rolls away, blue skies appear, the sun comes out and a fair breeze fills in; we are ready to rock ‘n’ roll. Thirst things first – grab a Coke and help to de-rig the Toppers; yup, that’s what the man said but has Big Andy lost the plot? Oh, now we get it – we kick off with a Topaz race – Le Mans start; straight off from the beach but hey, who’s pinched the wind? We sort of drifted around the course and then it became every man (or woman) for himself (or herself). Paddling, or getting a bit of assistance from the Club Rescue Boat was the order of the day. Fair do’s though old Seb and young Michael won it all legit like in a very good time...mmm, watch those chaps. Then a quick dip...a bit of lunch, and onto the Balloon Race. Not sure if this was a race to get your Topper round the course with the balloons or a race to burst each other’s balloons but we all went a bit mad at this point. We finished off the day with the egg throwing which was a larf and a yolk, with egg everywhere....but a good swim and it was all off. Suddenly it was the end of the Week, well almost.....’cause the Cadet Week Party will finish the Week off in style....COOL
SUNDAY: It’s....Party Time. Over 100 members turned up at the Club for the End of Cadet Week Party and the place was heaving!! Fortunately a marquee in the compound helped spread the load. The Galley Crew did a brill job, with Al and Dave on the Barbecue and Linda, Tracy and Louise serving-up at an alarming rate. 91 meals later and the washers–up were in full swing. Then the speeches, the thanks and everyone of us 45 Cadets and Otters taking part in Cadet Week got our own unique 2011 Cadet Week T-shirt (have you collected the full set from 2008 to date?) and it was on with the fun and games...plus mammoth firework display...double COOL