‘Ben, do you want to come sailing for a few days?’ Long pause as my son considers the offer. I wait patiently, but secretly excited at this opportunity to do some proper sailing. Finally he shakes his head and says ‘I’m not really sure I want to, Dad.’ Not to be discouraged (I hide my crushing disappointment) I enquire as to his reasons for not wanting to go. His reply, ‘We will get stuck out at sea if there’s no wind.’ I suggested that the boats would also have motors so if the wind stops we would be able to still get around. ‘Oh,’ he says ‘well OK then, I’ll go.’ And with that we are joining the Drascombe Rally.
Organised with a level of military precision (certain members bringing their career skills with them I think) we had the communal square marked out and a request for us to pitch our tents in lines. However the civilians (most of us!) pitched in a more random affair. Our campsite had their own festival toilets and running water – the outdoor shower was particularly worthy of mention.
Morning briefing was 9.00 sharp each day and crew was allocated, boats sorted and we were on the water in no time. Ben and I found ourselves crewing for day 1 on the Muckle Flugger (I pronounced that wrong a couple of times!!!) and enjoyed the day with light winds completing the treasure hunt around Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island. Ben’s first sailing trip comes with the quote, ‘It was very fun and I enjoyed it a lot!’
Wednesday found us on our very own club boat ‘Little Dipper’ with a crew of 6 in total – including a baby. This trip found us heading out to open sea, past the chain ferry and heading West up the coast. Well we reached a quiet area of the Sandbanks beach at least. We met up with Kittiwake and the children (and a couple of adults) swam in the sun drenched toasty sea – ahem, please excuse my small exaggeration.
Friday turned wet unfortunately and whilst some decided to brave the weather we planned to head off a little earlier but not before a visit to the Dorset Waterpark. Phil S. and family joined us and we had a fab time slipping, sliding and jumping off things into water.
The evenings are worth a mention, first night was a little cheese and wine to set the mood even if Phil S and I ended up missing most of it whilst fighting traffic so he could bring Little Dipper round to the creek we were camping beside. Our Hosts also organised an evening at the races (hobby horses at the ready), a BBQ site each evening and an evening sing along. We finally drank the evening away congregating at the impromptu club HQ.
All in all an excellent first ever Dracombe Rally and one I was promised would be repeated in a couple of years – sign me up.