What influences the atmosphere at a boat festival? It’s a success when there’s a buzz at an event, brought about by those involved and the vessels on display, activities, and not least the weather, which can make all the difference. The Maritime Ipswich Festival this year was blessed with sunny days. Bright sunshine always puts a smile on people’s faces. Everything is more colourful, and if there’s a gentle breeze, so much the better for cooling those who may be feeling the heat, even while in the shade under improvised awnings made from sails draped over spars. Fluttering flags and bunting sooth the ear, and rippling reflections from the water entertain the eye.
Each event is a subjective experience. I certainly came away from this year’s Festival feeling invigorated, not in the least tired; even though by then it was dark, save for street lighting and stars above. I had enjoyed the company, the general chitchat about boats and nautical things. It had been a time for sharing experiences, exchanging ideas and for learning from what people had to say. I was encouraged by many youngsters taking part with their parents, all having a great time. From what I saw, classic boats are far from dead; they live on, and they are much cherished by their owners. Wood is still a preferential building material for those who can afford to have a wooden yacht, as was made evident by newer vessels at the Festival and the extremely fine Spirit yacht berthed not far away.
Ipswich Maritime Festival