Having spent most of the year calling in at the place, and being denied by other boats which beat me to it, I finally managed a short berth at Halfpenny Pier, Old Harwich, A trip accompanied by mum, we stopped off at the pier cafe for lunch and a ramble around old Harwich, before sailing back to base. F3 gusting 4/5 south westerly winds.
Things are becoming rather damp aboard. Sadly it may be coming towards that time when I might have to call time on a wonderful season.
Autumn well and truly with us, but another fine day with sunny intervals, and a promising though, ultimately, uneventful Northerly F2/3. Uneventful, except for going aground as soon as I let go of the mooring. Apart from that, good sail with the last of the ebb out to Landguard Fort, perhaps for the season's last peek at the Naze Tower,and then tacked my way back to a point just before Levington Marina where the wind gave up, and then motored back to the mooring.
It's important to seize opportunities like this at the twilight end of the year. A promise of reasonable weather, some good breeze, and a day free from commitments were too good to miss. So, I took the opportunity to work the Spring tide up and down the Stour.
Left the mooring at about 9.30am, motored against wind and tide until the Orwell turns South; then put up reefed main with jib and mizzen, and sailed to Harwich harbour, round Shotley point, and then had wonderful run up the entire length of the River Stour. With the full flood, maximum speed was 7.3 knots, which is as high as I can remember. I reached Manningtree at around 12.30pm, and then turned round immediately, anchored briefly opposite Mistley Quay for a bite to eat, and then in a fresh F4-5 East/North East wind, tacked my way back to Wrabness. The sea state was rough with the ebb working against the wind; initially used jib and mizzen, then added reefed mainsail and spent time experimenting with various reefs of the jib. Finally, fearing time may work against me, motor-sailed from Wrabness back to the mooring (reached by about 5.15pm, which just allowed time for me to access the end of Pin Mill hard).
I've spent some time fiddling with a tiller brake which I haven't quite perfected. Will report when it works better!
Fantastic sailing, the Stour turned pretty rough once the tide turned, so lots of spray. Surprisingly few boats out to play, but I did see the Deben Drifter on its way out of Manningtree, and then later on in the Orwell - obviously off for a night stop.
Total distance of 29.3nm, and a season's total now standing at 404.3nm.
The promise of gales on Sunday forced me onto the water a day earlier...it's a tough life! My objective today was to use the outboard to travel as far downstream as possible in the few hours I had available, and then to take the remainder of the flood to sail back to base. Rain was promised, and duly arrived later in the day, so the last few hours afloat were wet. But this didn't matter. Wind was a South Easterly F2, so conditions were relaxed. It was good to smell that sea air...
This is a log of sailing activities aboard Daisy II, a 22ft Drascombe Coaster No.280. Formerly named Aquarius, she was built in July 1997 by Honnor Marine (UK) Ltd of Totnes, Devon. She is moored at Pin Mill on the River Orwell, Suffolk, although my sailing area is extended by means of a versatile road trailer. Over the years, we have sailed off the south coast in Cornwall, Devon and Portsmouth, various inland reservoirs as well as from many different locations on the east coast.
The original Daisy, a Devon Lugger, was purchased in 2005 following an unexpectedly early opportunity to realise a mid-life crisis! Daisy II, with cabin, afforded more scope for overnight stops, and was purchased at the end of 2006.