Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Short cruise to the River Deben, August 29-31

44.7nm; Season's total: 509nm
Following my 'how not to cruise' trip earlier this month, I thought I would go back to the Deben and try and do it properly.  I mostly managed this, except when leaving the Deben two days later, where I delayed my departure until the flood had already begun, and had to battle against a strong running tide.

On the afternoon of the 29th, I took the ebb out of the Orwell, and up towards the Deben entrance, catching the early flood and picking up a handy free mooring off Ramsholt ( red track).
The next day, winds were gentle north westerly F2/3, so I had a pleasant trip (white track) with the tide, picking my way through the various clusters of moorings, to Woodbridge where I found another mooring and headed off for a walk around town. I then motored to the upper navigational limit of the river (Wilford Bridge), and took in Martlesham Creek, before setting sail for a run with the ebb back to Ramsholt (green track), picking up another mooring.
On the last day, I left taking the last of the ebb to Felixstowe Ferry, calling in at the toilets there.  Unfortunately, he tide had already turned by the time I motored out of the Deben entrance - water was already running at a good 2 knots against me - needed the outboard at full throttle to negotiate the various tidal runs which characterise this short, treacherous stretch of water.  Finally, having managed this, I had a pleasant trip sailing whenever a breath of wind showed up, otherwise motoring back to Pin Mill (yellow track).

Sunday, 28 August 2011

August 27th, Orwell

11.6nm, season's total 464.3nm
Popped down for a quick sail.  Made my way upstream/upwind for a bite to eat.  Then, had a pleasant run with the ebb along to Parkestone Quay, turned round and sailed back to Collimer point, before motoring back to base.
Wind Westerly F4 with some pleasant gusts, weather - showers!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

August 21-22 - how not to cruise...

58.3nm; season's total: 452.8nm
This cruise was opportunistic and rather unplanned.  A couple of free days together with prospectively calm forecasts led to a quick dash to Pin Mill.  Having left the mooring, (red track) I motored against the flood until rounding Shotley Point, when I sailed along to Holbrook Bay, and popped into Holbrook Creek at, or around High Tide.  I then sailed out of the Stour, and motor sailed over to the Walton Backwaters for an evening anchorage at the far end of Hamford Water where a friendly seal stopped by for some meaningful glances - hopefully, I'll upload a video in due course.
The next day, (yellow track) it all started with such good intentions but then got out of hand...  I took the ebb and sailed out of the Backwaters against a gentle North Easterly, which then changed to South Easterly, enabling a pleasant sail along the coast to the entrance to the Deben.  Having negotiated this by motor, I sailed up the Deben, past Ramsholt, until the fickle wind fizzled out.  At this point, I motor sailed the rest of the way reaching Woodbridge at about mid-flood. 
Now, this is the bit that needs more planning in future.  Were I to have had another day, this could have been the perfect cruise: stop in Woodbridge, take in the scenery, take the ebb downstream, and then wait for the next flood to negotiate my way back to the Orwell.  However, I didn't have another day, and motored/motor sailed against tide and, often, wind all the way back to the Orwell - not the most pleasant of experiences given the incessant drone of outboard motor.  However, the one positive aspect (reaching for large plank of wood) is that the outboard behaved impeccably.  Having left Woodbridge at about 3pm, I arrived back at the mooring at about 8pm.
The other feature of this is that the wind, on the return trip from the Deben to the Orwell, had turned north easterly which, when against the tidal flow, led to some steep seas which were 'interesting' to negotiate.  Ah, well.  We live and learn...

Sunday, 14 August 2011

August 13, Orwell

8.0nm; season's total: 394.5nm

Thursday, 11 August 2011

August 10th, a trip to Halfpenny Pier

10nm; season's total: 386.5nm
Managed to entice my son onto the boat for the first time this season.  Strengthening, gusty south westerly winds made for some healthy speed - maximum 7.4knots with the tide using jib and mizzen.  But, in general, not the easiest weather to sail in, so resorted to engine when against the wind.

Halfpenny pier as pleasant as ever!  Following a lunchtime snack, we returned, and just managed to make the end of Pin Mill hard before becoming stranded in mud at low tide for a couple of hours.  In truth, the neap tide had departed rather sooner and to a greater extent than I had anticipated.  I had to row through the final 10 metres of mud... All good exercise...