Thursday, 13 December 2012

Saturday, 17 November 2012

November 17, Season's swansong

Today's spring tide at 2pm seemed like an ideal opportunity to bring the season to a late close.  I had welcome company from Bob who, following correspondence on the Drascombe Forum, came along to 'test drive' a coaster - I hope Daisy II set a fine example.  The breeze was pleasant and we managed a short sail up towards the Orwell Bridge and then back to Pin Mill.  It would have been good to have spent more time sailing, but time and tide wait for no-one...
Daisy II with grubby bottom, waiting for end of season pressure wash!

Recovery onto the trailer was uneventful and Daisy II is now on the drive, waiting for tomorrow's light and a pressure wash.
Who knows, there may be an opportunity for a dash to an inland reservoir somewhere but, somehow, I doubt it!  All good things must come to an end...
6.1nm; season's total 461.7nm

Saturday, 10 November 2012

...implacable November weather...

Half term yielded just one opportunity for a trip, the weather towards the end of the week taking a ridiculously wet and squally turn.  True to form, as soon as schools went back, things calmed down somewhat...  Perhaps this is why I normally stop sailing at the end of October.  However, as today proved, there's still good sailing to be done...
The forecast, today, November 10th, was for rain and yet more rain.  But, given musical commitments tomorrow, there was no choice but to take a chance.  Besides which, what's the point of all that wet weather gear if it isn't used once in a while.
In the event, it did rain but not particularly heavily - and the sun tried a few times to break through but was beaten back by more mist and cloud.  Neither was the wind strong but there was sufficient for me to sail with the ebb, down the Orwell and through Harwich Harbour, even topping 5.5 knots at one point.  On the return trip, the wind truly did die, so I motored back to the mooring.  One of the advantages of sailing in November is that few other boats are around - all that water to myself...
Only when I returned to shore did the rain clear and a sunset begin to set in...

13nm, season's total: 455.6nm

Friday, 2 November 2012

November 1st weather...

I'm determined to sail on into November, in order to make up for some of the less clement weather experienced earlier this year.

The weather-scape today was extraordinary in its variation, although it could be argued that there was consistency in that showers threatened from all directions!   Luckily for me, I only really had one soaking, just after pulling away from the jetty at Pin Mill, having stopped for a bite of late lunch.  Fortunately, I could see it coming and was appropriately attired.  
These photographs show the weather taken from various directions, later at 3pm...
view south east towards Pin Mill

view north west, towards Ipswich and the Orwell Bridge

view west, towards Woolverstone Hall

view east, towards Levington

6.2nm, season's total: 442.6nm.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Trip with Mum, October 20th

Today was unusual in that I had crew - possibly for the first time, this season, on the Orwell.  Unfortunately, the wind did not oblige, and our only sailing was near the end of the trip, where we sailed across the Orwell to make the most of the little breeze which had dutifully arisen.  Otherwise, today was a flat calm with no wind whatsoever.  The engine made some very strange noises on first starting, but soon warmed up and ticked over nicely as we made our way downstream, against the tide, to a picnic on the shingle shore just short of Shotley Point, opposite Trinity Container Terminal.
Me with Daisy II, container ships in background
Mum seal spotting

Daisy II hiding

7.6nm; Season's total, 436.2nm

Sunday, 14 October 2012

October 14, quick sail and a drive

Following commitments at home, this weekend, there was only really time for a quick afternoon sail, by which time a strong ebb had already set.  I quickly gave up on any idea of sailing against both the tide and a firm F3/4 breeze, and ate lunch as I motored upstream.  After this, I had a gentle sail back to the mooring.

4.3nm, Season's total: 428.6nm

At this point, the tide was already disappearing from the end of Pin Mill Hard, so I went back ashore, and drove round to have a look at Holbrook Creek from land, something I'd never previously done, although I have, once or twice, looked in from sea.  Amongst many fine boats, I counted four Drascombes.
Drascombes at Holbrook Creek

Holbrook Creek, looking south west

Holbrook Creek, looking south

Holbrook Creek; more Drascombes; looking south east
Note to self: must return by sea and stop for an evening...

Sunday, 7 October 2012

October 6, Trip to Erwarton Ness

Winds were light and mainly north westerly, today.  I motor sailed against the tide around to Harwich harbour, and then sailed up the Stour as far as Erwarton Ness, where I landed for a picnic.  
A post-lunch sail took me towards Holbrook Bay just past high water, after which I turned and sailed back towards Harwich, at which point the wind completely dropped.  I motored back to the mooring.  Outboard woes have diminished, and the engine behaved impeccably...
Picnic at Erwarton Ness, River Stour

River Stour from Erwarton, looking West

Erwarton, looking east towards Harwich docks

Mizzen Boom, still going strong...
Considering the boom was experimental, and very much intended for one season only, it is still working well coming towards the end of this second season.  During the winter, I intend altering the uphaul arrangements but, otherwise, I think I'll keep it going...

16.9nm; season's total: 424.3nm

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Saturday 22nd September, River Orwell

12.4nm; Season's total 407.4nm
'Twas slow going, wind-wise, today.  I sailed down the Orwell, against the flood, including a point, opposite Levington Creek, where the wind died completely and I drifted backwards whilst eating lunch.  This sail also featured unusual speed against other boats: overtaking (a couple of 25 footers including a Beneteau which looked to be built for speed...) is a rare experience for me...  At the southerly turn, I yanked the starter cord to allow the motor a stint since the wind had completely dropped again, and I also wanted to give it a run, given its recent propensity to produce strange sounds.  Fortunately, it was behaving today - no screeching, or associated noise, which is reassuring as Autumn comes into view.
Once in Harwich harbour, I stopped the engine, hoisted sails and made the most of the little wind there was, sailing back to the mooring.
Having eventually reached home, I wasn't ready to stop, so sailed back across to the north shore, and was rewarded with a decent F3 breeze and a pleasant easterly beat against the tide, prior to heading back to the mooring and then home.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Return to the Orwell

Following last week's Broads cruise, I brought Daisy II down to Pin Mill for launching early on Saturday 15th. This was not without its dramas, having decided to launch onto the mud at low tide, and then getting the trailer stuck in the mud...  However, all was retrieved thanks to a bit of selective winching and some car power.
Then, an unexpected opportunity arose for a short sail on Sunday, which I eagerly seized.  This was just a simple sail up to the Orwell Bridge for lunch, and back.  Nothing special but...'tis so good to be back sailing in home waters.

4.7nm; season's total 395.0nm

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Broads Rally, 7-9 September 2012

Wonderful to be back on the Broads again.  This year, we launched at Reedham Ferry on the River Yare.  The pub here serves great food and beer and there are handy moorings from which to launch a river cruise.

I had crew on Saturday, which is unusual, but reverted to single handing on Sunday.
Drascombes moored at Reedham Ferry

Reedham Ferry in action (Drascombes yonder)

Krykkje launching at Reedham (LW = mud!)
The slipway is technically fine for use at all states of the tide, but we found it muddy at or around LW.  There is a charge for use, and for parking of car/trailer; this is payable to the ferry operator.
Jenny Morgan sets the pace
On Saturday, before setting off, we were waiting for the annual Yare Navigation Race, which consists of a large number of Broads cruisers working their way down the Yare and back again.  Unfortunately, light winds meant that we never saw them pass Reedham, although I think they eventually did reach here.  Instead, we set off and met them en route.  It was all very good natured and they all managed to pass, by and large, without incident.  I heard a few raised voices towards some holiday cruisers who couldn't get out of the way.  These racing boats take their races seriously...
Where Jenny Morgan sails, other Drascombes follow, not necessarily falling into line, though...

Dabber Baffle

Deben Lugger Debutante.....

....going faster than Daisy II

Bashful Baffle

Coaster Dottie Two

Short Dyke, leading to Rockland Broad and lunch at the New Inn, Rockland St Mary

Lunch at the New Inn
We stopped for lunch at the New Inn, Rockland Broad.

The fleet sailing along a dyke aptly named 'The Fleet', leading from Rockland Broad back to the River Yare
After lunch we continued upstream, working our way into Bargate Broad and past the entrance to Surlingham Broad, before rejoining the Yare and stopping for the night at the pub at Surlingham Ferry.
A sumptuous supper with beer was enjoyed by all.

Jenny Morgan sets the tone, mooring stern-to; other Drascombes unconvinced...

A rare sight: Jenny Morgan under power...

On Sunday, we left at 9am and worked our way back to Reedham.  I chose to sail for substantial sections, even though the wind was very light initially.  In any case, my outboard motor was making some strange whining noises - which is not particularly good news...  The track shown below suggests three main chunks of tacking, the middle one of which was motor sailing.  In the final section - about a mile before returning to Reedham, the wind increased and the tide had turned, so I furled the jib and sailed using main and jib, managing to moor up at Reedham without engine or major incident.

The fleet waiting for wind on the return trip down the Yare
Red track on Saturday, White track on Sunday, including 133 tacks!  Distance travelled: 20.8nm over the weekend, season's total 390.3nm
Daisy II motor sailing in light winds, Sunday, snapped by Sue Hines (see comment below).

Friday, 24 August 2012

Second summer cruise - August 22-24

This became pretty much a repeat of my sail earlier this month.  Again, I was rather dependent on forecasts and had hoped to get up to the Ore/Alde.  However, I decided not to, given the forecast for later in the week which, yet again, turned out to be unduly pessimistic.  However, following a very enjoyable non-sailing holiday in Portugal, it was nonetheless just so good to be out sailing again!

73.6nm;  Season's total 369.5nm
Red track 22nd August; White track 23rd August, Green track 24th August

I arrived at Daisy II at 2am on Wednesday 22nd.  After several hours of kip, I arose, had breakfast and  took the last of the ebb down the Orwell and sailed round to the mouth of the Deben.  For the first time, I think, I sailed in without using the engine.  I stopped, briefly, for a coffee just beyond Felixstowe Ferry and then worked the flood all the way up to Woodbridge for HW which was around mid afternoon.  I intended to call in at Woodbridge, but there was little space at the quay, so I kept going past Robertson's Boatyard and beyond, eventually returning with the tide to a favourite anchorage on the south-west shore just seaward of Ramsholt.

On Thursday 23rd, I took the last of the ebb out of the Deben entrance, this time not experiencing such dramatic overfalls as I had earlier in the month.  Winds were initially light and flukey. I motor-sailed out through the Deben entrance...
Entrance to Deben, looking out to sea sea, and then shed the engine and tacked back towards Felixstowe Pier.  Finally, a decent breeze carried me around Landguard Point and into Harwich harbour.  I looked for landing at Halfpenny Pier, but the harbour was full so, after some pottering around taking snaps of big boats in and around Old Harwich.....
 ... I worked my way up the entire length of the Stour estuary as far as Manningtree and then back again, with a final trip out to Landermere Creek in the Walton Backwaters.

On Friday 24th, I returned to the mooring and met Mike who has just purchased his new pride and joy, the coaster Bounty which he sourced in Germany.  Mike spoke to me earlier in the season, when I was launching Daisy II, and mentioned that he was looking for a coaster.  She looks a real picture, is in tremendous condition and, I'm pleased to report, will be moored at Pin Mill for the remainder of the season.  Hopefully, we'll have several sails together before she eventually goes to a new home in, of all places, Kenya!
Coaster "Bounty"