Thursday, 26 July 2012

July 26th Orwell

Following a bout of food poisoning, I wanted to come down for a sail as a prelude to a planned cruise next week - to check everything was in order...!  The winds were very pleasant F3 and enabled a splendid sail up and down the Orwell.
Whilst under way, Lugger Truant came out to play, so I took some snaps.
Lugger Truant

More of Lugger Truant

9.8nm; season's total: 220.5nm 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Drascombe Association Walton Backwaters Rally

Time to return to the Walton Backwaters for a Drascombe Association rally. Fortunately, summer arrived just in time and, as the weekend progressed, we were blessed with increasingly pleasant summer sunshine; light winds on Saturday gave way to a bigger breeze and strong sunshine on Sunday.
On Saturday, we sailed down the Walton Channel, into Hamford Water, whilst the fleet gathered.  We then sailed with the tide along Hamford Water and into Landermere Creek.  The aim had been for lunch at Beaumont Quay, the far western point of the Backwaters, but light winds hampered progress, so we rafted up for lunch just short of this point, opposite Landermere Quay.  
After lunch we sailed back along Landermere Creek, into Kirby Creek and made our way across Horsey Mere and The Wade, which can only be crossed close to HW.
On Sunday, we made our way into Pennyhole Bay for a bit of sea sailing; some boats made it out as far as the Pye End buoy.  On the return trip, we pulled in at Stone Point for lunch, after which most boats returned to Titchmarsh Marina to begin the long process of hauling out and returning to the various quarters of the UK.  
As well as local boats, we had boats from Somerset, Bristol, Cheshire, Sussex and London.
List of participating boats:
Coasters: Daisy II, Windsong, Pamela, Espiritu, Mudskipper, Nonsuch
Luggers: Tango, Piper, Peewit of Parkgate
Dabber: Teal
Longboat: Krykkje
Peterboat: Peterkin

Coaster Nonsuch in the Walton Channel

Coaster Nonsuch, Hamford Water (the recently extended Stone Point astern - see notes below)

Fleet enters Landermere Creek

Lugger Piper with jib furled for convenience of snap-happy crew
One of many snaps taken by snap-happy crew on Piper - many thanks!

Luggers Piper, Tango and Coaster Nonsuch in Landermere Creek
Rafting-up preparations aboard Daisy II

wooden Lugger Peewit of Parkgate


Coaster Pamela at anchor

Fleet at anchor

Coaster Windsong

(from right to left) Peterboat Peterkin , Coaster Espiritu and Longboat Krykkje

Fleet enters Kirby Creek

Coaster Espiritu

Berths at Titchmarsh Marina

Evening meal in the Harbour Lights restaurant

Coaster Pamela

Coasters Nonsuch & Windsong; spot the differences!

Stone Point for Sunday lunch; much of this section of Stone Point is a recent extension, due to coastal erosion; the section beyond the Drascombe folk is reclaimed land! (see note below on the Google Earth map)

Titchmarsh Marina slipway - all good things must come to an end...

Backwaters rally detail
It's interesting to see that Stone Point, which is in the top right hand corner of the above slide, is rather more developed now than was previously the case.  Evidence of yet further east coast erosion elsewhere, the spit now extends as far as the top-most green loop in my track which was where we first tried to come ashore, but decided there was too much swell to make such a landing point viable.  Instead, we chose the western bank just inside the Walton Channel which, according to Google Earth, is 'water'!
These changes to this particular part of the Backwaters have resulted in a much greater tidal flow with some very complex eddies at the mouth of the Walton Channel.  I noticed on my previous trip that, on the early flood, the currents through this narrow entrance make this channel very unsafe at low states of the tide with a significant risk of grounding.  At mid tide, as we were, things were still 'interesting' but safe.

Daisy II track 44.6nm, Season's total 210.7nm
White track: Pin Mill to Titchmarsh Marina on Friday 20th July
Red track: Saturday trip up Landermere, and then round Horsey Island
Green track: Sunday rallying out to sea, and then back to Stone Point.
Once most of the departing boats had safely negotiated the slipway for the various trips home, I decided to set anchor for Sunday night in Landermere Creek followed by return to Pin Mill on Monday 23rd July (purple track).  Thanks to the official school 'summer holiday', it made a pleasant change not to have to rush back home myself following a weekend rally!

Daisy II amidst the Stone Point gathering...

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Sailing in the Solent aboard "Petrel", a Westerly Storm 33

....or a weekend without Daisy II...

The original plan was to circumnavigate the Isle of Wight.  However, rough seas on the south side of the island led to a change of plan.  We sailed from Portsmouth around the east side of the island, past Bembridge and as far as Dunnose Point, where a quite hefty swell in the English Channel, together with F5-6 winds on the nose led to us tracking back the other way, and eventually making for Cowes on Saturday evening.  Then, on Sunday, we left at 6am and worked our way back across the Solent to Portsmouth.

These photos record the less challenging aspects, weather-wise, of the weekend and all taken from the relative shelter of the Solent  - I doubt if the camera would have survived Saturday conditions on the south-east side of the island....


HMS Victory


Portsmouth harbour



Sailing in the solent

Sailing with cruising shute on Sunday morning

Friday, 13 July 2012

July 8th - Orwell sailing and showers!

13.5nm, Total 166.0nm 

A day of hefty showers, but some fun as a seal followed me up the Orwell in a rain storm.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

June 30th - in defiance of nature

20 days of June is far too long a period without any sailing, but the weather has been playing havoc all month.  Finally, commitments and weather allowed me a day's sailing and, albeit in blustery conditions, I had a splendid time sailing down to anchor opposite the container docks at Felixstowe and to witness the splendid sight of the lugger Avocet sailing downstream whilst a number of Thames barges sailed the other way back towards Pin Mill - part of the Pin Mill Thames Barge match this weekend.

Lugger Avocet makes headway in testing conditions

I much enjoyed this shot - David and Goliath?

Barges ahoy

7.7nm, season's total -152.5nm