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"

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Summer Cruise, July 29- August 1

Summer Cruise, 2012.
The original plan was to take in the rivers Deben, Ore, Butley and Alde.  However, having viewed the long range forecast, I decided that discretion is the better part of valour and postponed my trip to the Ore and its associated tributaries and, instead, returned to take in the Stour and the Walton Backwaters.  This was disappointing for various reasons:
  • I really wanted to explore the Ore again and also since I had planned to reach Snape in time for a concert my wife was taking part in on August 1st.  Instead, I had to attend this by road, thus curtailing the whole trip by one day. 
  • In the event, the forecast turned out to be pessimistic, and I could have probably managed plan A anyway.
It was difficult, on August 1st, looking from land across the marshes at Snape and thinking about what might have been.  Still, another summer, and I'll be back to settle this score...

On 29th July, I made my way from Pin Mill round to the Deben.  Conditions at sea were loppy, and I heard over the VHF radio of a boat which had gone aground at the entrance.  Fortunately, when I arrived, the Harbour Master was keeping watch just inside the entrance as Daisy II and a number of other boats negotiated this difficult entrance.
Deben entrance, north shore
I anchored for the night just short of Ramsholt.  On 30th July, I worked my way up to Woodbridge on the flood, and wondered into town for a coffee and some provisions.
Woodbridge mooring

Woodbridge mooring close-up
After the break in Woodbridge, I took the ebb downstream, and briefly called in at Waldringfield before departing from the river and returning to the Stour.  On the exit from the Deben, mid ebb, the overflows at the Deben entrance were very difficult to negotiate: note to self, find a better state of tide from which to leave the Deben.
Departure from Woodbridge

Stour weather
The trip up the Stour yielded some interesting skyscapes.
Stour sunset
I reached Manningtree and picked up a mooring for the night.
Stour sunset (2)
In the morning, 31st July, I paddled into Manningtree for breakfast, before taking the ebb down the Stour and out of Harwich harbour along to the Backwaters, taking an afternoon anchorage in Hamford Water, and having a kip whilst some stormy weather went over.
In the evening, I decided to take out the navigation lights and circumnavigate Horsey Island by dusk/night.  I managed this sailing the entire way without any use of other means of propulsion!  The navigation lights amount to little more than a set of coloured bike lights, but they seem to do the job.  I'm not sure what other boats would be able to see from broadside on, but they certainly worked from ahead or astern.  The rig below needs to be modified, since the jibsheets were inclined to foul each light as I went about.  I think I may look to rig them further forward - perhaps design a piece of wood from which to hang clip them.
Night sail navigation lights, port/starboard

Night sail navigation light, stern

Night sail, Harwich from Hamford Water
I worked my way along Hamford Water, into the freshly dredged entrance to the Walton Channel by Stone Point, up the channel, past Titchmarsh Marina and out into Horsey Mere.  Once in Horsey Mere, I anchored for 45 minutes and had a bite to eat whilst waiting for the tide to rise sufficiently to be confident of crossing The Wade without damaging anything.  Once past The Wade, I used some GPS assistance as well as keeping a careful eye on the compass since it was very dark and the moonlight was behind rather than ahead, which made it difficult to see where I was heading.
Having found Kirby Creek, I sailed back along to Hamford Water and turned into Landermere Creek and set anchor at about 23 30 hours.

Night sail, Horsey Mere, waiting for higher water

Night sail, nav lights

Night sail, stern nav light, looking back towards Titchmarsh marina
On 1st August, I sailed back to the mooring at Pin Mill.

Track, 75.3nm; Season's total 295.9nm
Red track: 29th July; White track: 30th July; Green track: 31st July; Purple track: 1st August

Deben track detail

Stour track detail

Walton Backwaters track detail