|Ceol na Mara and Daisy II beached at Felixstowe Ferry|
147 nautical miles
5 rivers (Orwell, Ore, Alde, Butley, Deben)
9 boats at various times (Coasters: Daisy II, Virginia, Martha; Dabber: Ceol na Mara; Longboat: Five Alive; Deben Luggers: Debutante, Deben Lugger; Lugger: Cutty Stark; Norfolk Gipsy: anon!)
several pubs and restaurants
incalculable pleasure by all involved!
|Overall 147nm; season's total 409.3nm|
|On the way to Orford Haven: Daisy II in heavy following seas just beyond the entrance to the Deben|
|Sunset over Orford - a peaceful end to a rocky sea passage.|
|July 28; Orwell to the Ore; 21.5nm|
After a lazy start, we were joined by longboat Five Alive and a Deben Lugger. We took the ebb sailing against a fresh F4 south westerly, working our way anticlockwise around the Havergate Island nature reserve, and stopping for elevenses on a shingle beach off Orford Ness.
|Drascombes off Orford Ness|
|Broad reach up the Ore, past Havergate Island|
At Snape, we were treated to a venerable display of Dabber skipper-action, including rowing, swimming and showering!
|Dabber captain demonstrating the many facets of dabbering...|
|Drascombes moored at Snape|
|Sunset at Snape|
|July 29: Ore to the Alde and Snape; 18.8nm|
An early start, coinciding with HW saw us depart from Snape, retracing our way along the winding channels and finally setting sail opposite Iken Church. The plan was to wend our way back to Aldeburgh for breakfast.
|Dabber Ceol na Mara sailing past Iken Church|
|Drascombes sailing down the Alde|
|longboat Five Alive on the Ore|
|Even I could recognise this bird strutting its way along the mud banks.|
|Curlews on the mud banks|
|Sailing club pontoons at Orford|
At around 5pm, the weather cleared, as per the forecast and a wonderful evening ensued making possible our planned evening cruise with the tide up the River Butley.
|Daisy II on the Butley|
We found a wonderful anchorage on the ensuing ebb, in one case rather enforced by the act of going aground.
|Dabber Ceol na Mara rowing to its preferred anchoring point|
|I enjoyed this panorama of sunset on the Butley, even if it makes the gunwhales look rather peculiar...|
|July 30: Snape to the Butley; 16.1nm|
Today, coasters Virginia and Daisy II took the coastal passage from the Ore to the Deben. Other participants made a land-based transit, by means of car and trailer.
|A seal guarding the entrance to the River Butley|
|Felixstowe Ferry panoramic pic|
|July 31: Ore to the Deben; 19.4nm|
In terms of sailing conditions, today was undoubtedly the finest day of the trip, with wall-to-wall sunshine and pleasant F3/4 southerly/south-easterly winds. Ideal for Drascombing.
|Ceol na Mara leaving Waldringfield|
|Alex Haig's Norfolk Gypsy|
Lunch at Felixstowe Ferry, together with ample time to wander around was most welcome. Additionally, I had a chance to inspect the hull of Daisy II which, having been in the water since the Wells rally at the beginning of June, was pleasingly free of weed.
|Running up the Deben|
|Drascombes at Tide Mill Quay, Woodbridge|
|August 1: Waldringfield to Felixstowe Ferry to Woodbridge; 15.8nm|
Sailing, as I do, single-handed for the majority of the year, it is a rare treat to have the company of both wife and son. Today, I left Woodbridge in time to pick them up at Waldringfield at 11am. The morning featured sharp thunderstorms, but very light winds. Today was as much to do with drifting as it was with sailing. Once more, we dried out at Felixstowe Ferry, and were later joined by Ceol na Mara and, at last, Deben Lugger Debutante whose owners had been beset with various breakages. At Felixstowe Ferry, I managed some video of the latter, and some snaps of both weaving their way amongst the various moorings.
|Deben lugger Debutante|
|Ceol na Mara and Debutante weaving through moorings opposite Bawdsey|
|Ceol na Mara coming in to land!|
At the end of the day, we returned, once more, to Woodbridge for a final night at Tide Mill Quay, arriving under cover of darkness!
|Dabber accommodation (in case anyone had wondered!)|
|August 2: Woodbridge to Felixstowe Ferry and back; 17.6nm|
As is often the case prior to the final day's long return-cruise, a lazy, penultimate day! Ceol na Mara pulled out in the morning. Other skippers enjoyed a lethargic brunch at a hostelry in Woodbridge!
|Drascombers 'in action'|
|A local swan gate-crashing the party...|
Coasters Virginia and Daisy II then sailed to a recognised anchorage, "The Rocks", just downstream from Waldringfield to see out the afternoon.
|"The Rocks" anchorage|
|August 3: Woodbridge to "The Rocks"; 6.1nm|
Before departing the Deben, tides were right to take us up to the navigational head of the river - although certain scullers would dispute this, demonstrating their ease at rowing through the arched bridge.
|The navigational head of the River Deben at Woodbridge - although, as we agreed, the bridge wasn't wooden!|
|Coasters Daisy II and Virginia sailing along the Felixstowe shoreline|
Once more back at my mooring at Pin Mill, I pictured Virginia as her skipper called by for a farewell at the end of a fantastic cruise!
|August 4: Return to the Orwell|