|Coaster Mellon crossing Horsey Mere|
|Overall rally and cruise, 196.6nm|
|Trailer woes finally fixed - in the nick of time...|
The first day of the rally. We were based in Titchmarsh Marina who were exceptionally helpful and welcoming. Today's plan was a well rehearsed trip down the Walton Channel, into Hamford Water and along Landermere Creek.
|Daisy II rigging the main|
Various delays amongst some boats meant that we didn't quite make it to the top of the navigation at Beaumont Quay - in which respect, Daisy II was to make amends later in the week.
|Drascombe raft for lunch off Landermere Quay|
|Lugger Rita May in Landermere Creek|
|Tacking up Kirby Creek|
|Coaster Appuskidu - impressionist style...|
|Daisy II on Horsey Mere|
|Appuskidu on Horsey Mere|
|Daisy II and Drifter 22 Rose heading back to base after crossing Horsey Mere|
|Saturday 6th August; 11.4nm|
|Titchmarsh Marina made a superb venue for the weekend rally|
Coasters Daisy II, Appuskidu and Mellon spent time beating up the latter stretch...
... before returning to join the remainder of the fleet for a picnic lunch at Stone Point.
|Stone Point made for a convenient lunch stop in strengthening F5-6 westerly winds.|
|Daisy II taking the stern-to kedge approach|
|Lugger Rita May on the slipway at Titchmarsh - the slip is good for use at most states of the tide, although it is muddy and slippy at lower states.|
|Sunday 7th August; 8.8nm|
|Mellon and Valentine sailing off Felixstowe|
As is so often the case, whilst winds were relatively tame at sea and passing through Woodbridge Haven, the first stretch of the Deben named Sea Reach presented more of a challenge - any westerly winds tend to funnel down this channel and we found ourselves beating into a North Westerly. This was until Daisy II went tamely aground on the turn off Green Point and, rather more calamitously, Mellon's winch broke off joining Davy Jones in his locker.
We stopped for lunch just beyond Ramsholt at the southerly end of The Rocks and, thinking ahead to the next day's planned trip south, a replacement winch was successfully ordered from a chandlery in Brightlingsea.
|Valentine running past Methersgate Quay|
...stopping, once again, at The Rocks for a quiet night at anchor.
|Sunset over Spinny Marsh off The Rocks|
|Monday 8th August; 23.2nm|
|Coasters Mellon and Valentine leaving Woodbridge Haven|
|Mellon reaching across Pennyhole Bay towards The Naze Tower|
|Daisy II off Felixstowe|
|Daisy II off Felixstowe|
We had planned to join with coaster Spray for a longer period on this cruise. Spray had launched in The Swale; his journey north was delayed, as was ours south, by strong winds. However, it was good at least to meet up for the rest of this day and night.
|Daisy II and Spray at the town pontoon, Brightlingsea - whilst Mellon sorted out a replacement winch|
|At Rowhedge for a pint|
|Tuesday 9th August; 42.4nm|
|At the public hard, West Mersea|
|Valentine sailing up the River Blackwater|
|Daisy II and Valentine off Osea Island|
|Coasters rafted at Blackwater Marina|
|Wednesday 10th August: 18.6nm|
|At the town pontoon, Burnham on Crouch|
|Sunset over the Wallasea Island nature reserve|
|Thursday 11th August; 33.0nm|
|Sunrise over Foulness Island, from Quay Reach|
We had planned to try and meet up with Mellon somewhere off Clacton. However, VHF contact failed, and we had assumed he would be further ahead of us. In fact, he was late in departing and, whilst he spotted us when turning into The Wallet off Colne Point, we couldn't see Mellon and kept going.
|The furthermost extent of Walton Pier - which comes into view several miles back but takes a long time to reel in.|
|The Naze Tower|
|Friday 12th August; 30.6nm|
|A series of snaps of Daisy II taken from Mellon|
Today, for a change, Daisy II had crew. We planned to sail over to Harwich, call in at Halfpenny Pier if possible but, in the more likely event of the Pier being full, to anchor in the lea of Shotley Point for lunch before sailing back. The trip turned out as expected. A particular highlight was the beat back to Walton where, in increasingly fresh conditions, we employed the additional ballast of crew to good effect under full sail through the increasingly narrow channel, returning via the Walton Channel to base.
|Saturday 13th August; 18.1nm|
The plan was to take the boats out on the morning tide at around 10am. However, I fancied a swansong trip. Leaving the marina at dawn, I sailed up to Landermere Quay and then motored along Beaumont Cut to reach Beaumont Quay by 8am, a couple of hours before HW on neaps. There was just sufficient depth to achieve this and it was good to put right what we hadn't quite managed last Saturday.
|Beaumont Quay in the early morning sunshine|
|These stones are said to have come from the old London Bridge in the early nineteenth century, when Beaumont Quay was an important landing point for Thames Barges.|
|Beaumont Quay from the east.|
|The bare bones of Rose|
|Entrance to the Lime Kiln at Beaumont Quay|
|Sunday 14th August; 10.5nm|