Saturday, 29 October 2016

October half term cruise

Sunrise over Trinity Terminal docks
It's always a noble aim to go cruising during October half term, more often than not thwarted by inclement weather or the holiday lurgy.  This year, the stars seemed to align enabling a three day trip to the old haunts in and around the River Orwell.

44.1nm.  Red track: Wednesday; White track: Thursday; Green track: Friday
Wednesday 26th October - Orwell to Walton Backwaters

'Slippery' way at Woolverstone Marina
The slipway at Woolverstone doesn't improve.  It's still ridiculously expensive and poorly maintained.  At these prices, they could at least scrub the slope free of the slippery algae which sadly makes it a treacherous place under foot.  It's a pity since it is an ideal location with plenty of laying up space.
There was no particular cruising plan this week - just a desire to drift with wind and tide.  Morning tides meant that much of the cruise involved sailing downstream.  Today, this involved sailing into Harwich harbour, the first of two visits to Halfpenny Pier in Old Harwich and then a trip across Dovercourt Bay to Hamford Water - an ever-splendid destination!
Calm conditions in the Orwell

The first of two visits to Halfpenny Pier, Old Harwich
 The SW F3/4 winds lead to a very enjoyable beat into the Walton Backwaters.  Once in Hamford Water, the wind dropped and I motored to a favourite anchorage in Landermere Creek.


Thursday 27th October - Landermere Creek, River Stour, return to the Orwell

Cruises at this time of the year are necessarily curtailed by a shortage of daylight hours, unless one is inclined to sail at night.  I took the daylight option, making good use of the darkness for sleeping!  It also helps to have some programmes downloaded on BBC's iPlayer!

The day began with a trip up to Beaumont Quay, making good use of the remainder of the flood.  I then returned to Harwich for an early lunch at Halfpenny Pier - it makes sense to enjoy this location at this time of the year since it's always far too busy and inaccessible in season.
After lunch, I spent some time beating against both a fickle wind and more predictably solid tide up the Stour before giving up on the wind and resorting to motor for a trip up to Holbrooke.  A glorious return run with the last of the ebb was the reward, prior to anchoring in the Orwell opposite Trinity Terminal docks.
Commercial traffic on the Orwell


Friday 28th October - Orwell cruise

Friday began with a glorious sunrise (pictured above).  I needed to pull the boat out at Woolverstone at HW (11am).  So, the westerly breeze gave me a chance to beat up the Orwell, and enjoy a brief trip past Freston before returning to Woolverstone.  It was great to see Dave in his now much modified coaster Pamela.  His latest additions are metal mast and spars, and a lovely staysail inside the jib.  It's great to see another skipper enjoying the almost limitless sail and rigging possibilities afforded by these brilliant boats.
Coaster Pamela looking resplendent with its much changed rig.


And so ended another cruise, most likely the final trip of the season.  The outboard motor is now safely stowed at Seamark Nunn.  I may well trip over to Rutland Water if time and conditions allow. Let's hope they do...!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Rutland Water, 2nd October

Traditional rig on Rutland Water
The season is fast passing by and, even before allowing for inclement October weather, precious few free days remain in a busy diary. So, it's important to seize the day with a quick Sunday trip to Rutland Water.

Dabber Serendipity from a distance
Let's enjoy the view while we can
|Looking across at the south shore