Sunday, 29 October 2017
|Back to Harwich|
|Full track for both days, 31.2nm|
Between other commitments and howling gales, the weather cleared and I launched at Woolverstone for what has turned out to be the final coastal sail of the season. There may be opportunities for a day trip to somewhere like Rutland Water later next month. We shall have to see! However, the engine is now at Seamark Nunn for winter storage and servicing - expensive but worth it if, like me, one has little understanding of the workings of the infernal (sic.) combustion engine...
|October 26th, trip from Woolverstone to Walton Backwaters, 10.2nm|
|Halfpenny Pier. It's never accessible during the summer, and it is so good to have it all to one's self during the off-season.|
|Walton Channel to Halfpenny Pier - 6.9nm|
|Drilling jack, Paragon B391 at Harwich docks|
|Felixstowe was its usual, busy self.|
|Afternoon track - return to Woolverstone, 14.2nm|
Wednesday, 4 October 2017
|Drascombes gathered on Saturday morning at Waveney River Centre|
Nine boats, fourteen sailors and another Broads rally, the eighth edition in as many recent years and a welcome return to the River Waveney.
Participating boats were:
Luggers: Rita May, Little Egret, Duchess, Jimbo
Longboat: Jenny Morgan
Coasters: Spindrift, Kathleen, Prawnpipe, Daisy II
|Wooden lugger Rita May|
|Departure from Waveney River Centre|
Weather conditions were overcast with light winds. Often, tree-lined banks shielded our low rigs from the wind so, as often is the case on the Broads, it was a frustrating process. However, on Saturday we had the gentle tide in our favour and boats managed to sail a fair proportion of the way.
|Coaster Kathleen proving a point by sailing all the way!|
|Ready to pass under the bridges at Beccles|
|Arrival at Geldeston|
|Drascombes rafted at Geldeston|
|Breakfast at Geldeston Locks|
|Luggers Little Egret and Duchess sharing power|
|Sunday morning stop at Beccles; we're between the two bridges and so all masts currently dropped.|
|Sailing east from Beccles until the wind dropped.|
On the return trip back to base, winds were mostly on the nose so I motored on past the Waveney River Centre. Reaching Oulton Broad, I set sail beating across the larger expanse of water before sailing with the wind back to the slipway at WRC. This made for a pleasant sailing coda to the weekend.
Monday, 28 August 2017
|Arrival at Whitby on Sunday, after 247 nautical miles!|
Day 1: Sunday 20th August, River Orwell to Southwold
Today's destination was flexible - Southwold or Lowestoft. Lowestoft would cut the sea hours the following day, Southwold is far more picturesque. In the event, I opted for the nearer port knowing that this would most likely add a day to the journey. I wanted to reach Wells before contemplating a trip across The Wash and it would just be a step too far to make Wells from Southwold in one day.
I launched at Woolverstone Marina just before HW (11am) having arranged to leave car and trailer here until my return a week later. Winds were light and I found myself using the engine more than I would have liked for the trip up the coast. The ebbing tide would be with me for much of the trip, at least until Aldeburgh.
|Military hangers off Orford.|
|Orford Ness lighthouse|
|Secure on the new visitor's jetty at Southwold - a fine facility.|
|Day 1: River Orwell to Southwold, 36.5nm|
Day 2: Monday 21st August, Southwold to Blakeney
This was going to be an exceptionally long day at sea. I departed from Southwold at 0500, knowing that the tide wouldn't turn in my favour for at least another four hours. There is a considerable difference. A favourable tide means speeds of 6+ knots with a modest power input; tides against mean speeds of just over 3 knots with considerable power input. The calculation today was that I would have a full 6 hours of favourable tides and this needed to be exploited to the full to reach Blakeney harbour.
|Leaving Southwold. It was actually considerably darker than this; the sun was about to rise and Southwold, from the north east, was covered in a blanket of mist.|
|Sunrise at sea is always a treat.|
|I took a series of snaps of erosion, knowing that the media has made much of the loss of land and buildings along this stretch of coast. The evidence was clear to see.|
At a point between Winterton and Sea Palling, I was directed a couple of miles away from shore whilst several large tugs and ships conducted a salvage operation for several 500m lengths of floating piping.
|Floating piping out at sea.|
|Southwold to Blakeney: 62.1nm|
The considerable exertions of the previous day had taken their toll. The best thing for today was to hop round to Wells and spend the day there, restocking and planning before the next anticipated long haul across The Wash to The Humber.
I left Blakeney probably later than intended and slightly underestimated the relatively short trip to Wells, nevertheless making it by about 90 minutes after HW. I was against the tide all the way and was heartily relieved to tie up, as instructed by the Deputy Harbour Master, next to a fishing boat on the pontoon at Wells.
|Seals off Blakeney Point|
|In the evening, several fishing boats returned including one lowlife skipper whose wash pushed a whole load of sandy scum all over Daisy II's bows and on the cabin top. This picture was taken after spending much time attempting to clear things up...|
|Blakeney Harbour to Wells-next-the-Sea, 9.2nm|
Day 4: Wednesday 23rd August, Wells-next-the-Sea to Tetney Haven (River Humber)
This was always going to be the most arduous passage of the trip. In retrospect, I chose a silly route in steering away from shore. I should have followed initial instincts which had been to work a passage over to somewhere close to Skegness, avoiding the several wind farms of course, and then up the coast. It's a lonely place, out at sea with no land in sight and The Wash presents tricky conditions. Today, a relatively light, but nonetheless noticeable south-easterly made for some very rocky seas, and visibility was poor. Once away from Wells, I didn't spot land again until entering the firing range off Donna Nook, close to the intended destination.
To cap off a difficult day, the GPS kept cutting out, something I subsequently gathered may well have been a loose connection at the positive terminal on the ship's battery - but I didn't spot that until a few days later...
Anyhow, today was not a day for photographs until close to Tetney Haven itself - an anchorage which most certainly didn't disappoint. In fact, I was mightily impressed by The Humber in general, and look forward to returning one day for a longer cruise in this area.
|Inner Dowsing navigation marker|
|Haile Sand Fort, River Humber - a welcome sight since, the area to the rear right of the picture is Tetney Haven, my intended anchorage for the night.|
|After four days out at sea, the ship's fridge ceases to be effective, so I have to forage in the lower locker areas for sources of potential food... Still, OSH doesn't hurt...|
|Wells-next-the-Sea to Tetney Haven, River Humber: 52.8nm|
Yesterday's was the most difficult passage. Today, once having negotiated my way across the mouth of The Humber and clear of Spurn Point, the excellent weather forecast offered reason for much optimism for the final two legs of the journey. I set off at HW 0830, intending to reach Bridlington by about 1800 which would be about an hour before its HW.
It is difficult working across the several shipping lanes at the mouth of the Humber. As ever, ships which seem miles away suddenly approach in full view just as one sets across their path. I cut things a little fine negotiating my way across the final shipping channel today, but made it just. Then, it is necessary to steer a wide berth around Spurn Point due to challenging eddies. The trip up the coast, however, was truly splendid. Westerly winds were pushing me further and further out to sea whilst under sail. So, once clear of the two wind farms in this region, I furled sails and motored back to shore before setting sail once again for Bridlington harbour.
|Approaching Bridlington under sail - full main with reefed jib.|
|Safely moored at Bridlington - an excellent harbour with good facilities.|
|Tetney Haven (on The Humber) to Bridlington: 46.7nm|
Day 6: Friday 25th August, Bridlington to Whitby
And so it came down to the final day. Winds were, again, light and westerly/south westerly.
I set off at around 0800, an hour or so before HW. The tide was already helping me on my way, and I had an inspiring couple of hours looking, close in, at 'nature's cathedral' - the several miles of cliffs, stacks, buttresses and caves which constitute Flamborough Head.
|The inspiring Flamborough Head - nature's cathedral!|
Once inside Whitby harbour, I had to wait half an hour before Whitby bridge became operative two hours before HW, and then found my way to Whitby Marina for the night.
|Bridlington to Whitby: 39.8nm|
I've made it to Whitby. What next? Well, another summer, another challenge: Whitby onwards! The Tyne and Lindsfarne sound appealing. Moreover, having holidayed there previously, I have an ambition to make it over The Forth to Anstruther in East Fife!