Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Summer holiday shakedown cruise, 21-24 July

No charges for this evening berth in Holbrook Bay
At last, the summer holidays have arrived and it's always important to set out one's stall, as it were.  This will be a summer of sailing - as if it hadn't been already.

The first instalment on Saturday 21st July, was to tag along with a Dinghy Cruising Association rally - the first time I had done this.  They happened to be in the area, so it seemed churlish not to.  The plan was to launch on the Orwell, sail around to Holbrook Bay, beach our boats for the evening, making use of a local pub, and then back the next day.  I like that ethos: no expensive marina fees, free moorings courtesy of 'mother nature'.  In the event, Daisy II was one of four participating boats.

Other DCA boats
Evening berth, courtesy of 'mother nature' in Holbrook Bay
The evening was only spoilt by the pub claiming it was too busy to serve us food, thus forcing me to work through some tins of rations on the boat. When we arrived at the pub for beer at 9.10pm, it was completely deserted, so they couldn't have been that busy...
Day 1: 19.0nm

The following day, I parted company from the others and sailed out of the Stour, down The Wallet to Pyefleet Creek opposite Brightlingsea.

Yet again, Pyefleet rewarded me with some excellent sunset imagery.
Day 2: 30.2nm

On 23rd, I motored out to Colne Point and then set sail back up The Wallet, bound for The Deben.  The weather was set fair, with light winds, and progress was steady and I arrived at The Rocks anchorage at about 3pm.
Later that evening, I called in at Waldringfield for a bite to eat in the pub.

Beached at Waldringfield

...before retiring to The Rocks for the night.
Day 3: 36.2

Finally, on the 24th, I motored back round to Woolverstone to return home.
Becalmed on the final morning - anchored at The Rocks, River Deben

Day 4: 15.3nm

Monday, 16 July 2018

Coniston Rally, 14-15 July

Daisy II in the secret harbour, 'Wildcat Island'

At last I was able to attend the Coniston Rally in the Lake District.
Saturday sailing and clue-hunting

Drascombes blending in...

Saturday picnic lunch at Brown Howe

Dabbering on Coniston

Coniston Sailing Club were our hosts.  Excellent facilities, including slipway, mooring jetty, club house, kitchen and bathrooms

Early Sunday morning trip to Peel Island - 'Wildcat Island' for those who know their Ransome

The secret harbour - rather lacking in water...

Presumably this is the main campsite for the Walker children

More blending in...

For 30 minutes, I had the place to myself, and then the canoeists turned up (just edging in, right of picture)

So I departed and pictured the island from a distance.

Further down the lake, others were beginning to stir.  Coaster Kathleen was on manoeuvres

Presumably they were on their way to retrieve the various clues left behind the previous day.

And so it came to hauling out, and a 6 hour road trip back south...

Saturday morning (yellow) 7.1nm; Saturday afternoon (red) 7.8nm; Sunday morning (blue) 10.4nm

And so, this spell of sailing on inland waterways (Rutland Water and Coniston) comes to an end.  Next week, serious summer sea sailing sets in!  A West Country Odyssey has been long in the planning and that will need some seriously settled weather.  However, I may well begin this coming weekend with a three or four days cruising around some familiar east coast haunts.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Rutland Water Rally, July 7th 2018

Splendid view of Rutland Water.  Winds were light, but once they got going there was sailing to be done!
This was the first time I had tried organising a one day rally - that is: turn up on the day, sail and go home.  The rally happened this way really out of necessity, and was a qualified success.  The sailing was great, but it would have been good to meet up and chat with some of the participants.  I didn't really manage to meet everyone.

Lugger Florence
Participating boats were:
Coasters: Daisy II, Bundy Bear, Eileen Rona
LBC: Rachel
Luggers: Florence, An Dobhrain
Dabber: Gannet
BC23: Kestrel
Lune Pilot: Moon River

Drascombes mixing with the locals. Rutland Water is the largest inland lake in the UK by surface area, eclipsed in volume by the deeper Kielder Reservoir.
 We spent the morning struggling, in varied winds, to navigate the northern branch of Rutland Water.  We returned to Whitwell Creek for lunch.  In the afternoon, a slightly steadier breeze helped us over to the southern branch.
Fellow Drascomber bringing along a Lune Pilot, Moon River, for some variety

Coaster Bundy Bear

Daisy II

With the GoPro fish-eye view, this shot up the mainsail didn't really work...!

I left the ship's battery at home; this track was made using Strava, pretending I was in a kayak, since this App doesn't have a sailing option...14.8nm