Another hot weekend loomed! The usual Friday evening traffic madness was avoided, as C wanted to go to her Friday night sea cadets, so we didn't get away until 20h30.... Arrival was too late for a Friday night departure, so we wiated until Saturday morning... We had (yet again) a guest onboard... this time, my neice, R, who is a keen Oppy sailor, and quite excited about the trip... the usual Stone point run was planned out (NB to self - stop going to Stone point, i know its nice, but perhaps some other destinations would be good!) So about 09h00 Saturday we slipped and left... the sun was shining, and there was about 4 or 5 kts of wind... so we motored.... pretty much the whole way.... we did try to sail, but there was so little wind that we couldn't stem the tide.... We arrived in the Backwaters by 11h00, and looked initially in vain for a spot to anchor.. it was really busy.... we were just beginning to wonder if we might have to slip round to Hamford Water, when someone kindly pulled up their pick and left... so a slot appeared, and we dropped in.... it took 2 attempts to anchor.... the first time it didn't bite... I think I dropped the chain too fast... but second time was fine... After a short wait to check that we were holding OK, we set of for the beach (entailed the normal palavour of inflating the tender on the foredeck, and wobbling into the inflated tender with the outboard!) Fun and games was had by all.... hot on the beach.... We were a bit too far out into the channel for my liking, so when another boat inside us also left, then SWMBO and I dived into the tender and moved Maggie 60 feet closer to the beach... the boat was moved without drama... but it wasn't without incident... The outboard needs a good pull to get it going, so its my job, while SWMBO holds the tender off the shore.... usually no problem... only this time, she hopped to get onboard, stood on a sharp stone, and didn't quite make it into the tender.... teetered on the edge for a second or so, and gracefully rolled backwards off the side into 18" of water!.... I was laughing my head off.... fortunately she also saw the funny side of it, and was rather pleased with herself for keeping the auto inflating lifejacket dry....! By 17h30, everyone was tiring so we retired back to the boat for food, cold drinks and an evening of card games..... The new batteries are doing their stuff, and the fridge is significantly colder than it used to be... We held just fine through the turn of the tide, and the kids went to bed (albeit begrudgingly) at 21h30... at which point SWMBO and i sat in the cockpit with a bottle of wine and chilled out... One surreal moment.... it was still very hot at 22h00, and a large group on the beach were enjoying themselves... one of their group had an accordian, and was belting out all the old favourites... but it did get kind of wierd, sitting there in the cockpit at gone 10 O'clock at night in just shorts, listening to 'Jingle Bells' being played rousingly on the beach, with full vocal accompaniement... Kids awoke us bright and early as usual, and with a bit of a breeze having kicked in, we decided to sail rather than return to the beach.... so we set off down towards Cork Sands Yacht Beacon.... it was very hazy, and at just 2nm offshore, the land had vanished... but nevertheless.... with 13kts of wind, and broad reaching, it was a cracking sail..... sadly, it had to end, so we tacked round, and headed back to Harwich, and then sailed most of the way downwind back to Ipswich.... by Woolverstone, the wind which had been building steadilt up to 18kts, vanished, so after a few minutes of drifting, we dropped the sails and motored.... just as well, as 5 minutes later, the wind returned at 20kts, 180 degrees different, so it would have been a stiff beat! There was a bit of traffic for the lock, so we tried our spring line again onto the holding pontoon... SWMBO was much happier, and when the lock gates opened up, we again used the spring... A bit of confidence could be seen in her... So when we arrived at the berth, it was rathere smartly slipped over the outermost cleat, and we arrived neat and tidy on the pontoon... problem solved... it works OK now she understands the mechanics of it all... So, another hot weekend... with good wind.... long may this super summer weather continue!
Miles logged 25nm
Miles this season 378nm
Miles since this blog started 1,159nm