Monday, 28 July 2008

Finally, summer arrives

Well, you can't complain about this weekend's weather!All week the forecast has flipped between OK and poor, and so it we held off the decision on our plans until Thursday pm, when we decided to go for it....We'd invited along a school friend for both kids (or rather they had!), and we wanted to make sure it was OK weather wise, as 2 kids are hard enough when they get 'bored' as the weather isn't compliant, so 4 would be a bit much....However, we arrived Friday night to a breathless and hot evening, and by the time we'd got the kids settled in for the night, snatched a quick ice cold beer, it was time for us to crash out too....Saturday was an early start.... the first HW was at 07h00, and while we were OK to enter Stone Point (the main kid friendly destination within an easy distance) until about 10h00 or perhaps a bit later given that it was neaps, we knew that with the forecast, the anchorage would get busy.... so 08h00 and we were out....Still completely calm, so we motored the short distance to the Backwaters, and were proved completely correct.... there were already at least 10 boats there in an anchorage that holds 20 boats at best.....and by 09h30 we were on the beach!And boy was it hot...... the temperature continued to build, until it hit the 30's around lunch time.... the kids swam nearly all morning....By lunchtime a bit of a sea breeze had kicked in, so I took the tender (now named by C as Seaweed - complete with painted name on stern) back to Morgana and stuck the sail on.... finally a chance to sail her..... and it couldn't have been better..... very hot, 12 to 15 kts of wind..... and she sailed beautifully!By the time i'd finished tacking back and forth, taking the kids for a ride, as a group, individually, and as a group again.... it was mid afternoon.... and the heat was winning out.... so we retired back to the boat and relaxed for a bit..... Morgana's greater creature comforts in evidence as we were all able to take a shower to wash the sand and salt off, and then by 17h00, C and her friend offered to cook, and put together a great curry, which we all enjoyed in the cockpit.....During the late afternoon, the anchorage had got considerably busier, and was now well past it nominal capacity, and still they came.... one boat tried to slip inbetween us and our neighbour, and sat there happily for an hour or so.... I was most unhappy about the proximity, and as the tide slackened, our difference in displacement inevitably kicked in, and we got very close.... after a bit of fending off, I convinced them that there really wasn't space, and they begrudgingly upped anchor and cleared off up the river....As the evening progressed and the heat faded a little, we all returned ashore and went for a long walk along the shore line, a couple of miles towards Walton and back.... its a lovely beach, made all the better by its lack of access to the general public making it quiet, unspoilt and quite beautiful. The only spoiler being the ridiculous amount of plastic washed up along the HW mark..... Humans really are a disgusting species.It was a classic Stone Point evening.... complete flat calm, a wonderful sunset, a warm evening, and absolute peace and quiet.... apart from a rock band in the far distance (obviously an open air gig of some sort), but that was far enough away, and sufficiently infrequent to spoil the evening.... the Avocets and Curlews were in full song..... not matter how many times I experience that feeling, I still live for it.Sunday dawned very similar, so again, driven by tidal times, we cast off early and this time set off out to sea... there wasn't a great deal of wind... just 4 or 5kts.... but with no destination planned, and such great temperatures, we drifted idly.... with the log reading never more than 1.9kts, and regularly drifting down to zero, I was at peace with the world... the kids sat on the foredeck and dangled their toes over the bow in a vain attempt to reach the water, and we put gentle music on the cockpit speakers and floated along...After a while, we about faced, and sailed up wind back towards Harwich, and with the apparent wind increased, made a better 2.5kts through the water.... the breeze over the deck most welcomed..... the spray hood dropped for the first time in a long while....After one or two tacks, we waved at the first of several friends spotted... this time Barbican Bill on Santana, and then slowly worked our way into Harwich and on up the Orwell to SYH, where we grabbed Guapa's bouy for a lunch stop..... it was to be a relatively short stop.... going up the river had lost much of the sea breeze, and the lack of apparent wind saw the temperature in the cockpit shoot upwards..... us soft Brits aren't used to temperatures regaularly reaching double figures, let alone hitting the thirties, and so we all baked for a while, and fading rapidly, set off back to the marina..... where ice creams solved all our woes.... tied up, packed up and departing by 15h00....Magic.... what a weekend!

Miles logged 19nm
Miles this season 393nm
Miles since this blog started 3,330nm

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