Sunday, 26 October 2014

starry starry night

It was a real treat to get back out on the water!

The weekend started with us arriving at Bridgemarsh marina on the Crouch at around 19:00..... and easy journey bar one little mishap.... we went to the wrong marina to start with... but only 4 miles away!

Getting onboard Full Circle, and met up with Lynn again, which was a real treat, as we've not seen her for a very long while... her other half Jim was just jumping on a plane back from Milan, hence the reason why we were tasked with taking her down to the Orwell, a trip of a mere 35nm.

Lynn had put together a fab Spaghetti Bolognaise, so that vanished quicker than you could say 'are we really departing at midnight?"

Unfortunately, the tides hadn't been very friendly, and the ideal departure time was around 01:00... so we'd decided to take a bit of adverse tide, and leave it a bit earlier, just to make slightly less antisocial.

The Met Office forecast on the radio was offering a rather unpleasant 5 to 6.... I had been watching the forecast for a few days, and was rather sceptical about this, particular as the US GFS model was saying something quite different... and my experience in recent imes has been both that the GFS forecast is more accurate, and that the Met Office are extremely pessimistic, and always seem to look for the worst case.

So, it wasn't a surprise to me to see that during the evening, the wind steadily dropped, and as we cast off at midnight, it was virtually dead calm.

And it stayed that way.

So the engine on, and we motored.... we motored all the way to Ipswich.

It sounds like a bit of a let down, but it was more than made up for by the incredibly clear night, and stars to end them all.... for anyone who sails regularly, and loves their night passages, they'll know what I mean... the starry sky is truly spectacular... its a wonderful wonderful sight.

We, more by luck than judgement, arrived at Royal Harwich Yacht Club, just as dawn had properly broken.... and headed for a vacant berth... and I promptly ran aground!.... the end of the marina shallows pretty heavily... and we found the shallowest shallow patch!.. i'm led to understand that they are doi some dredging this winter to resolve the problem.... however, it wasn't an issue... we were at LW, so would have just floated off after a few minutes, but because i'd been going very slowly, we had only realky just touched, and a bit of reverse pulled her off easily. We headed to the other end of the marina, and found plenty of water at this end... and wer soon in a berth.

Next order of the day, a full fried breakfast, and then we all crashed out for 4 hours of much needed sleep.... as we arose, Jim joined us... hoorah, a full complement!

That evening, a decent crowd gathered for the East Coast Forum Laying Down supper (I know that should be Laying Up supper, but we're a rather contrarian lot, and this seemed a better title for the event!)... it was great to see a few old faces, and some new ones... who knew that a group of internet acquantainces could be such great company!

A few drinks, a splendid meal (well down RHYC, it was good grub, and very pleasant surroundings!)
and to bed... in bed by 01:00.... a bit late, given that the unfriendly tides had maintained their grudge, and departure time was 07:00 the next morning... or actually 06:00 to be correct, as overnight, daylight saving ended and the clocks moved from BST to GMT/UTC.

We raised ourselves, a bit weary still after limited sleep two nights in a row, and motored out without incident... there was about 15kts of wind, so a sail look possible... however, it is the curse of a sailor to find that the wind is always dead on the bow, this being no exception, and so we had to motor sail.

As we rounded Walton headland, it had picked up to a lively 20kts, and the new course took the wind from slight off dead ahead, to absolutely dead ahead.. the sail was slatting and banging around, so weeven had to drop that, and yep... we motored all the way back.

Now, it may be fair to challenge me on the trade descriptions act, when I describe the trip as a sail, but I don't car.. it was just good to be back out on the water!

Other than that, it was an uneventful trip, with very little traffic out there on a grey, chilly, windy day in late October.

We were back in Bridgemarsh by 12:30, and away shortly after... a great weekend... thanks Jim for trusting me with your lovely boat, and thanks to all the ECF lot for a weekend filled with laughter.

All that leaves is for me to ressurect an old feature on my blog... the mileage tracker below.. lets hope it has a few more entries before too long!

Miles logged 70nm
Miles this season 70nm
Miles since this blog started 6,021nm

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