Saturday, 29 August 2009

Last year the Lifeboat - this year the ambulance

Ipswich hospital: 10-50:
The Lifeboat was better.
I came here last week - with fluid in the lining of left lung - no wonder I could not breath. Have had various tests and the diagnosis is not very nice (lung cancer) and the expectation of life not very long. I am getting treatment here after the weekend. Meantime - I have had the fluid drained and am walking around - out to Woodbridge later today. The boat secure in Woodbridge and practical things taken care of for the moment.

I am hoping to have the battery power and energy to send my followers and friends and family better emails about all this. A bit blunt - but there you are - there is no easy way to say it.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Woodbridge waterfront

20-10: The picture is taken along the waterfront towards the Yacht Haven at low tide - usual large areas of mud. There are NO nasty new buildings here - the white one with a red roof is a restored tide mill and the other is a restored warehouse converted into flats. Contrast with previous rants!

I did virtually nothing today apart from walk (very slowly) along the waterfront to a very good tea room - large pots of tea and plenty of space under trees - it being hot and sunny. I even read the tea-room's Sunday Times. But I continue to feel ill and get very out of breath when I try to do anything.

Friday, 14 August 2009

I stay in Woodbridge Yacht Haven for at least a week

18-40: I have been feeling under par for three weeks or so - including some flu-like symptoms in Haybridge - culminating in shortage of breath and lack of appetite. I went to the doctor this morning (proof of how ill I felt!) and came away (after being variously measured and listened to) with a prescription for anti-biotics for a chest infection. I also promised to stay put for a week to aid recovery. So here I am and here I stay for a while.

Fortunately - Woodbridge has SHOPS and coffee bars - and bookshops - and stuff to look at. It also has decent buildings, of which more in a later blog.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

the Deben: Woodbridge Tide Mill Yacht Harbour

20-35: I got here by motoring up-river with the tide. Fun. Sort-of.

It needed a great deal of concentration because the channel is narrow and there are a lot of moorings - not to mention young people racing dinghies (who have right of way as I guess I am not limited in my ability to manoeuvre). Managed to tie up in the right place without crunching anything.

I did not take any pics - I was too taken up trying to go in the right direction and avoid said dingies and moored boats.

Intend to stay here for a while - partly to recover - partly to look round - partly to fill up with food and water and charge batteries. I had a shower for the first time a week - very pleasant.

I get to the Deben at last

20-20: Yesterday - I left the Backwaters rather later than I would have liked because it rained. I have become very soft living in a warm place where it rarely rains. If I were put off by rain normally - I would never have gone sailing in Scotland or the North east!

The entrance of the Deben has a bad reputation but is easier these days because an annual sheet is produced showing where the sand banks are - so - I did not go aground - and it was a pussy-cat - I went in at high tide and there was not a lot of wind. I picked up a mooring at the third go - the picture is the view upstream. This is a more wooded river than the others - with fewer salt marshes than in Essex.

I anchor in the Walton Backwaters

I stayed two nights - I find it hard to leave the Backwaters.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The journey home - -

10-40: Picture of Walton Pier taken on the way south in calm seas. Yesterday it was so rough that I did not get my camera out - it was even hard to get a drink and to eat; I also stood further out to sea due to onshore wind. There was a lot more wind than forecast, so the boat leapt forward downwind nicely, but it was hard work because the sea was so lumpy (some tide against wind but mostly just characteristic of the seas here) that it was hard to keep the (reefed) sails filled.

So I have I managed to prise myself away from Brightlingsea and am now anchored in the Walton Backwaters (again) - I like it here.

Plan is to go up the Deben this week and then try to catch suitable tides for the two long passages to Lowestoft and then Wells. The tides are right at the wrong times - either getting me back a bit early or a bit late - - - .

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Brightlingsea - and hideous developments

9-30: Brightlingsea - the view from my berth: new flats, a barge and the waterfront.

These flats would be fine along the Thames - in a larger context. But here they are out of context against rows of cottages behind and the mixed waterfront. Not that all the older stuff is very beautiful - but that is not the point. I don't understand (and neither does anyone else) why such things are allowed. (Well - someone must understand - - ).

I had a good sail here from Burnham yesterday - and plenty of water under the keel over the short cut through the sand banks. The wind has come round to the north (just as I am proposing to go north!) - I shall stay until it goes back to the south or west.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Burnham yacht harbour

8-40: Burnham yacht harbour - large and comfortable - I am about two thirds of the way down the row.

I leave here later this morning for Brightlingsea - sun and cloud as usual.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


17-30: I grow lettuce in the cockpit to avoid scurvy.

Today - walked into Burnham, which is very quiet. This is probably because it is one of those places that come alive for one week a year (Burnham Week) and at some weekends. The wind was strong enough to deter some sailors, but I was surprised that there were no dinghies and only a handful of yachts/motor boats. I am also surprised that there are not more 'posh' boats around. Those on the moorings and in the marina are nice and normal. Perhaps I expected Burnham to be like Cowes and such-like places in the Solent - and am glad it is not for lots of reasons.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Something different

11-00: I visit the Victoria and Albert museum and Camden market at the weekend. Both old stamping grounds of mine. I first went to the V&A with my grandfather 60 years ago. I think visiting the V&A with my grandfather started my interest in ceramics and in the objects of everyday life (as well as in feminism but that is another story). It has changed and the ceramics gallery is still closed; but the feeling of the place remains and the courtyard is open and shows the building to good effect. Exhausted myself looking at fabrics.

Camden has vast numbers of stalls and too many tourists - we explored the new 'stables' part and admired the wonderful sculptures of working horses and of the men who worked with them - worth a visit for the sculptures alone. But I exhausted myself here as well.

Back in Burnham last night - almost too tired to walk from the station - which is at least downhill.