Sunday, 25 July 2010

Walton Backwaters to Woodbridge in one go

19-45 hrs: at home - not really intended today because I was going to pick up a mooring along the river and gross-out in the sun. However - when I got into the Deben- it started to rain quite hard - so I banged on up river with the tide.

All the pictures I took today were out of focus - so I give you one of my cockpit in 'sailing mode' - the bucket has water in it - green rope for moorings - red seat for comfort.

I had to use a useful technique for getting the anchor up - of driving quite hard in a circle to break it out. I then pulled it up together with a load of mud - all over the deck, the anchor, the genoa, my clothes and gloves. But at least the anchor came free.

I left the Backwaters at 8-15 am - with HW at 12-00 at the Deben entrance I thought I would have plenty of time to get in with the tide behind me in the entrance. This was true, especially as I went on a beam reach with all sails up, although the wind was variable and kept dropping away. When progress got slow - I put the engine on as well - with the result that I made fast passage and was at the Deben bouy by 10-30am. Quite tiring because I had to concentrate to avoid the shipping channels from Harwich harbour but it was much less intimidating than crossing the Tyne in a dinghy! 

The tide picks you up and carries you along the narrow entrance - where there are many swirls suggesting banks of gravel beneath. There was no surf - but I can see why it is an entrance to respect. There were a lot of outbound yacghts and motor boats on the wrong side of the channel - - - which made it harder.

And then it rained - and my idea of lazing in the sun for the rest of the day was scuppered - so I continued up the river helped by the tide and getting to Woodbridge before high water there. Spent the rest of the day lounging around in the sun and clearing up - and washing away the mud. I am, of course, exhausted and out of breath - but have had a shower.


Jim Henry said...

Hi Lorna,

I am an east coaster, and trying to summon the courage to do Shotley to Blakeney. We holiday a lot at Blakeney and It's always been an ambition to bring the boat there and stay at the quay. I have a twin brother (identical) and father who sail out of Shotley on a Southerly 42 called St Christopher. We were out last week and picked up a mooring buoy at Harwich and had the worst nights sleep on the boat ever! Slapping waves, ferries at 3 and 4 in the morning, etc. Was it an easy sail ? I agree it's like an ocean passage to us at the moment.

Lorna Scammell said...

Choose a bouy in a sheltered place - like the Backwaters or further up the Stour!

I went from Blakeney to Lowestoft and then south last year in June - good stuff and I recommend it. As long as you get the tides on your side. I also like Wells next the Sea. Earlier blogs in 2009 have something on this. I then had a Southerly 95 - I doublt I would try it in the Jaguar 21.

Enjoy - - -