Monthly Archives: August 2016

Deben River 12th August 2016

Tonight is the night, apparently, for viewing the meteor storm, Last night was crystal clear so it looks good.

The omens for the trip here from Wrabness were less good, the weather forecast was for strong winds and they seemed correct when I set off, Although it soon calmed down, the crossing of the shipping lane was tricky, being very busy.

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I did get across safely but the wind was picking up and I was likely to be early at the entrance to the Deben, HW-2 being what I was aiming for.

Made it OK and up the channel, although it was a bit blowey and even got very shallow in places, too near the bank, although it didn’t look like it at the time, the river being so wide. A Hoby cat or similar was having great fun in the wind, a bit energetic and wet for me though.

Hated Waldringfield when I got here. The pilot said the beach was hard but it was full of mud when I left the pub after a very mediocre meal and one pint of Adnams (Southwold) bitter . The visitors dinghy left on the mooring had very poor rowlocks / oars which popped out when the going got tough. I stupidly decided to row and the wind and tide changed 180 degrees while I was having my mediocre dinner (pulled pork burger, which was mostly a pork and apple burger with a tiny bit of pulled pork). Found myself in the bottom of the dinghy at one point thinking that the trip to Kornog would never end. It did though and I got on board safely, although a bit damp and very muddy.

The next day changed my mind, I put the engine on the dinghy to get ashore, was lent an ordinance survey map by the boatyard, walked to Woodbridge and then on to Melton and found a place to over-winter the boat, assuming Wisbech in the Wash can’t do it, The Larkman yard would be my choice if I can get there, about half the price or less than Lowestoft.

Nice walk, but about 12 miles, so I am knackered. Michael will pick me up tomorrow and I will leave the boat in the capable, hopefully, hands of Mark until I return after a holiday in Cuba.

Then Michel may come with me to put the boat to bed for the winter. I still need to phone Wisbech to see if they can take Kornog, which would be better as it is slightly further North, although the Larkman yard looked nice and the guy in charge, Fred , was very helpful.

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Pictures showing early morning at Waldringfield and the walk up to Woodbridge (low tide), plus, a little bonus here, evening back at Waldringfield.

Looks like the engine may be leaking diesel. I found about 200 ml of diesel in the sump below the engine. It looks like it may be coming from the fuel bleed screws above the fuel filter, the ones Richard kindly bled the fuel with, many moons ago, in Hayling Yacht Co. Both screws were tight so I’m not sure what I can do, just keep an eye on it, if the engine has been running for over 40 hrs it is not so bad,but I shall get it looked at over the winter, just another reason why the Deben River pissed me off last night.

Wrabness 09 August 2016 (Up the River Stour from Hawich)

Waiting on a call from Virgin Mobile to sort some stuff out. Meanwhile it has been getting a little rocky (as in moving about) out here within the last 10 mins.

I left Shotley at around low tide (10:00hrs) The HM asked me to go to the waiting pontoon but then thought I wanted diesel The same pontoon. Just in front of me was Colne Clipper, a nice old boat whose berth I had in Brightlingsea. When he was told that I did not need diesel the HM let me straight into the lock, obviously I was much smaller than the Colne Clipper, unfortunately I was all geared up for port side too, but there was no room on that side so he swapped me to starboard and said he would help as I was by myself. Managed OK with his help (with a big boat hook) and eventually got enough fenders and warps arranged, then off, I went up river.

Turned left past the lock markers and motored gently up river in the sunshine, past the Harwich ferry terminal. I picked up a buoy at Wrabness point and am now rocking a touch more than gently, waiting for this phonecall. On the opposite bank is the Royal Hospital School, with its prominant tower, and in the picture you can see a green buoy called Lee.


Lovely bay, I will pump the dingy up after my phone call, or if it comes very late, do it tomorrow and visit the community shop and cafe, the only exciting thing in the village. Not even a pub.

Very close to shore in 6m of water so I should be safe enough depth wise. I couldn’t get on the first buoy so chose a second with ropes on, which I used to pick-up the buoy but have used my own ropes to moor. I hope that this is not a private buoy with the ropes, but my pilots say nothing about private moorings.

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Pictures of the Wrabness side of the river.

It’snow 10th August and I had a disturbed nihjt, the bouy I was on was very noisy and I had to get upand pull it comletely out of the water, easier said than done, I also had a halyard banging against the mast, which was easily fixed, then back to bed.

Up the next day and blew up my clean dinghy for a trip to Wrabness and the community shop

Lovely morning and a nice walk past All Saints Church (every village church is called “All Saints for some reason) and it’s bell tower. I met a couple of old boys walking their dogs on the “beach” who showed me where to go and said that the beach used to have two ft of sand on it, but it is all eroded away leaving mud and rocks.

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Morning view from the boat and Kornog at anchor


Bell Tower (complete with bell, no idea if it works)

Spent 2 hrs at the Community shop reading Private Eye (18 months old) with a cup of tea, waiting for the milk to arrive. I was told a different way back by another old boy, this time past Grayson Perry’s house, along a bit of the Essex Way.

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and then home on the dinghy, which was now muddy from my feet. It rained but is sunny again and getting hot.

Booked a berth for 4 weeks in River Deben (visitor berth #27 complete with complimentary tender.

Harwich for the Continent, Frinton for the Incontinent

Originally we had planned to go to Titchmarch Marina ( not many flowers I believe) but we were late leaving Brightlingsea, we had forgotten that we could not get out of the river at low tide, even so we managed to run aground very near the first pontoon, as did another boat, we were both towed off by the harbour master, good job he had finished getting the ferry out of the mud, so no embaressment required. The bottom line is that we missed the flood tide and the pilot book warned of very strong ebb tides, which we would get if we tried to go up the river, as much as 6 knots against us in the third hour, which is more than the boat can motor at, so a bit of a looser then. i was also abit worried about the amount of diesel we had, although as it turned out, when we filled up the ws a good 20 litres left.

Made a wise choice and went to Shotley Marina, on the Suffolk side of the River Stour opposite Old Harwich and also opposite Felixstow, the biggest container harbour in the UK and no room for Yachts.


Nice marina, although we had to enter via a lock which was OK but we had to wait our turn for

about 40 minutesIMG_4566 IMG_4569 IMG_4572Inside the marina all was calm but waiting outside was rough as hell, although the views were nice enough.

We took the ferry the next day across the River Stour to Old Harwich, which was very small but lovely, I have no idea what the ferry port Harwich is like.

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There is a listed cinema.



There are two lighthouses a short one, now a museum, and a tall one.

Trinity house have their base here thanks to Samual Pepys, who was MP for the area and head of Trinity, hence the last manned lightship LV18 is here.


Built in 1958 and decommissioned in 1994, it was used for a brief scene in “The Boat that Rocked”. Judging by the quarters, it is not a job I would have wanted. No engines on the boat but a few generators to start each other and run the light and foghorns etc. They were really off limits but the guy with the egg sandwhich showed me the Gardner generators.

There is an award winning beach in Harwich


I shall try to go up river to Wrab Ness tomorrow but also need to find somwhere to overwinter.

Filled the boat with water and diesel and bought some pasta . Also cleaned out the dinghy and did  a small bit of sanding the toe rails to even the bumps out, caused by injudicial use of the belt sander, and also to tke off the remaining varnish from last year.

Frinton is not far south of Harich but we didn’t go there ,  No harbour for a start, as far as I know.

Ian left to go home today

Aug 2nd Queenborough to Burnham on Crouch and then Onwards to Brightlingsea

Ian Little has joined me. Originally from Glasgow I worked with him when I left university in Aberdeen for a defunct company called Amoco, since taken over by BP for whom Ian worked until retiring this year.


I have sailed previosly with Ian in my first boat “Lady Liberty” in the Canaries and we also hired boats a couple of times on the West Coast of Scotland.

We sailed from Queenborough to Burnham on Crouch, which proved to be a nice sail initially but a real pain slogging up the river to Burnham against the tide and waves and wind. Made it to the marina but failed to get into the berth alloted initially as we were blown off by the wind, so the harbour master put us on the first available finger we could get into, which was fine. They were firing, what looked like incendiary artillary on the firing range as we approached the Crouch River, at least there was a huge short lived fire-ball near the twin towers target.

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Nice Art Deco boat club and saw an egrit. Also saw a seal in Brightingsea. Nice houses in Burnham, looks expensive.

Had a nice meal in the White Harte Hotel and visited the museum the next day. Also saw Prior’s boat yard where Charles’s boat Blue Saluki was built in 1964.


It was very windy during our stay. I had ordered a new wind mast head instrument and picked it up from the chandlers at the marina, although I didn’t fit it, too much wind to go up the mast, although I refitted the read out instrument which gives speed but not direction. This is probably enough for now, I am in no rush to fit the mast head unit as wind speed is enough and you can tell the general wind direction from the manual arrow, so a bit of a waste of money but I will fit the unit sometime.

Not much to say about Burnham. We sailed on to Brighlingsea, which has a nice accessible pontoon, although I did fall in the river Colne, my life jacket worked but I had to pay to get it rebuilt. Morgan’s Marine did it for me, although it wasn’t much cheaper than buying a new lifejacket. They did it so badly it would never have gone up, not packed back up and the trigger broken. incompetant and very dangerous. Took it to Dansen Marine in Sidcup in th e middle of august

Colchester was nice, we went the 9 miles by bus and saw the castle from the ouside but missed the museums because I had to do my laundry and get a new phone, 5 minutes they said to activate it and I am still waiting 8 hrs later, maybe 24 woud be more like it. I am still waiting for it to be activated after 18 hrs, finally got it sorted a couple of days later.

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Off to Walton Backwaters tomorrow, altough the marina does not look easy to navigate to the course is all ready. We will lave at 09:30.