It’s quite some time since I was at anchor in Yokesfleet Creek, just a stones throw from delightful Paglesham, one of the late great Maurice Griffiths, favourite places. ‘Talisker 1’ and me arrived here yesterday evening at high water.
We have been on board since Monday.
On Tuesday we sailed to the Orwell and anchored close to the bank just inside Orwell PH Buoy.
Flying a double reefed main and stay sail it was a quick passage, predominantly close hauled on a starboard tack in strong westerly winds. We had to tack on to port, just before Languard, before tacking back on to starboard to cross the shipping lane inside Rolling Ground. A tack back on to port and we sailed through the port and up the lower reaches of the Orwell to anchor comfortably for the night. ‘Talisker 1’ goes to windward like a train and I continue to marvel at the power of the rig in these conditions.
Yesterday we sailed the forty miles to the River Crouch in variable winds.
There was plenty of breeze until we approached the Wallet Spitway and from then on it was predominantly the flood tide that carried us up and into the Crouch. I was slightly disappointed to have to start the engine at the entrance to the River Roach for the final mile or so.
This is a lovely anchorage. Last time I was here with ‘Samingo ll’ I did not move for days. I think I will stay another night.
There were plenty of people in the creek with us yesterday. I was quite surprised, as the last time I’d visited Yokesfleet I had not seen a soul for days. Quite a few boats came in to anchor for a few hours and some stayed overnight. Children swam and paddle boarded. The kids also climbed up the mud banks at low water and, seal like, took a run and slid down the slippery slope in to the water. I was amused to see Seals popping their heads out of the water to observe an activity commonly reserved for them.
I’d have needed a pressure washer to allow the muddy creatures back on board my boat. Mud … glorious mud.
‘Tuesday’ and the Doc arrived in the Roach yesterday evening.
Having texted me that he was probably heading for the Crouch I was expecting him. Another text from Doc announced his arrival in the Roach and shortly after I could see her main sail above the flats with the unmistakable huge black sail No7 as ‘Tuesday of Ore’ slowly made her way up the tributary.
Doc rightly declined anchoring in the narrow Yokesfleet Creek so I followed him back down the Roach and we anchored off Crow Corner, which was perfect in the easterly winds that blew overnight and this morning.
Social distancing observed we texted and had a brief conversation this morning. We tried raised voices across forty metres of water that separated the two boats.
As far as the epidemic is concerned Doc says we are all on a knife edge.
I was due to head back home again.
East south easterly winds were forecast and we got underway at 1030 under full main and stay sail and tackled the Crouch with the ebb just underway and 20 + knots of wind over the deck. 14 tacks later we crossed the Wallet Spitway in to the Wallet, the wind decreased slightly and with the stay sail furled and the genoa set, we romped to the Naze in double quick time on a starboard tack. Fabulous sailing.
I’d thought of anchoring in the Orwell just above Pin Mill as the wind was going to go south west overnight but having just arrived in the Port of Felixstowe the weather and wind and the shear joy of sailing some more was just too good to miss.
We came about and sailed to Medusa and back before heading up the coast to Orford.
We sailed in to the river at 1900 after a marvellous sail up the coast.
We were back on our mooring at 2015 having sailed 60 nautical miles today. Why on earth did I think we might not launch this year?
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