Winter Home & Ill Health …

27th October

‘Talisker 1’ n’ me are in Suffolk Yacht Harbour, our winter home.

We arrived today just after low water.

It was blowing hard from the southwest so I chose to enter the marina at low water and get some protection from the gusts from the breakwater.  It would make docking in a strange berth a tiny bit easier.

I had not counted on there being the Yacht Fair at Suffolk Yacht Harbour this weekend.  There were very few berths available.  I’ll make a note to make sure I arrive after the Fair in future.

The berth we were allocated was far too narrow and the finger far too short.  We squeezed in alongside a beamy Westerly Konsort and there was barely room for a fender between us.  Add to that a pile dead ahead centre and it was not going to work.

I popped up to the Harbour office to see Jack, who kindly reallocated us a spot for a much larger vessel.

We were wedged in, and the pile worried me.  James, the excellent boss of yacht movements, very kindly came and gave me a hand to extricate ourselves and motor round to the larger berth.  Job done.  It’s lovely to be here for the winter months.

28th October Jack kindly reallocated us a spot for a much larger vessel

Philip very kindly ferried me out to ‘Talisker 1’ on Sunday 24th October.

25th October Orford to The Orwell

25th October leaving Orford for the final time 2021

On Monday we left the river for the final time this year and headed south with various options in mind.  I wondered if it might be possible to make it down the Wallet against the ebb.  A beat down the Wallet against a foul tide is never going to be an easy option but we could always abort, when the ebb began, and head into the Orwell.  We still had a few hours of the flood to take us south when we left the Ore.

25th October … a long beat on starboard into freshening SSW4’s

25th October … outside Cutler

25th October … sailing towards Woodbridge Haven

A long beat on starboard into freshening SSW 4’s from Orford Haven took us well off shore before we came about and sailed outside Cutler to a mile south of Woodbridge Haven before heading back out to sea, leaving the Cork Sand Yacht Beacon to starboard and passing Roughs Tower to port.

25th October … Roughs Tower to port

25th October …

25th October … The Wallet ahead

Just east of NE Gunfleet EC and with the wind veering south west, we came about and headed with what little remained of the flood in to the Wallet.

25th October …under full main & genoa heading in to Pennyhole Bay

We were just short of Copperas Ground and with the ebb now running hard we came about and headed in to Pennyhole Bay and on into the Orwell where we anchored under sail only just inside Babergh PH, in the lee of Shotley.

25th October … a dredger leaving the Walton Backwaters

25th October … the sun goes down over Harwich as we sail through the port of Felixstowe

It was a lovely 40 miles sailing, for the most part, under a single reefed main and stay sail.  It’s also been worryingly warm for this time of year.

Yesterday we moved further up river and anchored in Buttermans Bay.

26th October the wind was going to back south westerly …

It was going to be blowing fairly hard from the southwest and the trees gave us good protection overnight.

26th October … at anchor.  My portable generator has been marvellous

26th October the trees gave us good protection overnight

27th October … The Orwell looking towards Pin Mill

27th October we sailed under stay sail to the entrance to Suffolk Yacht Harbour

27th October heading towards the yacht harbour in company

This morning we sailed under stay sail to the entrance to Suffolk Yacht Harbour before starting the engine for the first time since we left the Ore on Monday to enter the marina.

I hope there is more sailing before the end of the year.

15th November

31st October … our temporary berth in the West Harbour

Peter Buchan looked in on me n ‘Talisker 1’.

There was water under the engine, mixed in with a bit of oil for the first time since Peterhead, but this time from the raw water pump.  Peter and I agreed to replace the raw water pump for a new one.

It’s a struggle to get parts and the pump, although less expensive than the freshwater pump, is still, nonetheless £375 + VAT.

However, Key Parts were again able to help, and the raw water pump arrived by post quickly.

Peter and I fitted the raw water pump on the 3rd November.  Peter also installed a new wireless Clipper wind instrument at the top of the mast.

3rd November Peter also installed a new wireless Clipper wind instrument at the top of the mast

Nasa are very good to deal with and the Instrument is very inexpensive.  Parts can be ordered separately.  I will be very interested to see how well it works.

9th November to Medusa and back …

9th November … I hope this won’t be my last beat out of the river …

On the 9th we sailed out to Medusa and back.  There was finally a berth available in the west harbour for our return later that day.

9th November … we sailed out to Medusa and back

9th October … leaving the Port of Felixstowe behind

9th October … inbound to Suffolk Yacht Harbour and the view up The Stour towards Maningtree

16th November Our winter berth … Suffolk Yacht Harbour

I’m looking forward to some more sailing.

26th December

My sailing was brought to a very abrupt STOP with ill health.

On November 23rd I started to feel unwell.  Shortness of breath and palpitations.  I was in Falmouth, Cornwall helping and enjoying some precious time with my daughter Hannah.

Having been given ill advice by the Out of Hours GP 111 I delayed seeking direct medical help until the 25th November.

25th November.  A scary night in A&E Royal Cornwall Hospital Truro

I was immediately admitted to Hospital in Truro with a Complete Heart Block.  A three wire pacemaker was inserted on the 2nd December and I was finally discharged on the 6th December.  I returned home on the 9th December brilliantly taxied by my yachtie friends Sarah Bell, Bill Hughes and James Robinson.  I was lucky to have my daughter’s Alicia and Hannah close by in Cornwall.

6th December & finally discharged … my lovely grandson Shiloh

Hannah, her Dad and Hannah & Dominic’s Daisy in Penzance shortly before the drive home to Suffolk

I am to do nothing more strenuous than get dressed for the next two to three months.

I have such admiration for all the amazing people who contributed to my treatment at NHS Cornwall and the seamless transfer to the wonderful staff at NHS Suffolk.  This is just the beginning of my recovery and I am now under the umbrella of the Cardiac team at Ipswich Hospital.

The cleaners, porters, caterers, administrators, technicians, nurses, doctors and consultants.  I’ve missed a group there and if so, please forgive me.  But you ALL do an incredible job.  My own GP and his surgery have been marvellous too.

The Doctors are hopeful I will make a full recovery.

There is some thought that my condition is related to a Pfizer booster that I received on the 13thNovember.

I am 99% sure it has nothing to do with the Covid booster.  I do not and have not had either myocarditis or pericarditis.  The two problems that a very very small number of people have suffered following a Pfizer vaccine.

The simple truth is that there has not been an increase in Cardiac patients since vaccinations started.

However, I am certain, like in every form of medical treatment, that there is a very small risk having the vaccine.  But nowhere near the risk of NOT having the vaccination.

I was in Hospital for ten days.  The nurses told me that almost 100% of the covid patients being treated on the wards in Truro were unvaccinated.

I hope you have all had a good Christmas and here’s to a wonderful 2022.

12th December I stand in front of a marvellous painting of me n’ my ship by marine artist Anne Plummer.  My grandson Boe, aged 5, was quick to ask me why I had a ‘bubonic’ heart?  Brother Shiloh was quick to correct his little brother.  ‘It’s not a bionic heart!  Grandpa Suffolk has a machine to make his poorly heart work better!’


  • So sorry to hear about your cardiac ‘mishap’ but also relieved to hear you’re likely to make a full recovery.

    You have been (and contunue to be) an inspiration.

    My very best wishes to you and yours for the New Year.

  • Richard Dell says:


    A real shock for you but glad you’re now on the mend and can look forward to sailing in 2022 when fully recovered.

    Hope you have an enjoyable Christmas break and a happy new year.

    With regards


    • Richard
      Thank you very much. It was a massive shock. I’m not used to being incarcerated at home. My poor Mrs with me being under her feet! A very quiet Christmas … thank you. I hope you had a good Christmas and Happy New Year. Kind regards – James

  • Kris Adams says:

    Oh James. How very frightening for you. So pleased it’s all worked out. Having recently jumped through that hoop with Davids stroke in Tahiti I can honestly say we understand the trauma!! David had a Pfizer shot 3 days before his stroke but like you we beleive the vaccination was unrelated. A carotid blockage dosnt occur in that time. We’ve had 2 vax since with no effect at all. All the best to you and the family for a safe and sailing 2022. Kris n David.

  • Charlie Usher says:

    James, sorry to hear of the health troubles. I hope and trust that your recovery continues well.

    We are.also in SYH for winter and I spotted Talisker 1 in her berth. Do let me know if there is anything you need doing.

    All.the best


  • Gerard Versluis says:


    I wish you a quick recovery and hope that you can visit Talisker soon.

    • Hi Gerard. Thank you very much. I’m was able to pop down to the boat today and check her. She’s in the water and still in commission but obviously I won’t be doing anything strenuous for a while. Every day just a little bit better. ATB James

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