We are now pottering happily around the Essex and Suffolk coasts, visiting places we got to know well years ago when we kept our various boats here.
From our rented mooring at Woolverstone on the River Orwell, we went down to the River Colne, spending a night in the Pyefleet, one of the best known East Coast anchorages, just behind Mersea Island. We picked up a mooring buoy rather than having to spend half an hour getting glutinous mud off the anchor next day – worth the £10 we paid to the man from the oyster fishery, who came round on a paddleboard collecting money from yachts.
Finally, we got away, covering 180 miles from Cowes to Woolverstone on the Orwell in Suffolk in one go. Conditions were perfect for a fast passage, with Beachy Head crystal clear in the afternoon sun and the white cliffs of Dover actually shining as we passed in the brilliant light of a full moon.
We abandoned plans to stop in Ramsgate when we arrived off the town at dawn with the tide still under us. We kept going, motor sailing with genoa only because there was hardly any wind.
For multiple reasons, this year’s launch has had to be put back again to 1 September. We haven’t missed much because of the delay, since the weather has been awful.
Essex and Suffolk are still the objectives, and the delay has given some time for preparations, including buying the latest edition of East Coast Pilot. With its predecessor East Coast Rivers, I have editions going back to 1981.