Another day in paradise
15 September 2014 | Levington, River Orwell
The weather forecast for the week-end looked promising. A gentle breeze and some sunshine. Determined as we were to make the most of it, Brigitte and I made our way up to the boat on Sunday. Saturday having been dedicated to birthday parties.
The initial plan (I never learn) was for a repeat of the Sealand cruise I did with Yanni. It would be a beat from Landguard to Cork Sands, but a doddle the rest of the way. Wind Guru forecasted 9-10kts, gusting 15. Just what the doctor ordered, taking Brigitte’s still restricted mobility into account.
Once aboard we started to get the boat ready for sea. Whilst doing this I noticed that all the boats coming back from sea where deeply reefed. There had to be a reason. So, I put a reef in the main before we left. Always easier to do in calm conditions than in the heat of the moment.
I had considered sailing off the mooring, but the river was just a tad too busy to be able to do so safely. So, we motored off, hoisted the main and unfurled the genoa. By Collimer it was ‘finished with engines’ – always the best moment of a sail.
By the time we got to Shotley Spit, we know what all those reefs were about. 20kts plus of wind. Guapa just put her shoulder down and got on with it. 7kts SOG, even against the tide. Big grin. We got to Landguard in no time. Then the wind really let rip. 25kts plus – consistently. Even with one reef in the main and one reef in the genoa, this was not exactly fun anymore. So much for Wind Guru.
Discretion is the better part of valour, so I decided to head back. The relief on Brigitte’s face was noticeable. As we hadn’t sailed up the Orwell for the better part of a year this was an acceptable alternative. Let’s see how far we can get.
Things were still a bit sporting at times in Harwich Harbour, but once back in the Orwell it calmed down somewhat. Handed the helm to Brigitte so she could get the feel of the boat again. And it went just fine – no drama, just a smooth and pleasant sail up the river. We sailed all the way up to Ipswich and down to Woolverstone. There we stacked & packed the sails and we motored the last mile and a half back to our mooring.
Last decision: who is going to park the boat and who’s going to pick up the mooring? Usually I park the boat and whoever is along picks up the mooring. However, it would be a lot easier on Brigitte if she didn’t have to pick up the mooring. So, decision made: we’ll swap places. Some last minute instructions and that was all what was required. It went without a hitch – first time round. Since I’m taller and somewhat stronger, we might as well stick to this procedure in future.
Ended the day in the now traditional fashion: drinks in the cockpit/sunshine, just watching the world sail by. Made our way back ashore shortly after HW as this always makes the recovery of the dinghy so much easier.
There you have it – an uneventful day in paradise. More of the same please, and soon.