It will not go down in the AOA Annals for its mileage or good weather but we all had a great time. We explored the Stour, Deben and Walton Backwaters before Storm Ellen confined the boats to barracks in Woolverstone for the end of the week. This didn’t stop our intrepid crews walking back to Shotley – via the Butt and Oyster at Pin Mill.
More details in the Annual Bulletin, but a photographic tour below. Click on any photo to initiate a slideshow of photos in that section.
Rendezvous in preparation
Mike and Sarah in A1 and Nick and Caroline in A124 set off from Orwell Yacht Club on the Saturday. Destination Suffolk Yacht Harbour for the night.
A slow sail initially, beating against the tide, became a great finish with a soldier’s wind.
Drugs and Locks
On the Sunday we had arranged a drug shipment* to Shotley Marina to keep us going through the week. Whilst A1 went in to the Marina to 'do the deal' A89 and A124 ran very very slowly over the tide up the Stour. After lunch A124 locked into the marina and A89 went back to Suffolk Yacht Harbour for a crew change.
*prescription drugs, of course
Through the fog to The Deben: Ramsholt, The Rocks, Waldringfield and Woodbridge
We all met up again by the Shotley Spit Buoy at 7am, in quite thick mist.
Shock horror, A124 Helene was seen to be letting the side down horribly, with fenders down both sides for some time after leaving the marina. Pay and holiday duly docked.
A1 led the way South, just outside of the ship channel off Harwich when suddenly a fog horn boomed out of the mist, and a shadow appeared in the sky above us. The Maersk container ship provided entertainment for some time before the mist cleared and we had a great sail into The Deben and up to Ramsholt where we stopped for lunch.
After lunch the three boats took slightly different routes to Waldringfield for the evening. A124 stopped at The Rocks for some chilling, walking and swimming.
Felixstowe Ferry - ready for a quick getaway
The next day Richard left The Deben early to return crew to Levington. A1 and A124 sailed up to Woodbridge and then motored / motor-sailed down to Felixstowe Ferry for the evening to enable an easy get-away the next morning.
Walton Backwaters and the Rain, then over 'The Red Sea' chasing John, Sue, Titty and Roger
A1 and A124 left the Deben and had a great single-tack sail into the Walton Backwaters and Kirby Creek. Sadly the rain started as we were getting the sails down and we all hid in out respective boats hiding from the damp.
A124, unable to play the Deck Swingball they had bought, were forced to design and build 'Etta-Ball' - indoor swing ball for Atalantas with deck support posts. We are working on a design for people who still have strong decks.
Back to Woolverstone to sit out Storm Ellen
The forecast for the back end of the week was a trifle breezy so the decision was taken to return to the Orwell. Too early to go home though so we went to Woolverstone.
It was a great sail from Walton Channel. We were glad of the strong wind to push us over the tide.
Woolverstone to Shotley by Foot
On the Friday we all walked back down the river to Shotley. It is a lovely walk, sometimes open, sometimes in trees and just below Pin Mill from the top of 'cliffs'.
After re-fueling with tea and cake we returned home.