Day 25. 21st May. 43.8nm from Harwich to Lowestoft. We left our anchorage at 6am, the light was hazy and there wasn’t a ripple on the water. As we left Harwich/felixstowe we saw six container vessels at the port. We followed the buoyed passage keeping just outside the port hand markers, which was the safe passage route for smaller boats.
Coming towards us was a large cruise liner called ‘Costa Fortuna’, someone’s got to have been having a giggle when they named that! We have a new boat coming live to the site this week, a newly built house boat, by Ian Critchmoor of Millbrook. I mention this because he has decided to create some interest by inviting names for the boat on our Static Boat Holidays facebook page. So if you wish to name the boat, please be a bit more imaginative than ‘Costa Fortuna’ !
As we turned to our port hand side to head further up the coast from Felistowe we passed the entrance to Woodbridge Haven, a river leading up to Woodbridge, where we were advised to visit. The sad aspect of our trip is, that if we were to call into all the recommended ports, this journey would take years, so it is with reluctance that we continue eating away at larger chunks of the coast.
This stretch of coast immediately north of Felixstowe should be referred to as ‘lobster pot alley’, Sean has just counted 42 in our immediate vicinity, so a measure of vigilance is called for. We heard a mayday shout yesterday for a yacht on engine that had a pot caught around its prop, Oops!
Today the light is such that when I look east, it is hard to see where the sea and sky meet. This section of the coastline is rather bland, there appears to be swathes of beach but nothing to break the skyline, it’s all flat, and coming from the South Coast, I’m sorry to say I don’t find it particularly interesting. It feels a bit of a journey today, as we have been on the engine for hours (drone, drone, drone). We passed the light house at Stone Ditch Point, which is built on a sandbank and then Sizewell Power Station, but that was it for miles.
I made a beef stew today in the slow cooker; I keep talking about Mr D’s thermal cooker, so here are some pictures. It’s great for on the boat, economical on gas consumption, and rather handy to have a meal prepared after a long slog up the coast.
About 10.45am the wind picked up a little so we gave the sails an airing, they helped us a little, but when I say the wind picked up, I only mean to 2/3 knots. At the same time the tide turned against us, so we didn’t actually gain any speed by putting out the sails and motor sailing, we managed to arrive and moor up at 1pm.
As we approached from the south across the Newcome Sand, I expressed concern to Sean about the accuracy of the data we had on board. Knowing how radically the sands have changed near us in Looe during the winter storms of 2013/14, I was concerned that where our charts and electronic equipment were saying we had two meters, that this would be incorrect. It was with a very cautious air that I watched the depth meter, thank goodness I did, for in some places there was a two meter difference on the previous recorded data we had on board, the sands have certainly shifted. Obviously there is a ‘clear water’ passage off shore, keeping east of the Barnard, Newcome Sand and Holm cardinals, but where would have been the challenge in taking that route. (We would also have missed the two seals we saw).
This evening we are in Lowestoft, in the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club, moored on a pontoon. We did manage to get into the town earlier in the afternoon for a stroll about and a little ‘look see’. There was an amazing sand artist in the town, lots of shops, and a nice promenade. We then came back to the boat, emptying the rear locker yet again, this time we removed two whole buckets of water. We wish we knew where the water was coming in, it is salt water; we’ve dries the area out, and put tissue around the three outlet hoses in the locker, thinking to leave this overnight and then, the outlet hose with the damp tissue would be the guilty hose. When we went back in the morning all three were still dry, so we sailed for the day and checked them again, still all dry, a week passes and all three are wet with another bucket load of water in the transom, it’s not a major issue, just annoying.
The clubhouse is rather attractive, sympathetically rebuilt recently with a sizeable lottery grant, the club was founded in 1859 and is a striking Grade 2* listed building overlooking the marina. There is quite a bit of highly polished brass about, Sean was particularly tickled by the men’s toilets, so much so that he came out to get the camera and took a picture!
This evening we are sat catching up with our blog and passing passage planning, while the rain beats down heavily; its due to rain all day tomorrow, oh happy days! I’ll open up Mr D’s thermal cooker in a minute and we will have the beef stew I made on route; that will bring smiles to our faces!
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