Wednesday 31st May Ref: 2017/4
The timings of this cruise were totally dictated by the need for leaving just as there is sufficient clearance over the Tide Mill sill to maximise depths at the mouth of the Deben and so the tides were adverse for most of the trip but the weather was excellent , warm with very little winds. The exit from the Deben seems to be shallower and trickier each year but we had 4-6m today at high tide. The cruise past Harwich and up the Orwell was straightforward with past waypoints as a guide and Ipswich lock opened us for us when requested
We negotiated the Tide Mill exit without difficulty and then had the problem of keeping to a poorly and sparsely-marked channel where red and orange mooring buoys competed with navigational markers to confuse even the most wary of navigators! Just like on the way in, I made at least one mistake and detour but fortunately the past tracks on my computer alerted me so that I could correct before we ventured in water that was too shallow. Being early on a making tide would have meant that we could have got off anyway, but we did not need that!
The exit at the mouth of the Deben was another concern. Years ago, my chartlet of the area showed around 1m on the channel at LAT but now it is only around .3m in places but, again, I was there just before High Water and we had around 3m throughout. Even so, the channel was narrow with only two port and one starboard buoys and you could see breaking waves very close.
Once beyond the Deben fairway buoy my new short cut across the sands at near high water had no less than 7m depth throughout until we joined the Harwich Small Ship Channel and then cruised along its length until entering the Deben and taking the rest of the voyage easily on a wide river with former tracks and waypoints under auto-pilot to aid me as I relaxed on deck with my feet up. The Ipswich Town lock opened for us upon request and we rose .6m and were soon cruising along to the Ipswich Haven Marina where we had been allocated berth K1. Unfortunately another sailing yacht was in our place but I manoeuvred Lady Martina into the shorter one next to it and attracted admiring comments from the onlookers, leaning on the rails and enjoying their beer and cigarettes!
We connected the shore power and then spent our customary first hour after a sea trip hosing down the boat before relaxing inside for the evening. Some serious work on my computer and in the bridge planning our trip for Saturday on to Ramsgate and then another late night to bed after an enjoyable shower, packing up my computer and other things to be right ready for our train trip back home
Temp 20>32degC, RH 66>30%, Pressure 1022-1021mb steady, good visibility, smooth/slight seas with wind less than 10 knots variable but mostly SEly