Tuesday 11th June Ref: 2019/1
A trip to locate Lady Martina at the Breydon Water tidal pontoon ready for the following day's first trial sea trip to Lowestoft. a very damp and late culmination to the voyage with Low Water at Neap Tides meaning that light was fading as we finally moored for the night and dried. Lady Martina behaving well, but a failure of our Bridge monitor and key issues with the MLR satnav were issues needing to be dealt with even though I had deployed other boat instruments to make our sea trip for tomorrow safe.
This was a day of heavy rain showers, which we could have done without, as we had to pass through Great Yarmouth, and under the Bure Bridges with our canopy, mast and all of our equipment lowered. To make it worse, we had to choose this late evening’s low tide out of several alternatives, as we are experiencing neap tides and the others would not give us enough headroom under the bridges. Even so, I contacted the Great Yarmouth Yacht Station to warn them of our approach and had booked a Haven Bridge lift for the following morning to allow passage onwards to Lowestoft. It had been my plan throughout to moor overnight at the pontoon situated between Breydon Bridge and the Haven Bridge, which is something I had done on several occasions in the past.
We started Lady Martina’s engines in late morning and then set off downstream in a day of rain showers but light winds, eventually mooring at Acle Bridge in order to lower the canopy and mast as well as removing the flag staff and winch to get under the 11’9” headroom that was indicated on the height gauge. At least we did not have to lower the windscreens, and, by this time, we had put all the mats, furnishings and any other vulnerable items inside, anticipating a very damp experience. I was in telephone contact with the Great Yarmouth Yacht Station staff, and they were quite happy for us to arrive early and be accommodated there without charge until we were able to move on and under the Bure Bridges late in the evening. By this time the heavy rain had finished but the air was still very damp, and it was almost like being in low cloud and this meant that the daylight soon failed much earlier than the publicised sunset times.
Once safely moored up at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station, I was constantly walking backwards and forwards to the bridges looking at the height gauges to ascertain when our 10’3” minimum bridging height could be accommodated. By 9pm in the evening, it was really getting quite dark and, with the gauges showing just that level, I opted to set off. It was still a couple of hours before low water and there was still a large following ebb tide and so there’s not much that can be done after making the decision to approach the bridges. It was probably as close as we have managed in the past, but we squeezed under.
In the failing light, we cruised around the navigation markers and managed to get a rope on to one of the pontoon stanchions despite the strong tide and then got three more ropes on eventually to moor safely for an overnight stay. There then followed the long process of raising the windscreens and mast, erecting the canopy and adding the side screens and rear screens such that it was approaching midnight by the time we had mopped up the damp and put Lady Martina in good shape for the night. I had planned our sea passage for tomorrow and had already checked Lady Martina for seaworthiness and preparation ready for our 10.30am, Haven Bridge lift in the morning
11-17degC (in sun); RH 75→77%; 1011mb steady ; calm with 6-11kn breeze; good visibility; light breeze, misty rain