Wednesday 19th June Ref: 2019/5
A steady cruise leaving Woodbridge Tide Mill with around 1.3m depth on their tide gauge and then taking care to cruise down the upper reaches of the Deben, following the twisty channel and confusing buoys against an adverse one knot tide and then emerging at the mouth of the estuary and across the sand banks about an hour before high tide with some 5 m of water under us. Then cruising north along the coast in the light breeze of 5 to 10 kn with a two knot following tide until we arrived in Lowestoft in the rain
I had decided that we were going to leave Woodbridge Tide Mill today and make our way back to Lowestoft, as we had heard from Chris and Maggie Cole on Ikon that their boat had finished its servicing at Broom Boats and they were also going to make their way there today. This would give us the option of cruising to Holland on several successive days, depending upon which day delivered the better weather forecast.
We had time this morning to have some relaxation in bed before getting up as the tide and river depth was not returning until late morning, by which time I had paid the outstanding mooring fee, retrieved the electricity cable and checked the boat ready for our forthcoming cruise. In the end, I decided to cruise over the barrier with some 1.3 m indicated on their tide gauge and this gave us an hour or so of a making flood tide to gradually give us a reasonable depth through the twisting and narrow channel that characterises the upper, drying, reaches of the River Deben.
We then emerged at the mouth of the river in the estuary with shallow sand bars requiring careful navigation but, because of this timing and planning, we had some 5 m of depth most of the time which was very safe. As we turn north along the east coast, we took advantage of a 2 kn following tide which helped us on our way to Lowestoft. It still remained a cruise of nearly 6 hours, which was quite arduous, but it all went to plan and we pulled into the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club to find Chris and Maggie Cole on Ikon already arrived and moored up who we joined after visiting the fuel berth to take on another 230 L of diesel; the quantity that we had expended at the cost of some £245 for our recent passages.
By this time, it was pouring with rain, which continued for most of the evening, but it did mean that we did not have to wash down the boat! After checking the weather forecast, I concluded that, whilst tomorrow would be perfectly manageable, the following day would be even better and would provide us with a day of rest between passages, which is always to be preferred.
Having shared this information with our colleagues, we agreed this as a plan and treated ourselves to a dinner at the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club this evening with a chance for a good chat and catch up about our recent experiences.
22-28degC; RH 71→60%; 1015→1016mb→1015mb fairly steady; smooth/slight seas with light 5-10 knot breeze, mainly SWly; fair visibility