Friday 4th September Ref: 2020/5
Despite some problems getting our domestic chickens looked after, our recent enjoyment of the trip to Wells-next-the-Sea and decision to keep Lady Martina motivated us to have another cruise before the season ended. In truth, holidays aboard our boat seemed to be the only safe way to maintain social isolation in a society that was taking increasing risks with close contact. Keeping an eye on the Marine Weather forecast, it transpired that the Friday was as good as, and even better than, the following day and so we arrived at The Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club Thursday night and I planned the trip and made the necessary preparations.
With easy access from the moorings, we again headed out from Lowestoft Harbour through the Stanford channel and pass the East Barnard cardinal marker before cruising the remaining five nautical miles or so to the Southwold harbour piers. Then calling for entry instructions, after which we moored at the pontoon adjacent to the harbour-master's office.
As a result of another well-timed passage plan, we benefited from an approximate 2 knot following tide such that our 7-8kt propulsion through the water at a modest 11-1300 revs resulted in a 9.3kt passage speed, covering the 14nm in an hour and a half. The predominantly 10-11kt south-westerly breeze, gusting to F4/5, being offshore, only raised the sea state from smooth/slight to slight/moderate later in the passage when we increased speed slightly to prevent Lady Martina's 14 tonne hull slamming on the head on well that had accumulated over the past number of days. With good visibility and warm temperatures the cruise went very well. The harbourmaster had left after taking our final call so we were left to choose her own location on the pontoon and complete our moorings alone.
One surpise was the presence of the P & O cruise liner Arcadia at anchor in our planned course just off of Southwold after her World cruise had to be cancelled because of the Covid restrictions. In my CA HLR role for Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and The Broads, I also responded to some unanswered VHF calls from Yacht Harmony who was failing to raise Southwold and eventually diverted to Lowestoft which gave him a berth
24 degC; RH 61→54%; 1020mb steady ; smooth/mod seas with 10-11 knot breeze, mainly Swly; good visibility