From Ramsgate across the Thames Estuary and up the River Orwell to Ipswich in almost smooth waters throughout, only experiencing difficulties once we arrived in Ipswich due to poor lock management and organisation

I had been planning this onward journey across the Thames Estuary and up the River Orwell to Ipswich from Ramsgate for some time and was relieved to note from the early morning marine weather forecasts that the sea was going to be as smooth as possible today. There was no time to lose as I prepared Lady Martina for the trip, setting up waypoints and courses in two GPS sets and my Vasari boat computer. I just about managed to get Lady Martina ready to leave by the time that the barrier and bridge had been lifted to allow us to leave the inner Ramsgate Marina and wait with others to leave the harbour after a huge tug and load had entered the port and was secure out of the way in the outer harbour.

It was a very long trip, lasting over 8 hours at 7 knots through the water and the sea was for the most part smooth and slight until later in the day when we were approaching Harwich and before we reached the shelter of the River Orwell on our way up to Ipswich. It was a good trip until we tried to get through Ipswich Lock into the Dock, when another display of crass incompetence by the lock-keeper delayed us by nearly two hours! I then found a good birth in Ipswich Haven marina and the skipper of a trip boat, who had witnessed our plight, stopped by to sympathise and say how polite I had been, faced with that frustrating delay! 

Temp 22>30 deg C, RH 50>32%RH, Pressure 1022>1018 mb falling slowly, good viz, sm/slight seas with breeze mainly SSWly 2 to 17 knots

Cruise Data

Distance: 59 nm

Total Year to date: 780 nm

Leave: 08:50 UTC 09:50 BST

Arrive: 18:00 UTC 19:00 BST

Avg Speed: 7.2 kn

Duration: 8:15 hr

Diesel: 125 ltrs

Mooring:  Ramsgate £39/night, Ipswich £30.70/night

Electricity: included at Ramsgate and Ipswich

Water: included at Ramsgate and Ipswich

WiFi:  free but slow at Ramsgate and Ipswich


Ramsgate Ch 14

Underway Ch 69 (London VTS) and Ch 16

Underway Ch 74 (Harwich VTS) and Ch 16

Ipswich Lock Gates Ch 68


5605.15, 5606.4, 5607.1, 5607.2, 5607.4, 5607.6, 5607.7


76, 50, 49, 51, 103, 108, 127>129, 134>144

Locks and Bridges (All Local Time)

Ramsgate Inner Harbour HW +/- 2hrs  (09:47 to 13:47 LT this day)

Ipswich Lock Freeflow approx 1hr around HW (check on VHF 68)

Tides (UTC)

Sunday 6th August:

Sheerness HW 11:46 5.5; LW 05:21 1.1, 18:00 1.1

Dover HW 10:15 6.222:30 6.2; LW 04:58 1.4, 22:30 6.2

Ramsgate HW 10:47 4.8, 23:08 4.8, LW 05:04 1.0, 17:32 0,8

Walton-on-Naze HW 10:54 4.0, 23:11 4.1LW 04:42 0.9, 17:11 0.7

Ipswich HW 11:14 4.1, 23:31 4.2LW 04:47 0.8, 17:16 0.6

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