Thu 24th April 2014
After a peaceful cool night, today began in sunshine (not forecast). Last night, Niki went home after the meal and Aimee joined me for a “sleepover”. After availing ourselves of the excellent facilities at tide mill marina, we departed earlier than planned, so I took the opportunity to explore further upstream. There was no wind and very little human activity visible, so we chugged upstream against the just-turned tide. The voyage in this direction was definitely time-limited. This is a beautiful part of the Deben, with many birds visible, going about their business on the banks and adjoining salt-marsh. After reaching the highest point and beginning to run out of depth, we turned to follow the river back to its mouth.
Alice had petitioned for the tender to be called “Aurelia”, after we had discussed using it the previous day. Aimee, seeing Aurelia towing behind Aurora, asked to ride along behind. So it was we motored down river, each in our own separate boat. Sadly, the wind was light and on the nose, so we motored the whole way.
Approaching Waldringfield, Aimee begged for an ice cream. The visitor moorings opposite the Maybush pub come complete with their own tender, but I was determined to get used to using Aurelia, so we rowed ashore for an ice cream and a walk in this pretty village.
After lunch en route, we motored the rest of the way to Felixstowe Ferry and picked up a mooring, this time close to the Bawdsey Quay (West) shore. Bawdsey manor is famous for being the place where the RAF the first working radar installation, instrumental in defaulting the Luftwaffe during WWII. The single remaining mast is a prominent landmark in the area and the manor house now houses a private school. I was hoping to visit the radar museum but we rowed ashore and walked the mile or so to the entrance in vain; the museum is only open on high days and holidays. Still it was a pleasant walk whilst Aimee regaled me with enthusiasm about the books she had been reading for her school book quiz.
We returned to Aurora for a rest, whilst awaiting Jeff for an evening sail back to Ipswich. 10nm, average speed 2.5kts.
This shows the mouth of the Deben at low tide. Notice the high shingle banks; the water is very shallow at the mouth (especially at low tide). It is not obvious in the photo, but there is a yacht in front of the Martello tower. It came storming down the river into the estuary mouth, but came to a halt at the shallow part and was actually moving backwards in the tidal stream when I took this picture! I hope our egress is less eventful…