We made a leisurely start on Monday, as we had to wait till after lunch for the correct tide to leave the Deben. We were grateful to be offered use of the facilities of Waldringfield Sailing Club and in addition, several of the group took advantage of the excellent breakfasts at the Maybush pub.
This being a bank holiday, there quite a lot going on in the village. The activity on the water was not limited to boating, with numbers of swimmers braving the chilly water and even a group of children apparently mud bathing.
The seven boats making their return to the Orwell rode the last of the ebb back for a very pleasant downwind sail down the river to Felixstowe Ferry, where we had lunch and waited for the incoming tide to provide enough water to leave the estuary. The harbour master was very interested in our boats and asked us if we could provide a parade of sail as we left, something we were very happy to do. So it was, we sailed out of Felixstowe Ferry, though the turbulent water at the mouth and onto the sea.
The wind had swung through almost 180 degrees, so it was a fast three-sail run down the coast back to the Orwell mouth. Most of us carried a reef most of the way, but shook them out as we entered the Orwell river. It was an exciting reach between Harwich and the container port, but sadly the huge ships and the cranes stole nearly all our wind at that point, so we moved rather slowly through this section. This gave us time to watch the comings and goings, including a large passenger ship departing Parkestone quay for Portugal.
Once out of the port into the clearer air, we picked up speed again, though by this time the wind had dropped and we enjoyed the final stretch up to Levington. Distance travelled 16.3nm; avg speed 2.8kts