The plan was to sail out of the Crouch, over the sand banks and North to Brightlingsea. However, the wind had even increased a little overnight. We set out from the marina with second reef prepared, but the conditions were pretty unpleasant, and this was just on the river. Niki and I decided that it would not be safe to go to sea and so we ducked down the river Roach, which branches off the Crouch not far from the sea.
The Roach is quite a bit smaller than the Crouch and has many creeks winding off from it. Our plan was to find a creek and drop anchor. This part of Essex, between the Crouch and the Thames estuary is very flat and, particularly today, windswept. There was not a great deal of shelter to be found, but we did find a nice sheltered anchorage near a seal colony and spent a relaxing afternoon watching enormous mud flats emerge as the tide dropped away from the creek and watching the wildlife. A friendly seal showed some curiosity to us, swimming up to the boat and inspecting our anchor, though I don’t know if he offered us any advice. It was only a pup and repeatedly surfaced right at the stern of the boat snuffling loudly and then diving under the boat again; it’s a shame the water is so muddy that you cannot see under it. The seal pup spent slot of time sticking its head out of the water and looking at things (not just us, but birds flying overhead or walking on the shore).
We made a lovely chorizo and kidney bean hotpot for tea in the thermal cooker- it was one of those recipes that evolved from the ingredients which emerged from the cupboard; the sun managed to look out from behind the clouds, allowing us to eat our meal in the cockpit.