trip logs

Trip Log: Burnham-on-Crouch

The internet has made it normal to have a (typed) conversation with someone you rarely, or never, see in real life. On seeing the poor weather forecast for our holiday, we had changed our plans from North Devon, to the East Coast and I posted a question about locations on the Essex coast in a sailing forum. 

I am always amazed (and grateful) that total strangers would take the time to type responses to my questions about matters such as launching a boat on Essex rivers. On this occasion, I received quite a bit of help from one particular member of the the forum, which ended up with us beginning this trip at North Fambridge. We knew the weather was going to be poor for a few days, and so spent two days ashore.

The outlook was still not good for the next couple of days either, and the options looked limited. One advantage of being so far up river is that there is plenty of shelter and this time there was the added bonus that even though old boots were literally being blown about the boat yard, a trip downriver would be also downwind. 

We set off, without the kids, and followed the ebbing tide using the staysail only. The countryside around this part of the river Crouch is rolling and very attractive, but it did not look at its best in the current weather. Even so, we had a lovely lunch with the countryside flowing past the boat. 

We clipped along above 4kts the whole way and were soon in Burnham; I had chosen the marina, as it gave the best shelter and was only a short walk from town.

We spent the afternoon wandering in town; Burnham is very attractive, as it has almost no “chain” stores and yet avoid the twee antiqui-ness of other similar places. It also has two chandleries, always a plus in my book. The independent cinema is worth a visit on its own but, though I had enjoyed taking the kids to see a film there yesterday, we didn’t go again today.

I decided to try out my new kite-cam kit this afternoon too, given the steady wind. However, the kite was much too big for the f5-6 and after a few minor cuts to my hands from the string and breaking my reel, I had to admit that it was too windy for that too.

We had a quiet evening aboard, cooking a curry and watching the Americas Cup on the iPad. The wind is forecast to drop off tomorrow.

6.8nm; avg speed 3.3kt.


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