A smooth launch, a leisurely sail and a sunny sheltered marina made an auspicious beginning to the sailing season. The Easter break marks the first trip of this season for Aurora and we chose Suffolk again this year. It can be very cold at this time and not everyone wants to be on the boat full time in the spring, so the attraction of Suffolk is the proximity of grandparents to provide an alternative to sailing.
We launched from Suffolk Yacht Harbour, which is unusual in that their slipway has a wire which is used to lower boats down the slip. This may be unfamiliar to many, but we nearly always have to launch Aurora from a rope, so we got on well with this arrangement. I travelled with Aimee and rigged the boat yesterday. It was “blowing old boots” yesterday, so today was quite a contrast with light winds and much sun.
The launch was easy, but there was quite a bit of faffing to do to get the trailer safely stashed away. Consequently, we did not sail off till midday.
The wind was blowing almost straight down the Orwell and Aimee and I took it easy as we were carried out on a light air and a strong ebbing tide. We took the opportunity to check all the sails were properly rigged, that the furling worked properly and, where nevcessary, to adjust the rigging.
This season, I have decided to use the genoa instead of the yankee. The latter is quite a bit smaller and more manageable, but when the breeze picks up, it soon needs to be furled. On the other hand, there seem to have been many occasions when conditions are very light for the yankee. Thus it seems as if the genoa would provide more power on very light days and yet seldom be a hindrance, compared to the smaller yankee.
And so it proved today, at least. The wind was light and variable, swinging from fetch to run. On one occasion, Mr Honda was brought to life and a few puffs provided some excitement, but overall our progress was rather slow. Still, it was a nice day, and the combination of sun and sailing downwind was most pleasant.
We watched Felxistowe docks and saw large container ships come and go. We watched the beach huts of Harwich drift past and saw the hidden entrance to Hamford water open up as if by magic as we followed the buoys. By this time the wind had died almost completely, so we motored slowly up Twizzle Creek to Titchmarsh marina.
This marina is well tucked in behind the seaside resorts of Walton and Frinton. With the tide out, the boats appear as if they are sunken into the marsh. An embankment surrounds the marina and provides shelter, so after a (longish) walk to Walton, we enjoyed tea in the cockpit. As the sun drew near to the tops of the reeds and the almost full Easter moon rose, the chill in the air sent us down in the cabin.
I was pleased with our evening meal- Moroccan lamb cooked in the thermal cooker (Aimee’s choice). It was easy to prepare; tinned tomatoes, butter beans and linguine added to lamb, garlic onion and herbs. Aimee garnished hers with feta, but I passed on that.
Distance: 10.1 nm, avg speed 2.8kts