Wednesday, 6 July 2016

River Roach and Burnham on Crouch, Tuesday 14th to Friday 17th June.

The next port of call was to be the River Crouch so after dropping off the mooring at West Mersea we motor sailed in light winds and a little drizzle towards the Crouch entrance. The wind came and went and the passage was a mixture of gentle sailing and motor sailing. 

By 10-30 we were at 'Swin Spitway' buoy and entering the River Crouch.The wind headed us badly at 'Buxey Edge' and with rain threatening the main sail was dropped and stowed. The River Crouch forms the northern boundary of the Foulness firing range and we were startled on a couple of occasions by loud explosions and (fortunately) distant columns of smoke. 

By 13-35 we were anchored in the entrance to the River Roach off Wallasea Ness. After a quiet night at anchor we had a slow get up in the morning, and after lunch motored the couple of miles upstream to the marina at Burnham on Crouch. 

Burham on Crouch.

We had a couple of nights in the marina to allow an exploration of the town, which turned out to be a very pleasant place indeed. 

Burnham Marina entrance from the river.

Burnham Marina.

Burnham Marina entrance with the town in the distance.

 From the marina we could walk along the river to the town passing several sailing clubs and numerous nautical themed pubs. 

Burnham Clock Tower.

The riverside walk in Burnham.

One of many floral displays on the house boats

Just over the river from Burnham Marina was Essex Marina with it's pontoons sticking out into the river.

Essex Marina.

The Blackwater, Osea Island, and West Mersea, Monday 13th June

After leaving our berth at 09-30 we exited the Bradwell Marina, and saw a minimum depth of 2.7m in the approach channel. By 09-55 the engine had been turned off, and we were beating up the Blackwater towards Maldon. 

A gentle beat up the Blackwater.

A little while later the 'Ross Revenge' was spotted moored in the river, this was the ship from which the pirate station Radio Caroline was broadcast. 

The 'Ross Revenge' ( Radio Caroline ).

By 11-10 Osea island was looming on the bow and we decided to anchor for lunch, putting the hook down at 11-50. 

Osea Island lunch stop.

After lunch we sailed back down the river to West Mersea where we picked up a mooring for the night. Shortly after mooring we were subjected to a torrential downpour and felt very lucky that we were not caught out in it!   

Just picked up a mooring at West Mersea.

West Mersea.

Storm Approaching!

Glad to be inside!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Bradwell, Saturday 11th June.

Weighed anchor at 13-10. The anchor was (very) well dug in, and needed a good cleaning with the deck wash pump to remove the sticky Pyefleet mud. At 14-40 the big G2 genneker was deployed and the engine switched off for an hours sail to Bradwell marina on the River Blackwater, passing the Bradwell nuclear power station on the way. 

Approaching Bradwell Marina.

The Marina Entrance.

The Entrance at Low Water.

Bradwell Marina.

We had several pleasant walks from the marina, and patronised the community run shop in the village to top up supplies. On Monday 13th June, after two nights in Bradwell, we set out to explore the River Blackwater and Osea Island. 

Bradwell Nuclear Power Station.

River Colne, Friday 10th June.

We based our departure time on the same tidal height as when we entered on Wednesday, this occurred at 13-25 on the Friday.  A gentle motor up the river, taking the flood tide towards Wivenhoe followed. We touched the bottom briefly near buoy 29 prior to passing through the flood barrier with good views of the village and of the many mud berths along the shore. We finally ran out of water, so turned round and retraced our route, eventually anchoring in Pyfleet Creek for a quiet night on the hook.

Brightlingsea, Wednesday June 8th to Thursday 9th June.

After brunch in the Last Anchor at Ipswich marina, we locked out on free flow at 14-05, and anchored for the night near to the Trimley Retreat Bird Sanctuary. The anchor was raised at 09-10 the following morning, heading for the River Colne and Brightlingsea. The morning was grey overcast, with very little wind, and a bit misty but with the help of the tide we maintained 6+ kts whilst motoring. Approaching Brightlingsea the Colne bar tide gauge showed 2.7m, we passed close to the gauge and recorded a minimum depth of 2.8m. The helpful harbourmaster showed us to our berth on one of the island pontoons, and we were safely moored up by 13-10.

Unfortunately we had a problem with the memory card in the camera and have about 100 photograph files which know that they are .jpg files, and have the expected file size but are currently unreadable. The upshot of this is that we currently have no photographic record of this and the next few days. I will try to get the files recovered, and add photo's later if possible.

At Brightlingsea we were amused by the names of some of the harbour boats, which included 'The Colne Ranger' and 'Dracula'. The harbour ran a water taxi service from the pontoons and moorings to the town walk ashore pontoon, which we used a couple of times. There was also a foot ferry run by the harbour from the town pontoon to East Mersea Island, across the river, which we used on the Thursday and had a good walk around the SE of the island from the drop off point on Mersea Stone. After a second night on the pontoon we left to explore the River Colne.