Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

23 rd to 26 th of May 2014 - First Sail of the Season

Crew : Helen and Andy
Destinations : Levington, River Stour, Walton Backwaters and Ipswich.
Distance : 49 miles

Friday 23 rd May

Our first sail of the year. After a quick catch up with Richard from the rigging department at Fox's, we headed down the river under sails and picked up a mooring buoy on the River Orwell opposite Levington.

Saturday 24 th May

With a forecast promising force 7 we decided against our plan of heading for the river Ore and spend the morning on the mooring relaxing and watching the activity on the river.

In the early afternoon we slipped and sailed around into the River Stour. With southerly winds the anchorage at Erwarton Ness was a lea shore so we dropped the hook on the other side of the river off Coopers Bay.

Sunday 25 th May

A morning start to catch the tide for enough water to sail into the Walton backwaters. As we started to sail off the anchor the kicking strap came lose so we dropped the mainsail, still anchored, to investigate. A shackle pin had come lose; fortunately we inherited a box of assorted shackles with the boat so we were able to repair things and get under way for a lovely sail around Penny Hole Bay before going up into The Walton Backwaters and having yet another lazy day watching other boats and reading.

Monday 26 th May

The tide times dictated a mid morning start for a sail back to Ipswich.

When we arrived we were told there was a problem with the lock into Ipswich so we went alongside the waiting pontoon with some other boats. One couple told us that they also had problems getting through the lock into Shotley that weekend. Apparently a woman fell into the lock and her husband jumped in to rescue her (without tying up the boat). It turned out that she found the steps and got herself out and her husband needed winching out.

Anyway, the lock gates at Ipswich had apparently got stuck and the lock was full of boats wanting to leave. Eventually things were fixed. We watched a steady stream of boats leave and then there was a mad rush to get in with boast rafted up side by side. I (Helen) made it clear to Andy that I expected him to jump in after me if I fell in! As the lock gates opened there was a sudden heavy shower. No time to don the oilys, by the time we were alongside it had stopped raining and we were soaked through.

As we were late we dried ourselves, tidied up and did a few quick jobs and came home without washing the blue dust off Speedwell. We had gradually noticed this on the masts and booms over the weekend. Hopefully the rain will do the job.

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