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Perry's Latest Adventure

Night Monday 16th in Hoo Marina in order to get away early, just before high tide, bound for the Roach. Wind SW as forecast so a great day with a following wind up to the mouth of the Crouch. Even managed to try our new cruising chute for the first time. Motored down towards Burnham and anchored in the mouth of the Roach for the night, a beautiful tranquil spot, what could possibly go wrong? So off down into the cabin for a well earned rest and some food.

Just relaxing when there was a jolt, a grinding noise and a distinct change in the motion of the boat. Out on deck again to discover that we were broadside on to the tide with the anchor rode wrapped around the keel. We were holding fast with a strong wind against the tide so no immediate problem but what to do? First thought was to start the engine and motor round. Took the cover off the engine and turned the prop shaft by hand to make sure it was free but the prospect of the line tangled in the prop didn’t bear thinking about so decided not to try. Maybe wait until slack when we might be able to sort things out? Tried using the rudder, which had some authority, but still no luck.

Finally Heather came up with the solution, ‘phone a friend’. In this case Barry. What luck he answered, listened to the problem and said “have you tried sailing the boat round”. Well we hadn’t thought of anything so obvious so felt a bit daft. Unraveled about a third of the foresail, boat spun round, problem over. Thanks Barry we owe you a drink. Still decided to sit up for a further couple of hours, until the tide turned, to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Wednesday morning, knackered after the restless night, we decided to take the day off and went the couple of miles into Burnham Yacht Harbor. Great facilities and welcome at just over £20 a night.

Early Thursday left on the outgoing tide for Brightlingsea. A good trip but had to motor at first as no wind. A friendly welcome at the Colne Yacht Club where we had our evening meals. The following day a great time as we sailed round the area and explored the Colne. Then down to Maylandsea on the Blackwater for Sunday afternoon at the Harlow Blackwater Sailing Club. Once again friendly people who took the time to make us very welcome. Spent three nights sitting on the mud in the Blackwater Marina in Lawling Creek due to the high winds.

Tuesday morning an early start back to Hoo to make the most of a forecast break in the high winds. Sporting trip home, especially across the Thames Estuary with the wind against the tide. Arrived on our mooring mid afternoon for a welcome drink in the bar.

So, learnt a few things, had some really good days sailing and a few days hiding from the wind. All in all a great week.

Heather and Paul

Date Published 17th Jun 2011