Charles Stock & Shoal Waters

Easter Cruise 2004

Easter Cruise 2004-04-13

Full moon Monday 5th April – strong NW winds

Left Tuesday as she floated just after noon. (gear on board over mud). Wind strong from NW.
Too rough to go on down river – Anchored behind Lawling Spit.-very High Tide. – Left at 1600rs in the hope that the water near the river mouth would be calmer now that the ebb had been running for two hours.
Just got into Mersea and anchored in Mersea fleet with saltings to windward before it rained. A quiet night.

Wednesday ,- Forecast still strong NW. left at 0700hrs and cut across sands east of Batchelors Spit.
Anchored level with beacon and then sailed to Ray under jib. Once close to Ray Yellow, I anchored to watch to waters join and then set off under reefed main, crossing about 1000hrs. Could point the river until past the Roach. Beached at noon in the bay near Pile Ends. Walked ashore in the evening for water and a pint of milk.

Thursday – Left in brilliant moonlight at 0330hrs with first of ebb. A little wind from NW but plenty to come. Sounded round Whitaker Beacon and then had to reef. Visibility very poor Two other yachts overtook me. Into Medway to reach the Shalfleet at noon. A little sunshine mid afternoon while I caught up on sleep. Moved up onto drying mud for the night. Very calm night. Noise from Container Berths.

Good Friday – Perfect dawn. Left at 0730 with light wind from the north forecast. Found LASH floating dock anchored above Queenborough Spit. Into Swale to reach the bridge at 1000hrs, just low water but still some ebb running. Warm sun now. Idyllic sailing , Lunch in South Deep and then a visit to Conyer Creek and a walk ashore at HW. Calmish trip to anchor for the night between Horse Sand and the shore a mile east of Harty Ferry. Dead calm and a perfect sunset as the sand appeared to be colonised by the birds..

Easter Saturday – Left with the first of the ebb soon after 0500hrs. Very slow to Shellness. Then wind growing and dying from NW. Able to point north for a time but wind veering . poor visibility . Many fishing boats near the Red Sand Tower. The able to steer NW and soon over onto Blacktail Spit at low water. Anchored for a time until enough water to get over the sand in a gut north of the Blacktail Beacon. Switched to big Staysail. Suddenly very strong wind from NE. Ran in over sands but very rough. Anchored just off Orwell Beacon to reef and hoist mainsail. Over Broomway at 1500hrs. Bridge up promptly and anchored just beyond for a brew and to recover. On to Potton Point for night.

Easter Sunday -Left with the ebb soon after 0500hrs. Wind NW and then N in Ray. Calm towards low water off Colne Bar buoys. Then wind from south for slow trip to Wivenhoe in warm sun. Anchored off point of Fingrinhow Creek at 1500hrs to sit in sun and watch the many visitors along the new waterfront. Ferry going full time. Left at 1500rs to Rat Island for night.

Easter Monday – Flat calm at dawn as the ebb set in. Got the anchor and let the boat drift while I washed and had breakfast until well past East Mersea. Perfect dawn with Golden mist. A little wind from S to take me into the Blackwater at low water. Very slow trip to the club. Hell from the noise boys at Stone.
Rather than trouble Joy in the busy Bank Holiday traffic, I anchored for the night off Northey causeway but there was no glorious sunset over Maldon to end the trip.

Home Tuesday on morning tide.