This year’s River Deben Cruise to the Tidemill Yacht Harbour attracted ten Club yachts making berth bookings with seven planning a Thursday kick off the remaining joining us on Friday. This required an early start Thursday morning to catch the last hour of the flood tide for passage across the Deben Bar. With a promise of a expected heat wave(!!) lines were cast off shortly after 7am for a chilly motor sail to the entrance to the River Deben. With both the N Easterly wind and flood tide not favouring crews on this leg of our trip.
Once through the entrance, with a most uncomfortable transit for crews, up to nine knots was being recorded on ships’ logs with the flood tide now in our favour in the River Deben. Various sail settings were experimented with by crews on this leg, the forecast wind was expected in our favour by then but, along with the forecast “heat wave”, did not appear so it was “Iron Topsails” hoisted for the remainder of the passage to the Tidemill marina where Harbour master “Mike the Pipe” conveniently berthed us together on the Northern side of the harbour. Our remaining crews joining us mid-day on Friday with one absentee, Falcon unfortunately having an engine drive problem just short of the Deben entrance and having to return home for repairs.
As usual, once crews were berthed they made short time before visiting the lovely Woodbridge harbour side, much re built now and of course some very necessary retail therapy in the town centre. By this time our weather had deteriorated with low cloud and drizzle so the planned evening BBQ was abandoned and replaced by “inter ship hospitality” and very successful this must have been by the heavy use made of the Marina Bottle Bank next morning!
Saturday’s weather was much improved with at last some sunshine with our crews enjoying the planned lovely walk along the river bank for an excellent lunch at the lovely Milford Bridge public house. On our return leg a stop was made for refreshments on the Retired Swedish Patrol ship HMS Vale now berthed at the Melton Boatyard. It’s been converted to the Deben Cafe serving excellent refreshments and hot snacks, certainly Tom’s ( Tomora) fruit cake was enjoyed by many! I would suggest this is a must visit spot with lovely views from the canopied deck with even binoculars provided for viewing the abundant river and bird life
On returning to our berthing and the weather remaining favourable it was decided to go ahead with our Club cruise BBQ in the evening. So with the BBQ charged eighteen crew enjoyed a chilly but very enjoyable evening and slept well after a very energetic day. A mid-day departure was made on the Sunday, crews having to wait for sufficient water over the Marina Cill (Sill) and still with no sign of the promised “heat wave” we returned to our Berths at Walton, this was again a chilly passage but at least the opportunity for crews to set sails for the leg home after leaving the River Deben with the Deben Bar much quieter outbound. On returning to the Club house we completed our cruise with a very enjoyable post cruise dinner, well looked after by Sandra at Bar and Table with Peters team in the Galley, a big thank you, once again, for our excellent staff.
My thanks to all crews for your support and looking forward to Mike & Helens Blackwater Cruise 6th – 12th June. Details are posted on the Club Notice Board. Cheers & Regards Roly.
Yachts and Crews attending.
VICKY. John & Jean Thorpe. TORTUGA. David Mason & David Bone. LOLLIPOP Chris & Gill Bridgwater. LA MOUETTE. Peter & Donna Dukes, REFLEX Graham & Christine Godward. SAMPHIRE Paul & Jemima Burnage ATLANTIS John Robinson & Marion. TOMORA Tom Budworth & Norma. MISTRESS Roly Jarrold & Les Houghton. FALCON Andy & Carol Clarke.