Sunday, 17 January 2016


We have a great sail up the Orwell River to Ipswich.  We determine that it is time to do some work on the boat and to do that in the UK rather then move on to mainland Europe.

The world famous yacht builder Spirit Yachts ( is in the harbor.   One of their boats was in the James Bond Movie "Casino Royale".  It was on the dock for a refit as pictured below.

September, 2015 - HARWICH, UK

We had a great overday sail from Grimsby to Harwich on the Orwell River.  We left in the late pm and arrived in the dark, taking a mooring in the river for the first night.  Next day we tied up to the small public dock fronting the town of Harwich.  Maximum stay 3 nights, no power or water on the dock.  Three nights for 30 GBP. 

Harwich has a rich marine history, including the port where the Pilgrim ship the Mayflower was built.  Also, it was where King Henry VIII started Trinity House, the agency that maintains navigation aids and provides services for mariners.  Their head office dominates the waterfront.

The town features many museums and a fort and has a great waterfront walkway.  Not much non-tourist commerce in the area.  We had to walk a fair distance to find a bank and groceries.

The town has a cruise ship terminal and across the river is the UKs largest container fort at Felixstowe.  Lots of shipping action to avoid in the river and lots of wake to rock you at the dock.

Ferry passes us at sea.

We approach Felixstowe as the sun sets.

Felixstowe docks from Harwich sea walk.

Restored fort/museum.

Early dock crane, operated by human power.

Short lighthouse.
Tall lighthouse.

 The lighthouses were set one behind the other to provide a range light to guide ships through the sand bars.  The bars moved and the lighthouses were retired.

A society is rebuilding the Mayflower to sail across the Atlantic in 2020 to commemorate the original passage  in 1620.  Their web site is:

The keel is laid.
 A retired lightship is a floating museum.  Not only does it show how the lighthouse operated, it also records how it was re-purposed as a floating radio station.  BBC had a monopoly on broadcasting after the war and refused to play rock music.  Pirate radio stations were set up on boats outside of British waters to get around this regulation.

Sun sets off the stern of a Trinity House Navigation maintenance ship.

Passat II at the Harwich dock.

Sunset rainbow.


We left Whitby with the wind off the stern quarter.  Finally able to sail, with winds forecast at Force 4 to 5.  By evening we were running straight downwind, with reefed main and Staysail sheeted in as steadying sail.  Wind built to at least Force 6 and waves were building as we approached the "Wash", a shallow coastline now a lee shore. 

An unintentional jibe, a sharp snap and life became exciting.  The Boom had snapped in two, at the Preventor's attachment point.  Darkness fell as we battled to lower the main and secure the Boom.  Mission accomplished we assessed our options.  Continue across the Wash in the deteriorating conditions, with its shallow waters, oil rigs and lee shore, or divert to Grimsby, a 8 plus hour diversion up the Humber Estuary, one of the busiest commercial traffic rivers in Europe.  We chose option B,  tieing up at the Humber Cruising Association dock at 04:30.

The very friendly members and staff put us in touch with a local Engineering Shop and our Boom was repaired and back on board inside of 23 hours!  As a bonus the Clubhouse has a friendly Members and very cheep drinks.  Other then that Grimsby has little to offer.

Repaired, stronger then new.

September, 2015 - WHITBY POSTING #2

Reviewing the last post I determined that I did not do Whitby justice, particularly the Abby, so have added the following pictures.

the graves have the best view in town.

The Abby is now in ruins, but must have been magnificent in its day.

Sadly much of the detailing is lost.

Very "Withering Heights".

Ghost of Abby past.

Arched view.
Views of the Old part of town.

Very steep path from the Harbor to the Abby.

More maritime history.

The local museam is first class.  One of the best we have visited.

Water Garden in the Park.

City view through park sculpture.

Sundial, but no sun.


Cool fossils.

Totem from BC.

Dried hand used by burglars as a talisman to ward off discovery.

Chess board and set that took two years to carve out of local stone.