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Northward again

In total contrast to the River Deben, we are now safely tucked into a yacht marina in Lowestoft, some 35 miles further north. This is a busy port, all bustle and businesslike and with a marina just inside the entrance run by the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club, an august body rich in tradition where the dark blue blazer is almost certainly mandatory at the bar. How we got in I’ll never know but they certainly regret it now as their rooftop webcam has captured us two loonies standing on Cirrus Cat waving madly (Click the picture for a larger one. Cirrus is on the far left.).

Before leaving the Deben we popped over to the Sutton Hoo viking ship burial site.
This picture shows how they buried King Raedwald back in 625, himself probably from a family of a European immigrants, a curious link with today as many Dutch sailors still come to this area, particularly at this time when their queen’s birthday is a public holiday for them. As I write I hear Dutch spoken on the boat next to us and yesterday evening we participated in a mild adventure when another Dutch boat came to anchor where it was too shallow, just as the tide was dropping. For anyone who doesn’t know, a yacht with a single keel simply falls over when you take away the water, not a nice thing to happen. Some last minute pulling on ropes sorted him out eventually but at the expense of some national pride, I fear.

It was with some sadness that we left the Deben early this morning, creeping out to sea in the mist when nobody else was awake. Us sailors must always have tides and currents in mind when putting to sea so 5am it was, just in time to catch the shipping forecast then away down river. Turning north (our first left turn) we caught the express-train of a tidal current which sucked us on past Orford Ness, another slight left turn, and past Aldburgh where the colours of the sea facing houses, visible even in the mist, led me to speculate that they might have become energised by radioactivity from the nearby Sizewell B power station. Foolish thought.

This was not a good sailing day, however. The promised wind failed to materialise leaving us no option but to motor most of the distance. The sea heaved gently under us with scarcely a ripple on the surface although beneath the water the silt disturbed from the bottom swirled and churned like milk poured into tea. Rarely does the water drop clear here. It is quite shallow some distance off, no good for ships, but deep enough for our shallow draft to pass close to the shore so we could peer at remote villages perched vulnerably close to the sea and beach fishermen braving the early morning chill. No exciting wildlife here on view; just a few gulls chasing a fishing boat trawling nets across our path, but we are a little further on our way none the less.

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