Today saw the departure of Alice and Allan who have sadly run out of time and have to return to more important duties. They have helped us all the way from Grimsby and survived a variety of East Coast gaffers gatherings.
This afternoon there was a Parade of Sail up the river Colne to Wivenhoe. Having at present no crew of my own, Minstrel very kindly lent me some of theirs for the event; Mary for the upstream journey and Jolyon for the return.
In theory a Parade of Sail consists of a steady stream of evenly spaced yachts progressing sedately up the river in an orderly fashion. Today it was blowing a very brisk SW wind from behind and most boats found it difficult to keep their speed down. On the upriver journey we were sailing under just jib and mizzen, and even that was too much at times.
Wivenhoe is a charming town with a long history of boatbuilding and maritime activity. We were made very welcome by the Wivenhoe Sailing Club. However their pontoon in the river is quite small and the visiting yachts were soon stacked up six abreast. The tide runs very strongly once it turns, and since there is little water at low tide everyone was in a hurry to leave soon after high water.
|Rafted up at Wivenhoe SC|
There was much activity with ropes and fenders to disentangle the boats in the strong current, with plenty of varied suggestions about how best to get the job done. Eventually everyone got away without damage and we returned to Brightlingsea for the night.