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Bradwell - 'Everything stops for Tide!'RNSA\RNVR YC Meeting 14/15 September 2019

East Coast - 18 Sep 19 Cruising

Bradwell is best visited by boat, as our frustrated engineers discovered.

A perfect forecast of sunshine and light winds had the East Coast RNSA and RNVR YC making a rendez-vous at the Alma, Harwich on Friday, 13th September. Moonstruck (Bill Wilkinson) motored up to Harwich from Walton and Woodwind (Fred Harris) sailed down from the Ore, but a fiendish pump change left Moonfleet stuck in Brightlingsea. Not deterred, Moonfleet's crew (David and Russell) motored to the rendez-vous in the knowledge that Jacqui-B would provide succour and a bunk. Jonesy turned up too. No one misses supper with the band (a flutist and guitarist) at the Alma, our East Coast 'Headquarters'!

A light Easterly and a thundering spring tide meant that, not only could Bradwell be reached for Saturday lunch but 'Hands to Bathe' and a waterline scrub could be achieved under a 'tropical' sun en route through the Blackwater (Arthur Ransome was right!). Alongside and snoozing after lunch it seemed that there was little more to do but mix the Pimms. Then a call: a mate (clearly enveloped in some kind of time warp) wanted a 3 minute morse message decoded. Forty five years on, my memory doesn't quite stretch to the precious (ten?) words a minute scribbled down from a carrier's flashing light (before breakfast!) However, fortune smiled. Having an IT 'planet brain' onboard we found a technique for slowing the message down and, by listening to it painstakingly (over and over again!) we were able to return the text after about 3/4 of an hour. Job done.

Moonfleet wasn't so lucky, the pump temporarily replaced, on start up her battery gave that well known birth pang stutter and gave up. She was not going to venture out of Brightlingsea this weekend! Not deterred (yet again) David and Russel scrubbed up and drove around the Blackwater to join Jacqui-B and Dancing Bear and the RNVR YC Team.

Naval reputation intact, the Pimms tasted even better as the cockpit filled up.

We dined at the Green Man and this time the Bradwell Sailing Club Disco lullled the RNSA and RNVR YC to sleep.

Fortunately, Sunday's clear blue sky was accompanied by a low tide which meant that Whitby could start everybody off well with his classic Champagne and Salmon breakfast. Perhaps one of the best possible ways to await a tide (better than Canute, who got his feet wet).

Breezing up the Wallet on a strengthening Tide Jacqui-B took a sweep inshore past Jaywick and Clacton, both looking inviting in an old fashioned way.Perhaps pop in for an ice cream next time we pass?

Up the Orwell in the early evening sun. End to a superb weekend.

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