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East Coast 'Work up'

East Coast - 05 Apr 18 Cruising

Each year we cajole our boats out of refit by an 'early' work up around the Orwell Estuary...and the promise of some fun in the 'Backwaters'.

Do you have the rule - "fix it in a day and it doesn't count"? We do. So as Jacqui-B bent on the sails on Good Friday (warmed by Marina supplied thickly buttered hot cross buns) - we quickly remedied the odd dropped baton and shackle pin, even finding a spare Genoa to get 'Successor' away from the wall. Phew! No port on that score.
Our normal first Port of Call is Ha'penny Pier at Harwich, with its wonderful proximity to the 'Alma'. However, the Port Authority hadn't got round to replacing the jetty pontoons this year so it had to be Levington, with its very welcoming Lightship cum Clubhouse. It met expectation. There we also welcomed Gary, an ex-marine signaller, who joined us for a taster; quickly handed a screwdriver and then a few beers, he got the hang of things.
A benign Easterly helped us up the Walton Backwater to be welcomed at Titchmarsh by Sarah Watson. A rummage around for bunting to Dress Overall before we process for the Annual Inspection of 'Two Step's' Major Refit (Rebuild?). Conclusion - the Re-Build has outdone the Build! ....and there is the jolly prospect of seeing 'Two Step' and 'Nirvana' afloat soon.
Commandeering an old cabin door from 'Two Step' the boat's preparation for the first Reception and Supper includes what has now become a stern gangplank, worthy of the wobbliest of sailors.
Fourteen of us are together again to toast the new season and then, wondrously a slap up supper emerges from the hampers of Pat Jones, John Coone, Sarah Watson and Jacqui Bryan. Clearly the feast generated enough energy for a prolonged bout of unspeakable marine jokes, responding ribaldry and (quite impressive) singing and guitar playing by Moira, Colin and Cooney. We're back in business.
To keep the cold at bay, as Chris an Pat Jones are piped ashore (about 1pm) we all huddle up in sleeping bags until the 'steward's' next call at 0900 to the local version of 'Train Smash'. Just the ticket on a Sunday Morning..... anyway, we can't get over the sill until Midday. As Sarah Watson waves us Farewell (relieved that the annual inspection has gone well??!) even the wind is on side; a gentle Westerly takes us back to the Orwell.
Back next year.




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