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Bradwell - where North meets South in the East.

East Coast - 21 Sep 18 Cruising

The RNVR YC and RNSA second rendez-vous of the year took place at Bradwell 15-16 September

What is it about a tiny village perched next to a defunct nuclear power station with a two mile walk for a loaf of bread that attracts us, East Coasters? Because that is certainly what Bradwell did for the second time in the season, with six yachts and 7 shore party turning up for the fun:

WHITE ROSE from Lowestoft
WOODWIND from Orford
JACQUI B from Woolverstone
MOONSTRUCK from Walton
MOONFLEET from Brightlingsea
AVOCET from West Mersea
PISCES from Conyer (look it up!)

East Coasters have to like mud. Bradwell has copious amounts, great mounds of which emerge as the tide ebbs.
East Coasters like PIMMS (take your own!).
East Coasters like pubs. Bradwell has a good one, 'The Green Man'.
The starting flag as ever is the top of the tide. After a decent South-Westerly the boats trickled in. The run down the Blackwater with the tide is always a delight before arriving at the chicane marked by witheys, buoys, and shore marks (which appear to need annual adjustment for mud movement).
Brightlingsea, West Mersea, Tollsbury , Heybridge and Maldon (home of the Thames Barge fleet) have a most interesting array of yachts which rather lazily criss-cross the Estuary on a sunny day. You can see why Arthur Ransome liked the place. Although his whimsical observation" Better drowned than duffers if not duffers won't drown" might not quite 'do' today!
The 'Gin Pennant' flew from Jacqui-B from 1800 and all 20 of us joined the pontoon party, plus our URNU Mid (Anna) and a few passers by - the RAFSA flag was sighted on the way in! The Pimms tank empty we all adjourned to supper at the Green Man where they crammed us in and kept the pot boiling until we were all fed. Our reverie was only finally checked by the need to slip the next day at dawn - to catch the tide out (It gushes right from the first hour here)
The 'early bird' vessels exchanged morning greetings as sun rose over the Blackwater on Sunday morning. With wind and tide driving us North East, five hours later we were sharing lunch at a buoy off Levington.

Good sailing and an excellent Rendez-vous. Thank you David Whitley.


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