Well, this sailing lark was about gaining new experiences I suppose. On Sunday 20th we woke early and made our way down to the marina. The plan was to catch the last of the ebb and spend the day messing about, perhaps a return visit to West Mersea or Bradwell for lunch and a pleasant sail back on the evening flood, arriving as darkness falls (we have a monster torch on board).
Well we were all aboard and unmoored by 08:00 and motoring our way down Lawling Creek. Only problem the crew could not see a thing! Now this is not unusual for me but a bit disconcerting for my crew. We felt our way past Mundon Stone Point and, using the chart plotter and a lookout in the bow, we edged our way to the anchorage off of Osea Island. We hoisted the radar reflector (a first for us) and sounded the fog horn every minute in good ‘Day Skipper’ style. Eerily, we were answered almost at once by other fog horns out in whiteness. After a while one got used to hearing them and were able to ‘plot’ them in ones minds eye.
Anyway, good sense prevailed and it was decided the safest thing to do was to pick up a mooring until the fog lifted.
Which it didnt! At about 16:00 we felt our way back up Lawling Creek and arrived back at the marina about an hour before the water did. Never mind, more coffee was brewed and the boat tidied up.
The day spent on a mooring was an ideal chance to put the Victory heater through its paces. It runs on paraffin, a bit like a Primus Stove. And it works superbly, making the cabin warm and snug even on a cold damp day. Currently working on a modification that should, if it works, provide Alexandros with a heated towel rail, more to follow!
New things done? Navigation by dead reckoning and chart plotter. Used Radar reflector for the first time. Used motoring sound signals and ‘at anchor’ sound signal (banging a pan rapidly every minute), used the heater, went ashore in tender for a spell, returned to marina in the dark, oh, and cooked freshly caught mussels in a pan of water too. So, no sailing, but still an experience, which is, after all, what it is all about, isn’t it?