Gunfleet and night sailing…

Over the half term break I had promised myself at least one or two nights afloat. As usual, weather and family commitments got in the way. The MLSC cruise was cancelled so we decided to venture forth anyway for an overnight stop in either Rowhedge or West Mersea. We left Maldon in fair winds, and with the tide under us, we got to Bradwell much earlier than expected. So quick change of plan, we carried on to the Gunfleet Sands and the edge of the Wallet. We had a memorable sail, Alex managed a sustained 7.5kts over the ground which was very satisfying, particularly as we had two reefs in.

At one point my crew, James, decided he needed to visit the heads and I took the helm. Seeing the bulkhead compass is not an option but I had one of those rare flashes of inspiration. I asked James to pass me the hand bearing compass before retiring and, holding it in my lap, I was able to maintain a steady(ish) course until the relieved crew relieved me. James suggested that if I obtain two more mountings for the Silva HB compass, I could mount one on either side of the cockpit and place the HB compass in the appropriate bracket and be able to steer a reasonable course. Genius. I found a pair on the www for just £3 each.

Sailing back up the Blackwater the wind dropped light and a most wonderful evening followed. We passed Osea as the wind dropped completely and were treated to a magnificent firework display. Possibly Tollesbury? The night was magical and we decided to tide it up to Maldon and arrived back about 11:30. Reminded us both why we have a boat!!!

The cruise to the Gunfleet and the subsequent night sail back are on the latest video in the Video section. Hope you enjoy it.

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