Wednesday, May 27, 2009

River Orwell

Left Lowesoft Sunday morning at 630am to catch the first bridge at 7am. There was almost no wind but what little there was came from behind us and with almost 4 knots of current we made good progress towards Harwich. Harwich is located at the entrance to the Stour and Orwell rivers and the bay was full of sailboats out enjoying the bank holiday weekend, surrounded by a wall of massive deep sea container ships and loading docks. Seb was thrilled to see a huge container ship being launched by two tug boats (approx. 900 feet long, depth of 40 ft) looming up next to us. As we sailed up the Orwell river, leaving the industrial port behind us we were surrounded by beautiful green rolling fields and lush vegetation dipping into the river. Boats of every shape and size were bobbing about on mooring buoys all around us.

About 7 miles up the Orwell we picked up a mooring buoy at a little village called Pin Mill, location of the Butt and Oyster – one of the best sailors pubs in England according to Yachting Monthly. We pumped up Spikkel (our dingy) and headed off to explore the area. Pin Mill has a long hard path about 1,5 m wide that snakes out into the water from the middle of the village. This is appropriately named ‘The Hard’. The Hard is surrounded on all sides by a vast expanse of soft mud and allows you to walk/ bring your dingy into land when the tide is out. We had a very nice meal at the Butt & Oyster and then took the little monkeys to play in the grass on the Common. Emma made her first friend and ran about exploring while we chatted with some of the locals. Pin Mill is a very pretty friendly place. We headed back to Spikkel at about 730pm. The tide was still quite far out so we walked out along The Hard. The dingy was ready and Seb held Emma and Macsen while I stepped in. Unfortunately, I took one step back before entering the dingy and plunged thigh deep into ‘The Soft’. Emma was completely shocked and started crying and whimpering “I don’t like it when Mama falls into the mud”, needless to say Mama didn’t think much of it either. The first 100m in the dingy were very uncomfortable, Emma and Macsen both crying and me completely covered in brown sticky goo. Back at the boat, we stripped off our muddy things in the cockpit and had a good laugh. Excellent day! We have a real feeling of being away and seeing new things. We didn’t expect to feel this already in England.

Moved to Woolverstone Haven the next day as a low front was moving in and high winds expected. This is an extremely friendly marina with a playroom for the little monkeys, very nice for the two rainy days we spent there. There are lovely walks along the banks of the river, muddy path with lots of ruts that had Emma clinging onto her step on the Bugaboo. Closed off our time on the river Orwell with a nice visit with a couple who keep their boat in the marina. Joyce and Robert very kindly invited us aboard their absolutely stunning Najad 570. They are lovely gracious people who plan to set sail on a long voyage to see their grandchildren in New Zealand, hopefully in 2010. We wish them fair winds and many many more years on the Pink Cloud. Who knows, we may come back to this lovely spot to wave them off. They sent us away with a chocolate duck for Emma, 2 duck eggs and a turkey egg from a friend of theirs with a farm. Breakfast will be very good tomorrow as we head off towards London.


  1. Steady as she goes, everything sounds awesome.
    I have even decided to save up for my own little najad 570 ;-).



  2. Hoi Wereldreizigers!
    Wow, wat een mooie verhalen al. Klinkt stoer en lekker jullie daar op het water, zeker als je het allemaal leest achter de computer op kantoor. Heel veel plezier en succes!