Tag Archives: Woodbridge

Jester Ipswich Challenge

Poor Tammy Norie has been sitting in the mud at Woodbridge for a few weeks since the North Sea crossing back from the Netherlands.  Suddenly I have a lot of work requests from clients and very little time to sail. I’m having something of a three bus problem at work.

This Saturday night there’ll be a dinner for Jester Challengers at Fox’s Marina in Ipswich. There’s a big morning high tide at Woodbridge on Saturday, pleasant weather and a fair wind, so it looks good to get off the mud at about 10:30, sail down the Deben, around the corner at Felixstowe, and up to Fox’s.

Sunday is not quite so convenient. There’s a very high (4.4m) tide at Woodbridge at 00:44 on Monday, so I should be able to get back on to the dock at about 23:15, then head back to Cambridge in the morning.

As usual, do let me know if you’d like to meet up or join in!


Filed under Plans


I went out for a day sail on the Deben with my friend and housemate on Sunday. It was a pleasant and relaxing day with gentle north east winds. A good job too as we were both a little, er, tired from a party the night before. High tides were at 06:00 and 18:30, so we rode the tide out into the sea and then back home.

The sea was smooth and the winds light, so I tried my Hebridean with the unbalanced pendulum in the light wind conditions.  It worked fine, as long as there was enough wind to fill the sail.  I’m still surprised.

We passed Tide Mill Yacht Harbour at about 17:30 and deliberately grounded about 6m from the dock that Steve Crowther has generously lent me just to the north.  While we were tidying up the boat I gradually paddled her closer and eventually retrieved the mooring lines with the boat hook.  We then pulled her in tighter to the shore as the tide rose, in order to get an accurate time when we could bring her alongside the dock.


The answer was 18:26, almost bang on the day’s high tide of 3.5m.  This tallies with my earlier estimate that the mud there is 2.8m above chart datum, adding Tammy Norie’s 0.6m draft gives 3.4m. I suspect her draft is a bit over 0.6m with two people on board.

This means that Tammy is unlikely to get off the dock on days when the high tide is less than 3.5m at Woodbridge.  For example this Thursday 2015-09-08 the high tide is just 3.28m.  Plenty of water at the weekend though!

Careful calculations, planning, execution, and shenanigans with the mud are all part of the fun.


Filed under Logs

She didn’t want it to end

Tammy Norie arrived from her North Sea Crossing at Woodbridge at high tide on Monday 2015-08-31, and after a brief stop at the Deben Sailing Club, spent the night in the Tide Mill Yacht Harbour. My crew for the North Sea Crossing, Martin Roberts, lives in Woodbridge and I was very glad to use his shower and drink his family’s tea before heading home.

Steve Crowther very kindly offered me the use of his mooring on the bank just north of Tide Mill, so I came back before the next afternoon’s high tide to move her there.  I walked up to take a look at the dock and lines, then back to Tide Mill, paid my bill, and drove Tammy over the sill.  There was a noticeable ebb current trying to take me downriver and it took a good ten minutes to motor against it up river.


And then of course, I went aground trying to get on to the dock.  I made a couple of attempts, and even attempted to use the kedge anchor to haul myself closer, but it was too late.  I was stuck about 4m off the bank.


A couple were walking along the tow path and took a line to the dock, and engaged me in a long chat about boats and travel. I was resigned to staying there until the next high tide at 3am.  Well, at least I could do a bit of tidying and maintenance.

No chance! Steve called, and we had a good long chat.  Then Martin called and asked if I was in Woodbridge. “Sort of,” I said. He came along and suggested I use the dinghy on the ebbing water behind Tammy. But in fact what I did was stick it on the mud and use it as a bridge to the shore.  It slid along very well on the mud!


And so I spent a very pleasant evening with Martin and his family before returning to Tammy and sleeping until the tide came in again. As a reward I was greeted by this beautiful dawn.


And so the cruise was finally over.

But the blog articles certainly aren’t.  I have about 500 photos to process, several hours of video, and quite a few events to talk about.  Watch this space.

Incidentally, a rough calculation puts the mud under the dock at 2.8m above chart datum. There’s a chance I’ll get neaped. But it’s a lovely spot and I’m certainly not complaining. I’ll take a better measurement when I’m next there. It’s a shame that both my sounding poles (actually garden canes) went missing in the Netherlands.

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Filed under dinghy, Logs, Netherlands Cruise 2015