Easter weekend in Woodbridge

We decide to go down to Woodbridge for Easter weekend, then travel on to Hampshire with the van. As usual, it’s a later start than planned but finally we get on the A6 towards the M1 at 1230 (after returning to the house as Bev forgot contents of fridge!!). After a surprisingly traffic free drive, given it’s Good Friday, we arrive reach the Tidemill at 1700. It’s a bit problematic finding somewhere to park up, as all the boats are still out on the hard with lots of visiting cars for the weekend. Lou and Maggie had booked a table at A-Listers for 1945 so we had plenty of time to get the van shipshape before going out for a most enjoyable meal.

Steve puts a couple of coats of varnish on the mast and we spend a lazy Easter Saturday catching up with folk around the Tidemill in the sun before a pontoon party at 5pm with Claudia, Dan, Marco, Valentina, Maggie, Lou and Ben. A really enjoyable gathering until it got a bit chilly as the sun dropped down – it is still mid-April after all. On Easter Sunday the tides are perfect for a lunchtime outing in the kayaks, so we go up to Robertson’s and paddle downriver against the tide to the bank opposite Kyson Point then back up with the tide to Honolulu Beach. Lovely and sunny but a bit of wind without being cold. I think I like the kayaks best of all, getting more confident to explore amongst the reeds and shallower places! Steve spent some time sorting out the little boat in case there’s wind for a sail in the morning. Bev cooked supper and we ate on our boat with Ben. There’s talk of getting both boats out into the river, once we take the winter covers off.

Sadly, there’s not enough wind for sailing and Steve didn’t want to paddle so Bev decided to give the van the long-promised clean. She found a perfect stepladder on the scrap pile and spent all afternoon doing a full valet inside and out. Despite the ladder, she couldn’t quite reach the roof but everything else is sparkly and gleaming. Great to get all the ‘muck’ off from the muddy January trip to Scotland and being stored in the cowshed!!

On Tuesday, 19 April we’re invited for breakfast aboard Ben’s boat at 0930. He serves up an excellent fry-up including stir-fry vegetables, eggs, bacon and black pudding. We depart the Tidemill YH 1140 and find a Morrisons for fuel near Chelmsford: £100 for 58l, 171.9p per litre – worth the detour of 15 minutes, everywhere else is 176.9p plus.

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