Fitting out, a new ‘toy’ and a trip to Clacton

We’ve bought outselves a new ‘toy’ and decide to take it down to Woodbridge with the van at the end of May! It’s a Mazda MX convertible . . . On Sunday 29 May we take it (with the Landy) up to the farm to collect the Adria. Depart Grangemill 1200 noon in convoy (Adria and Mazda) to arrive at the Tidemill 5pm after a steady drive without much traffic. Bev drove the Adria all the way and didn’t enjoy the huge rainstorm on the A14, but probably better than being in the Mazda. Unpacking in the rain we decide on F&C from Woodbridge chippy – just in time with last orders at 8pm.

It’s pretty cold and overcast with strong wind but no rain so Steve took off the winter cover on Monday. He was most disappointed to find an area of damage to the capping rail by the cockpit. Looks like the boat has been forced against the pontoon during the winter storms and it’s broken the capping rail at one of the scarfe joints. We have a rethink of the OGA Jubilee Rally plans and meet up with Leigh to decide what to join in with. Not much point trying to take ‘Cachalot’ down to Waldringfield as a) she’s not ready and b) the tides are all wrong to get out and back into the Marina. The revised plan is for Steve and Leigh to sail ‘Cachalette’ down from Robertsons on Thursday, Bev and Aileen to go down in the van for the barbecue, leaving options pretty open for the rest of the week when the weather doesn’t look promising.

Huge rainstorms overnight soak the winter cover drying after Bev had cleaned it yesterday! Steve has a list of bits to buy from Classic Marine and goes to Levington then Ben helps him go up the mast to fit new blocks above the cross-trees. He takes the wrong rope up, but no worries, he can run the right one up tomorrow by stitching them together. It’s getting late, so Bev stretches supper out for Ben after drinks aboard the boat, now without her winter cover which is drying again nicely, spread out on the grassy bank. Ben needs drums of rope so he and Steve go shopping in the car on Wednesday. Just as they return there’s a hailstorm and we quickly bundle the winter cover up and take shelter under one of the boats on the hard.

Bev’s kayak paddle research has resulted in an option of collecting one from Clacton, so we drive down there with the Mazda’s top down, now the rain has stopped. Clacton was much better than expected. We had a very interesting chat with Derroll at Nucleus Watersports and bought the new paddle. Strolling along the deserted prom. we found a kiosk selling excellent ice cream with fresh-cooked donuts and chocolate sauce. Maybe worth another visit . . . and interesting to find a bit about it’s history. Bev drove part of the way back and enjoyed it immensely even though the roof had to go up a couple of times to dodge the rain.

Clacton Pier was built 150 years ago as a landing platform for the Woolwich Steam Packet Co. Between the wars it was lengthened with a theatre and other entertainment facilities added resulting in Clacton becoming a leading seaside resort. Looking 7km. out to sea towards Gunfleet Sands there’s the 50 turbines of the Offshore Wind Farm, generating enough clean energy for over 150,000 homes.

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