Thursday, 2nd August 07
At 0550 ‘Faith’ was underway after being anchored for the night in the lee of Pewit Island, Bradwell. There was a light wind from the NW that provided steerage way as we headed for the Bench Head buoy four and a half miles away to the east. It was one of those wonderful mornings when the rising sun was a bright golden ball, the sky was azure blue speckled with mackerel patterned white clouds and between them a waning moon said, “Hello. I know you are enjoying it.” Two other yachts were heading in the same direction but under ‘steam’. I was surprised with a heavy breathing sound to the stern of the boat and on glancing behind there was an inquisitive seal surveying the scene.
By 0700 St Peter’s church, that very ancient monument built from stone lay on the port quarter visible above the sandy sea shore. A series of old mulberry harbour type concrete structures were strategically placed on the sand as wave breakers. I made a note in the log that this was sailing at its best. ‘Faith’ held her course towards the Swin Spitway and on her way she passed a series of buoys at the entrance to the River Colne. There was virtually no wind at the Spitway and a drifting match ensued. Once through the gap between the sands I downed the sail and used the yuloh to steer the boat with the new flooding tide towards the Ridge buoy. There a light NE wind helped us in the direction of Burnham marked by low lying land on the north side of the River Crouch. It was quite strange that the tall buildings of Southend-on-Sea could be seen in the hazy distance. Several motor yachts came by, none of them slowing down, hence what little wind there was, was shaken from the sail. By 1130 we were at the Outer Crouch buoy and the wind freshened to a force 2 from the west. Coming from Burnham there was fine schooner Freedom yacht with tan sails.
Tacking through the Burnham moorings was an exciting business because the wind increased to force 3 and I had to take great care not to collide with any moored yacht. Beyond the trots I shortened sail and prepared the boat for entering Burnham Yacht Harbour. On entering the Harbour I found the wind was from ahead, so I downed the sail and used the yuloh to reach a vacant pontoon. There I started writing up the log, but I was required to move the boat because the owner of the berth arrived with her open motorboat. Unfortunately I lost my spectacles doing the move, but I was able to use a spare pair for typing. Just now the rain has started, so I’ll prepare the boat in readiness for when it may pour down.