The time is 1510 on Tuesday, 24th July. I am sitting in the cabin of 'Sandpiper' to keep out of the baking hot sun. The boat is at anchor halfway along the south bank of Eastern Reach - that's to the south of Bridgemarsh Island. Apart from the occasional wash of motor yachts, it is very peaceful. Now and again I hear the high-pitched song of skylarks. The rippling chatter of water running along the sides of the hull is soothing. As the wind increases it brings a thrilling thrumming note to nature's orchestral praise. There is joy in Heaven today.
Sparkling water covers squelchy mud where a pair of Egrets fed and two loving terns preened their feathers. Another hour and the ebb will run. Shall I stay put for a night of stars and a sickle moon? The temptation is great; what better could I do to escape and be alone?
I had hoped to sail to the wonderful Blackwater, but early this morning there was no wind, and I didn't fancy motoring. Instead, I walked to the Co-op and bought myself goodies and long-life milk.
A flotilla of motor yachts have this moment rushed by, causing havoc on the way. Waves crash on the muddy banks of Bridgemarsh Island. Terns screech in retaliation. Will more of these monsters send their washes to violently rock my tiny boat?
At 1645 I could not resist the call of the wind and the beckoning of the ebb, so I broke out the anchor and tacked towards Black Point. A force 2 soon had 'Sandpiper' at the beautiful Cliff Reach where trees overhang a small sandstone bank.
The fast-flowing ebb made for exciting sailing through the Burnham moorings as the wind gradually decreased, but there was enough to take us to our anchorage in the River Roach.
The sun was about to dip beyond the horizon when a cute seal silently swam around the boat, and a sickle moon hung motionless in a pale blue sky.