A longstanding friend who owns a Vivacity 20 recently invited me for a sail from Titchmarsh Marina to Harwich. We had a great time together.
We left the Marina at 09.45 under engine and we motor-sailed until beyond Walton Channel Number 2 Buoy in Pennyhole Bay. From there we tacked towards Landguard Container Terminal at Felixstowe docks. Sea conditions were choppy because the ebb from the Backwaters off Dovercourt was contrary to the wind. Cold sea mist unexpectedly approached and rapidly swirled around us, reducing visibility until we could hardly see vessels berthed at the Container Terminal.
On approaching Harwich Breakwater, a back-eddy helped us around it into shallows adjacent to Harwich beach. Lobster pot floats to the southeast of moorings close to the beach indicated that the back-eddy was still in our favour. From there on, the wind was from the starboard quarter enabling us to make over the ebb that was exiting from the rivers Orwell and Stour. The mist had lifted and the sun warmed us.
None of the big container vessels were underway, but lots of yachts were coming and going. We passed Shotley Spit South Cardinal Buoy to port and followed the recommended track for pleasure craft leading into the River Orwell. We continued as far as Suffolk Yacht Harbour, and there at about 13.20 we stopped for lunch.
I had parked my car not far from Halfpenny Pier at Harwich, so the plan was to moor there at the end of our sail, and my friend would remain on the boat for the night before returning to Titchmarsh the next day.
After lunch we made full sail and headed for Halfpenny Pier, but we could not go directly there because a lifeboat and helicopter exercise was in progress. We sailed a short distance into the Stour, took in sail and started the engine. By then the lifeboat and helicopter had finished what they were doing, leaving us free to head for the Pier.
My friend changed his mind about staying there for the night, and instead of mooring the boat he brought her alongside the pontoon. I waved him goodbye, and he continued to Titchmarsh Marina.
Harwich Haven Authority Yachting Guide