Sunday, May 01, 2005


Yesterday I was unable to upload my ‘blog’ because the Vodafone signal was not strong enough off the Maplin Sands which are south of the approaches to Burnham-on-Sea, Essex.

Today, I’m back at Burnham and I hope the signal will be OK.

All the trials have been completed, and as far as I can tell, ‘Bumper’ is fit to put to sea. My crew, Gordon, is due to join ship tomorrow morning, but first we’ll do some shopping for fresh foods – that’s if shops open on a Bank Holiday. Tescos should.

The intention on Monday is to familiarize Gordon with the boat and let him find his sea legs. It will be a bit strange for him because everything will be new. As I’ve mentioned before, he’ll have to learn how to handle the boat under engine and under sail – hopefully he will grasp the basics in one day.

If the weather turns out to be suitable we’ll set off on Tuesday with aim of reaching the Kent coast, perhaps Margate or Ramsgate. We’ll see.

Included with this note is the entry for yesterday:


As I type this, the boat is rocking to and fro because of the wash of a motor cruiser. ‘Bumper’ is anchored in 16 ft of water, a cable to the east of Buxey No 1 Buoy, on the approaches to the River Crouch. To the south, about three cables, is the northern edge of Maplin Sands. There are 37 seals resting on the mud near the water. They are very fat indeed!

The time is 1150 am. Fortunately a light wind is blowing from the south, and because of Maplin Bank the water is very smooth water. A seal has just made a kind of bellowing sound as the majority lay quietly basking in the hazy sunshine, but a couple are flexing and stretching their huge slug-like bodies.

Nearby there are several motor launches. An old lifeboat being used as a spectator boat for watching the seals has just arrived and anchored. A few large yachts are on their way to Burnham - presumably they have come from Brightlingsea or the Blackwater.

It is very peaceful here, and I’m about to have lunch. The seals are making a racket again.

All the boat systems seem fine.

Well, I’m going to see if I can post this to the ‘blog’. Perhaps we are out of range for Vodafone, but it’s worth a go.

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