Well, we did get out on the water aboard ‘Ladybird’ today. There was a brisk wind from the north, which gave us sheltered beam reaching on the River Crouch, but I knew the situation would be quite different if we entered the River Roach, because returning to the Crouch would entail a tough beat against the wind and flooding tide. Knowing full well, from past experience, what would happen, I deliberately took the boat into the Roach, to demonstrate what not to do! We passed close to the Branklet Spit Buoy which marks the entrance; then we sailed downwind to a point beyond a group of vessels anchored to starboard. One of them was the classic motor yacht ‘Lilian of Stockholm’. She lay there quietly to her anchor, giving hardly a hint of the strength of the wind or of the speed of the tide.
Having sailed beyond this elegant vintage vessel, it was time to demonstrate the difficulties we would encounter when beating back to the Crouch. This was to be a lesson for the tyro who now owns ‘Ladybird’. In fact, she’s not a complete novice, because she sailed a fair amount with me when she was a child. Now, it’s all coming back to her. Yes, you’ve guessed right. ‘Ladybird’ belongs to one of my daughters! Part of the deal was for me to teach her how to handle the boat.
Our first tack brought us back to where we were before, i.e., close to the stern of ‘Lilian’. Our second tack gave us a few yards, and with perseverance we very slowly gained ground, but even after several crossings of the Roach we had only reached a point a few yards to windward of the bow of the ‘Lilian’. Therefore it was time to do a little motor sailing, and with the help of the engine, our progress greatly improved. Within minutes we were back in the Crouch where we kept clear of the Squibs as they raced towards the Burnham mark.
After practising sailing on all points, heaving to, and lying ahull, we made our way back to the mooring for tea, and to practise chart work and to tie knots.
‘Lilian of Stockholm’
Art Picnic on the 'Lilian'
Flickre Photos of 'Lilian'
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