Monday, July 25, 2011

‘Talitha’s’ Third Sail

Youngsters Racing

I had a sneaking suspicion I would return to Burnham for my afternoon snack that I left on the fisherman’s launch.

Kite for scaring gulls

‘Talitha’ was afloat at the Yacht Marina by mid morning, roughly two-and-a-half hours after high water. The mud was very slippery, and I nearly went for a Burton as I boarded the boat. Tragedy averted, I gladly took up my position for making sail. Shortly, the boat was running before a gentle north-westerly, then on a broad reach past the Royal Burnham Yacht Club. Beyond the Corinthian Yacht Club I could see a mass of colourful sails. Youngsters were out racing again in a miscellany of small craft: Lasers, Toppers, a Cadet and several RS dinghies.

Roach Buoy

Lovely Gaffer

Turning to starboard, after passing the Branklet Spit Buoy, I steered south, into the River Roach. On my port hand I passed the Roach Buoy. I must say, all these local buoys are kept in tiptop shape. Well ahead, where the Roach bends almost at a right angle, a lovely gaffer was on the wind coming my way. In fact, there wasn’t a great deal of wind, almost zilch at times. At least, I had a chance to try the boat in those conditions.

So as not to get trapped in the Roach, I had to be back in the Crouch by at least and hour before low water, which I did with a half-an-hour to spare. Better to be sure, than take a risk in those rather calm conditions, because I didn’t fancy paddling the boat against the incoming tide that would, without question be against me after low water.

The conditions were perfect for trying the anchor; therefore I paddled the boat closely to the north bank of the Crouch. Seeing it was neaps, and only an hour before low water, there was hardly any current. The anchoring went perfectly. There I had a snooze for an hour, and when I opened my eyes, I observed a small trawler was heading my way, but the lone fisherman was hauling his net and swung his boat round in a ‘U’ turn.

On my return to the Yacht Harbour I had no option, but to pass through a mass of dinghies with their crews having water fights. I guess it was the end of the racing, and it was their way of letting off steam. One dinghy very nearly collided with ‘Talitha’. I was grateful that I was not showered with water from their paddles and bailer as we passed within touching distance.

It seems that wherever I go with ‘Talitha’ there are people who say the loveliest things about her. As I was making her ready for the road at the top of the ramp, a yachtsman who had observed her sailing expressed his admiration of the boat. That was so typical of others who could not resist coming to look at her close-up. Well, that certainly gives me satisfaction, and her performance likewise pleases me no end. Yesterday, on the run, she topped over 6 knots - in truth, it would have been 5 knots without the ebb in her favour.

Yet again, I had been blessed, and the sailing was good.

No comments: