The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2018.10.19 - An Autum Sail

Despite having a sore throat I managed to get out on the water this afternoon. No photos as I forgot my camera, nor was I feeling too bright.

The day started foggy and calm and although the wind was forecast to blow the fog away by 09:00 and to be Force 2 gusting 4, the fog did not clear until noon and the wind at that point was quite light, not enough to sail. Nevertheless, I went down to the mooring and if nothing else I could have a cup of tea. As it happened, three boats went out for the weekend just after I arrived and I was able to push out some of the remaining flotsam from out work party three weeks ago.

The wind did get up enough to sail shortly after that and I had a a very leisurely sail down stream until the wind virtually died at which point I turned around and drifted back to the mooring.

I contemplate every so often, whether it would be a good idea to move Naiad somewhere else. The high banks on the river do make sailing difficult and I would love to have a mooring down on the Blackwater but it did occur to me, as I drifted back up river, that even if I lived close to the Blackwater and moored Naiad on one of the many mooring spots, I probably would use here less than I do at the moment. Unless I was willing to pay a lot of money for an "all-tide" mooring, one that allows the boat to sail at all states of tide as opposed to a mud-berth where the boat rests on the mud for a lot of time when the tide goes out, I would be restricted to sailing when the boat floated. Shoal Waters, for example, on her Blackwater Sailing Club mooring only floated for four hours on each tide, two hours before high water until two hours after. Any time outside of this she was aground.


Here she is on that mooring. When not being used she sat on the mud for eight of every twelve hours. Even now on her Goldhanger Creek mooring, the same applies and this would apply to Naiad if I were to mooring her in a mud-berth on the Blackwater or any of the other rivers on the East Coast. So, you can only sail from that mooring if the tide is up and the wind is suitable. At least where I am now I can sail if the wind is suitable and do not have to concern myself with the tides.

I could try for an all-tide berth but that has its own problems. Notably that you need to have a dinghy in order to get out to the boat and that dinghy has to be safely stored somewhere on land when you are not sailing.

There are a few marinas around the East Coat but I'm not rich enough to put Naiad in one of those.

I guess I'll just have to put up with the awkward sailing conditions posed by the high river banks.

One thing of note did happen whilst I was sitting in the cockpit having my tea and that is that a Kingfisher landed on the end of the pontoon for a brief moment. there's no mistaking that massive beak and as it flew away I saw the telltale turquoise flash of its plumage. It was joined by another but they were quickly lost to sight. I wonder if this is a different pair to the ones I saw further up river? It would be nice if they were but I've no idea what sort of range a Kingfisher has.