The weather forecast and tides for today looked good for a trip to Mundon Stone Point and return. Low Water was at 08:07 and it was Spring tides so I would need to get to the slip no later than 90 minutes earlier to ensure that Naiad was still afloat. I set of at stupid o'clock (translation 4am) and had an uneventful drive down. I do like driving without other traffic on the road, or very little. However, I miscalculated and found that I barely had enough water in which to launch the dinghy so I had a very rushed time getting the dinghy out of the park, loaded & down to the water's edge, return the dinghy trailer to the park and then park the minibus in the club's main car park 5 minutes walk up the road and then back down to the dinghy which was nowhere close to the water's edge any more. Still, the mud was slippery enough to be able to push the dinghy over it with the quant which I had brought along to put on Naiad.
It must have looked a strange sight of a man standing in a small dinghy pushing it out over the mud with a 12 foot pole until I could sit down and row the rest of the way. The pole was tied to the back of the dinghy and towed in the water as it was far too long to put in the dinghy.
I reached Naiad with only one grounding on the mud but then had to rush to get Naiad ready to sail since she was also running out of water.
I cast off the mooring at 07:15 with enough wind in the channel to be able to sail out without tacking. I did run aground a couple of times as I strayed out of the channel but I pulled up the centreboard each time so that Naiad could sail on and when back in the channel let the board down again.
I was so rushed to get going that I didn't have time to make a cup of tea but I had half a travel mug of coffee left from the drive down and made do with that.
Several boats from the WMYC were out in the Mersea Quarters preparing for a race and I sailed through the fleet as the were putting up sails and generally getting ready to race.
There were not many boats out for this race.
About seven all told but they did seem keen.
The boat without any sails up is the committee boad from which the race it run.
The AIS antenna sits snugly on the mast as you can see here and this is a "publicity" photo that I'm going to send to the guy who manufactures these units.
A three-masted ship crossed in front of Naiad's bows, it looks a lot further away than in reality due to using he iPhone camera for marine footage.
Radio Caroline. How many people remember that? I certainly do and my early teenage years were around the time that Radio Caroline was broadcasting originally.
The Radio Caroline name still lives on and "Ross Revenge" the ship from which Radio Caroline still broadcasts has been anchored in the Blackwater River since 2014.
Doesn't look like much but has a long history.
The remainder of the trip to the point was uneventful and aided by the tide. I took some photos as I approached the point but, as, usual, you really need a very good camera to take this sort of shot sucessfully.
Another shot and if you look carefully you can see the channel marker buoys.
This is a closer photo once I had dropped anchor in about 2 foot of water. The mud is about 20 yards away and it is about 2 hours before High Water.
A long shingle spit runs to the West of the point and at the time this photo was taken the lower end of the spit was covered in noisy seagulls. However, I prefer the noise of the gulls to the loud music being played from the holiday park on the other side of the creek and later the raucous noises of fast jet skis and motor boats that tore around the waters for most of the afternoon. These days the River Blackwater is a popular place for watersports and not so good for peace and quiet until they go away.
Having tided up the sails I decided that brunch was in order and for this I had brought along the makings for an omelette. Eggs, milk, butter, red pepper, mushrooms, bacon, salt and black pepper. I forgot the cheese but it was a pretty good omelette nevertheless.
This is the point about an hour before High Water and you can see that most of the shingle spit is now underwater.
However, you can quite clearly see where is is since the tide still rushing into the creek overfalls the shingle and makes a definite line in the water as you can see on the left of the photo. I flew the drone for a few moment but that video is for later.
I weighed anchor about 20 minutes before High Water and paddled out into the main river as the wind had died and I wanted to make sure that I made full use of the ebb tide.
The return voyage back to the mooring was pretty boring from a person reading this, so I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that the wind picked up abut an hour before I sailed back up the channel agains the still ebbing tide and onto the mooring.
Once again I had to hurry to get Naiad put to bed and get ashore as the mud was growing. In the process I broke the dinghy trailer so before I can sail again I have to fix that.
Nevertheless, it was a great day, one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Time for a cup of tea.