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22 April 2014

On Sunday 13 April, 14 boats plus our 3 support boats gathered on Breydon Water in readiness for a 0900hrs Haven Bridge Lift.

Skippers briefing was carried out over the VHF. Extrapolating the various weather forecasts with the experience of the support crews, we were expecting reasonable sea state, good visibility & sunshine – we were not disappointed.

The bridges opened on time & the fleet of 16 boats made its way to the harbour entrance & sea by around 0930hrs.

Our lead boat for this cruise was a Broom 39 known as Joanna, manned by James & Speedo. Our sweeper boat was the Bavaria 37 Georgie B manned by Shaun & Garry from our Service Centre and our Safety rib was manned by Rob Suckling. Mick Reynolds was aboard September Song.

We routed inside down to Lowestoft and the Stanford Channel then onto a point off Orford Ness & from there down to Sledway to the Harwich deepwater channel then to the Pye End buoy where we met Fox Sea Lady who was joining us. Entry to the backwaters is always enchanting in the right conditions & the fleet looked great as it wended its was up the channel to Titchmarsh Marina.

After a leisurely afternoon for the crews (apart from the service boys who were carrying out checks on the fleet), we met in the Harbour Lights Restaurants for drinks & dinner. They looked after us very well indeed.

After discussions of the forecasts, the support crews decided it would be prudent to make the 10 mile crossing to Woodbridge Haven the following morning. There was a stiff breeze on Monday morning but blowing from the west so conditions for the trip were pleasant and sunny.

The entrance to the Deben needs a bit of consideration. Mick Reynolds was aboard the Rib with Rob to make sure everybody was in the right place as they crossed the bar. We had a leisurely 1½ hour run up the pretty river Deben to the Tidemill Marina where we stayed for a couple of nights. Woodbridge is a lovely little town with great restaurants, shops and a great park that the children enjoyed. The facilities at the Tidemill are also excellent & Michael the Harbour Master is very helpful.

Titchmarsh/Woodbridge Cruise – April 2014

We left on Wednesday afternoon at 1330hrs when there was just enough water for the fleet to safely get across the sill at the Tidemill Marina. At the entrance to the Deben, Mick Reynolds was in the Rib again to ensure everyone’s safety. Once at the Woodbridge Haven buoy, Silt Piper & Fox Sea Lady left us, bound for Ipswich and the rest of the fleet made its way to Southwold arriving at 1600hrs. After a drinks party on board Ventura, most of the crews regrouped at the Harbour Inn for drinks and food.

On Thursday, we decided to head back to Great Yarmouth because the weather was due to worsen on Friday with a wind speed increasing and going round to the North East.

We had a good run up to Yarmouth with no problems and passed through the Haven Bridge to the Broads at 1530hrs. A great trip in good sunshine and company.

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