River Ore Trip Report
Posted on the 13th April at 8:00 p.m.
A report from club skipper Povl Abrahamsen on the recent trip up the river Ore on Puffin, it was quite eventful:
After arriving on Puffin on Friday afternoon, we set to work fixing the steaming light, which had a broken lightbulb. I got hoisted up the mast, and while I had no problem dismantling part of the combined deck light/steaming light, I couldn't get the steaming light to budge. Eventually I asked to be lowered again, and we asked some of the locals at Fox's for help. One very kindly offered to go up the mast and take a look - and managed to replace the bulb by using a bit more violence than I was willing to apply on the fitting! Now that we had a working steaming light, we had dinner and then set off for Shotley Marina, where we spent the night.
The next morning we woke up to a rainy, cold day. We had breakfast, filled up Puffin's empty diesel jerry can, and got a new spare gas cylinder. We then reluctantly headed out to sea (lock keeper's comment: "you're doing this for fun?"), with the storm jib and 2 reefs in the main. Winds were force 5, with occasional gusts up to 7 (highest I saw was 29 knots), easterly or ESE; it was a fairly bumpy ride, with quite a bit of rolling. The entrance to the Ore had recently been buoyed, and while there were a few breaking waves on the shingle banks, conditions didn't look too bad. After getting the sails down, we motored into the river, and carried on upstream to Orford. I tried radioing the harbour master several times on channel 8, but did not receive any response. So we picked up a buoy in the middle of the river, and went below to warm up and eat lunch (cup-a-soup and bread). This was followed by a well-deserved siesta and dinner.
On Sunday we woke up early, in glorious sunshine. We ate breakfast, and then inflated Puffling, Puffin's dinghy, for an excursion ashore. Three of us rowed into town, beached Puffling, and walked up to the castle, around town, and back down to the harbour. We then returned to the boat, and were shortly afterwards contacted by the harbour master, who came out to charge us for our mooring, and ask why we hadn't radioed him the previous day... We then got some sails ready. With variable F3-4 winds forecast, we went for the genoa and a full main (winds were actually lower than forecast in the morning). We then left the buoy under sail, and sailed upstream to Aldeburgh. There we turned around and sailed down past Orford again. We had lunch on the move, and when we reached the exit of the river we were near high tide and slack water. The last leg of the passage out was almost directly into the wind, so I did need to use the engine for that bit. Once we neared Orford Haven buoy, we bore away, and then resumed sailing along the coast. There were a few waves, but we were on a beam reach most of the way, and it was reasonably comfortable, and quite fast. Once we reached Harwich, we turned into the River Orwell and sailed upstream on a broad reach / run, returning to Fox's Marina around 5:30.
The club will be running more day cruising trips in Easter term, keep an eye on the website for more details.