And so the day arrived for our return trip across the Wash – Tuesday 11th August 2015.
This post is in three sections
- General introduction, weather chart, and chart showing key waypoints
- Three videos – including an excellent timelapse (thanks to cousin Matt) of the entire trip, and some shots from our drone
- Loads of photographs. [These replace those blogged in real time – which start here]
The weather forecast had been looking very good for the previous week. So – I think very luckily – we made the trip in both directions on the day originally planned! (May crossing blog here). Here’s the forecast I downloaded 24 hours before we went.
High tide was scheduled for 0424, and so the tide was expected to make a level at about 0615. We would then run down to the Wash on the ebbing tide, beaching somewhere on the approaches to the Nene. Then the incoming tide would take us up the Nene to Wisbech.
We were in convoy with two other boats – COMPASS ROSE (Howard and Janet, with Daryl the pilot also on board) and OLLY OAKS (Dave and Betty) – though they would carry on to Dog-in-a-Doublet to get off the tidal river and so make things easier for their dogs.
The full chart and detailed log are here. The chart below shows the key waypoints, mentioned in the photographs and in the timelapse video that follows next.
Matt took this rather fine timelapse video
using a Gopro Hero3+ 10MP camera fixed to the mast
Hugh took this film using our new Drone
And here is a film of about 70 seals swimming along with us
Photographs (with thanks to Tim C for some – marked TC – and to Betty C on OLLY OAKS for others – marked BC). Captions are above the photographs to which they refer.
Setting off from the pontoons, to move down to the lock – 0530
Leaving Boston for the last time.
The lock gates are already shut, for another 8 hours …
Peter steering through Historic Boston (TC)
Four shots of us in the Wash (BC) – three of them show everyone on board.
Charlie buoy (TC)
And here is a clearer shot (TC), with a beached seal in the foreground
Two from TC
RAF no 4 buoy and tidal gauge – point F. (Just rebuilt by the EA – see here). This is where Daryl normally beaches. However as this was a neap tide the water level was quite high, so we would have beached further to the West than normal, and over the range safety line. This would have led to Typhoon jets being scrambled from RAF Coningsby to sink us, or something like that.
One from TC
One from BC: a team photo of everyone on board Scholar Gypsy. From the right: Peter, Tim C, Jane, Ian, Matt, Hugh and Simon.
Back on the move again, at 1312, we picked our way through the
sandbanks to rejoin the main channel
The last one from BC ..
Seals in the water at waypoint H. Those are trees in the background. Tim C had got quite excited when he noticed that one of the buoys was called BIG ANNIE. It turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, I think.
The eastern of the pair of lighthouses marking the entrance to the Nene (waypoint L). [Sorry, I lost count: waypoints J and K are where King John lost his jewels 799 years ago, or maybe L stands for Lighthouse]
This pontoon was remodelled in February 2016 – details here
Nearly there – Nick on NB BEATTY in the background watching closely … (TC)
Three lines at the stern, and three at the bow, as we will be here for 12 hours and so have to cope with flood and ebb tides. So: one line holds the boat (forwards) when the tide is flooding, one holds it (backwards) during the ebb, and the third holds the boat into the pontoon, so that people can safely get on and off.
Inspecting the other boats on the pontoon: lots of plastic to miss early the following morning. To see what happened, see the next post….
NB the dredger in the background (TC)BREAKING NEWS: our arrival has made it to the “leisure”
section of the local newspaper. See here.