Log #12i Orwell Yacht Club on the Hard

October 21, 1999 in Log Series 11 - 19, Logs by Series, Series 12 England, S&E coast rivers, The Logs

Log #12i Orwell Yacht Club
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 08:53:37 ‑0400 (EDT)
Limehouse Basin, London


Hi Folks,

Here is the next log of our jouneys. We have been alongside here at Limehouse Basin for three weeks now, and every once in a while, especially when writing up these logs,I yearn to get out to sea. However, that is not very practical because of the unpredictable heavy weather in this part of the world during the fall and winter. Oh well, at least I got out once on a race down the Thames and back in a 40 foot ocean racing yacht a week ago.

We are enjoying London and travelled up to the city of York last weekend and there out to a seaside resort town of Filey. There we had a most enjoyable visit with Morgan Kenney  a writer friend of Judy’s family, who Morgan could say Hi to Ruth. We learned that Judy’s dad, Henry is having a book launch for a children’s story he wrote. If any of you in the Toronto area would like to attend, it is at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 6:30 on Oct.27. The book is called “Once Upon A Time” a series of stories told to Judy and her sisters when they were young.

We are keeping up with the papers over here, but have little news of Canada. Is anything happening over there?

We just got 7 rolls of slides developed and will be looking at them this week, preparing to put them in an order for presentations. We are to make a presentation to the Cruising Association here in London early in the new year. That’s all for now folks.

Take care,

Log #12i Orwell Yacht Club on the Hard
Limehouse Basin, London
Written Oct.22/99

Leaving Pin Mill on an ebbing tide Sept. 5, we motored up the Orwell with some assistance from our genoa for a calm lazy motor sail all of three miles up to a mooring buoy at the entrance to Osrich Creek just outside of the Orwell Yacht Club on the outskirts of Ipswich . We are getting brazen about securing to mooring buoys in river channels as most of them are private, but rationalize it as we check with locals who advise us whether to stay or not. In this case, we dinghied in to the Orwell Yacht club and indicated where we were. The people in the bar were not sure if the owner would be back or not and suggested it was a bouncy mooring from the commercial ships on the far side of the river. They invited us to come into the club’s mooring posts just off their main jetty. Before going to the club we stopped at Fox’s Marina to refuel, water, and try to fill our propane tank for the first time since Horta two months earlier. No success with propane as different fittings are used, and our North American tank could not be filled. Oh well, we will have to deal with this later, and we went over to the yacht club as invited. Here we were between two posts with a line from our bow to one post and a line from our stern to the other.

We found the people at the club most friendly and helpful. The next day we tackled our propane problem. They do use propane over here, but the fittings used do not permit our tank to be refilled, and the British tanks do no fit our North American fittings on our boat. Fox’s Marina is a good full service marina with an excellent chandlery for boat parts. They had adaptors but could not fit them as such needed to be done by certified gas fitters. However, they directed us to their supplier who was able to help us. We were finally able to have them make up a special pigtail adaptor that would attach to our North American fitting, and the other end fit on a British tank which we could buy to supply our propane needs. As we heard that each country may have slightly different tanks, we got a spare pigtail fitting and adaptor, with the idea of putting the local country’s fitting on it if necessary when we get there. We purchased an 8 litre tank, and were able to get it into our propane locker, and were operational again.

The next day, we took Veleda over to the scrubbing posts at high tide, and secured alongside them. Then  Audrey, from the club took Judy up into town with her car to do laundry and a major shopping while I tended the lines on Veleda as the tide went down. The four scrubbing posts support a platform which has a manual crane and water hose, about sixty feet away from the main jetty. The two posts we moored to were about fifteen feet apart. We secured our starboard bow to one and our starboard quarter about ten feet from the stern to the other. Another line was also secured from the mast to a central post on the platform to keep the boat leaning against the posts  on our starboard side as the water went down. Spring lines ran from stern forward and from the bow aft thus allowing the boat enough freedom of movement that the lines did not have to be constantly adjusted as the water level dropped. Needless to say, our anxiety level was high with this evolution of letting Veleda sink down with the tide until resting high and dry out of the water, supported  only on her keel and leaning, tied up against two posts. Pat Blake helped and advised as to the best positioning of the lines as the tide went out. As it was, I still had one line that got stuck and would have torn the cleat out of the deck as the water went down had I not noticed it. The line was so tight before I saw it that in order to free it up I had to cut it.

The tide went out, and out, and finally, Veleda was totally out of the water resting on her keel on a concrete pad at the base of the scrubbing posts. I walked around onboard Veleda very gingerly as I gathered the cleaning gear I would need and went down the ladder to see her bottom out of the water for the first time in a year and a half. Dave Griffith from the club kindly left his power washer and extension cords for me to use. I ran the power cord from the main jetty, sixty feet away across a muddy bank. I had to go back and forth several times to get the system working, and of course was covered in mud. Oh well, this muck was to be my working environment for the next six hours or so.

The bottom was slimy, and the waterline stripe a dirty tarry black that could not be cleaned off. There were a few small barnacles that had to be scrapped off. The zinc on the shaft was completely disintegrated and was replaced. When we put on the bottom coat in the spring of 1998, we applied two coats of gold epoxy paint, one coat of red bottom paint and two coats of blue bottom paint. The idea was if we saw red showing through, it was time for another coat. I saw not only red, but the gold epoxy paint showing through in some places. Judy returned after I had scrubbed the bottom, and we knew we had to redo the bottom paint. So over to Foxes Marina she went for bottom paint and white waterline paint, plus three or four brushes. Time was running out and we had to get the bottom paint on before the next tide came in. So we started at the lowest part of the boat quickly applying the bottom paint and working our way up as the tide came in. By the time we were finishing the white waterline stripe we were standing in about two feet of water on the outer side of the posts. It was a rush job, without proper stirring sticks or thinners, and as a result the paints were gumming up on us. We were trowelling the paint on at the end, ourselves covered in blue and white paint and mud all over. However It was completed, and Veleda quietly floated again as the tide lifted her gently off the hard.

It was an exhuasting day. We went to the scrubbing posts at 1020 and by 1230 her keel was resting on the bottom as the tide went out. We finished painting by 1930. Veleda was floating again by 2100, and we returned to our mooring posts by 2155.

The next night we had a party on Veleda with Audrey and Mick, Pat and his wife Mary, Pete Tunstall a live aboard at the club who let me use his telephone jack for E-mail, and David Griffith who was of great help during our stay there. We may stop back there by boat or coach just to say Hi to these wonderful people this winter or next spring.

We left the next morning, leaving the east coast rivers for a 60 mile sail to Dover.