Almost cancelled due to potential lightning forecasted earlier on in the week. Three of us John, Jill and Myself (Barry) arrive at Beeleigh at 8am to unload and pack our boats, then off to West Mersea to set up the car shuttle and meet Kevin and Maggie to get us back to Beeleigh. It was a bit rainy but not as much as the forecast said, we get back to Beeleigh and unload Kevin’s new toy a Point 65 north whisky 18 “Big Boat”.
High water 09:45 at Beeleigh and we all get on the water for about 10:00 just fine to ride the tide out. Bit of a head wind down through Maldon and out over Northey Island causeway and round the back for a change. Wind blowing from the south the three boats with skegs had no problem but Jill in my Orca without skeg had to fight the boat from turning to the right all the time on the open stretch between Northey and Osea islands. Lots of boats off East point Osea cruisers and dinghies having there own little races and training. To make use of the cover from the wind we aimed for the south bank of the river and called in at Marconi sailing club to say hello, as John is a member.
Making good progress we pass Stone and out to St Lawrence bay with more small dinghies racing. We needed to find the west entrance of Bradwell creek so we could keep out of the wind but not so easy when you’re only two feet above the water in a sea kayak. At last I saw a withy marking the creek entrance as I got closer I could see the creek, Just in time we got in to Bradwell creek with a little push over the mud. In Bradwell creek the first Seal came to say hello which is always great to see. Our seal followed us down to Bradwell where we stopped for a Lunch break 13:00, thanks Kevin for the half sandwich. It took us 3 hours from Beeleigh to Bradwell slip not bad as we weren’t in a rush or in the main channel.
After our refuel we were back on the water still heading west passing the power station.
The promised 80% chance of heavy rain hadn’t materialised and the sun was blazing but the wind became stronger as we left the cover of the land and headed for Sales point and the 11 sunken barges used as sea defences. With the tide almost out St Peters flats was in sight but no one wanted to land on the mud, in the distance we could see a shingle bank. As we got there and out of the boats down came the rain, lovely!
Time to head North to Mersea with the tide turning and a tail wind the surf was up. Great fun riding the small waves back but to our west the blackest clouds were looming and a rumble or two of thunder. We got to West Mersea public jetty got off the water and the heavens opened.
Another great paddle we covered 18 miles and I for one fell asleep without a problem that night.