The Maldon boys (M.A.D.CC) let me know that they were organising a paddle from Bradwell out to the Coln bar then back on the flood tide and we were welcome to join them 09:30 at Bradwell. I put a text message and got a reply from-
Chris: Sounds like I can.
Me: I did think about starting at Heybridge basin but that would mean a 05:30 start. I’m drinking beer at a party tonight so I’ll pick you up a 8:30.
Chris: Why you not man enough? I’m game for a 5:30 start
Me: Really ?
Chris: I think so
Me: I’ll let you know later, see how the drinking goes!
Chris: Okay then Lightweight
Later after the party 00:52 message-
Me: Pick you up at 05:15? If No reply c u at 08:30
Chris: C u at 5:15
Me: Oh Bo#$@*!s c u at 5:15
Thankfully I had pre packed the boat and got all kit ready before I went out, but the 04:30 alarm was painful. Text message to Adrian: Bramston boys are on the water at the basin 6:08 see u soon. B. Reply: Nutters! With the wind behind us and a dropping tide we made it to Bradwell in an easy two hours, 8am. With an hour and a half to spare before the M.A.D boys get here we decided breakfast at the Marian café would be a good idea ‘Closed’ ok lets see if the pub dose breakfast ‘Closed’. Sandwiches for me and a boil in the bag breakfast for Chris then!
Five MAD boys arrive for the paddle at 9:30 and after some abuse hurling something about a 6:08 text message! Adrian then produced a bacon sandwich each for Chris and I thank you Adrian. We got to The Coln bar for about 12 at low tide a quick lunch and back to Bradwell. After bidding farewell to the lightweights Chris and I started the last leg of our trip Bradwell to Heybridge basin.
Feeling worn out, the head wind didn’t help but we made it to the Basin for 16:30 to find we were a bit early as the mud was still exposed, I suggested we continue to Beeleigh but it didn’t go down well. We noticed there were a few yachts waiting outside the basin and some in the lock. A quick word with the lock keeper and he kindly let us go in with the yachts, I did offer him a pint as thanks. A long brilliant day was had, the pint went down a treat.
We plotted our journey on the map at the pub and calculated that we had covered around 30 miles.