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 Shotley Marina to Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club 5th August 2007

Cathy & Clive have brought Linda down to see us before we leave. Linda has been staying with them for a weeks break, they live in Great Barton just outside Bury St Edmonds and although not pre-planned, she will travel back home later than expected  we have a general walk around the marina, the usual photo shoot on the pontoon and boat and a drink in the shipwreck.

A boat has been lifted out of the water with the propeller shaft and cutlass bearing damaged. I heard the emergency call earlier that a boat was in trouble and taking on water. Its those fishermen again with unmarked nets/pots with their lines just under the surface waiting to snarl up any unfortunate soul that crosses them. The skipper and his family were on their way back home to Holland

As we enter the lock the temperature warning sounds. I turn off the donk, and we man handle Anita astern out of the lock, and back onto the waiting/fuel pontoon. As Linda is heading home today she is eager to get off, as it's a long drive, so I told her to get off home as I didn't know how long we might be fixing the water pump, and they were on the other side of the lock with no access across. Once we had waved good buy, I started on the pump. Water pipe off and plugged, (sea cock handle sheered) cover plate off, remove impeller inspect, nothing wrong, so grease and replace, replace cover using new gasket, Start engine and check for water flow from exhaust. All looks good so it's back into the lock and away at 14:28. It's another fine day and there is wind forecast SW F3/4 which will suit us just fine. The long range weather forecast for this year was for a hot summer, and it's been the worst so far for years, especially with all the flooding there's been, but I have nearly sailed right around the UK, and never once had the wind on the nose.

We raise the main before entering the Orwell and heading for the open sea, motor sailing until we clear the harbour entrance. Just before we reach the Platters South Cardinal, there is the alarm again. Well we have cleared the harbour there is enough wind to sail just, and it's forecast to build, so with the engine off I decided to carry on, as the sea state is calm I can sort the impeller out later. We leave the Cardinal to port, and follow the north channel starboard buoys, staying just outside the channel to keep clear of the container ships. It's easy to see the blind spot on these ships as the one below, leaving Felixstowe as we arrived.

 once we close the Washington Starboard buoy I set a course to pass east of the Whiting Bank, through Sledway, I also put the kettle while I am below. 16:17 and Ron sights the South Cardinal protecting the SE end of Whiting Bank, and alters course on the tiller pilot by 6deg to starboard for a waypoint off Orford Ness, while I set the GPS for the waypoint. The wind is now as predicted, and we are sailing very comfortably, so I take the opportunity to investigate the overheating problem, while Ron keeps a lookout, trims the sails, and enjoys the sunshine. I go through the same routine with the water pump and replace the impeller, although there is nothing wrong with the impeller I removed. I start the engine to test the system and it's working OK again, but for how long  this time I wonder? I stop the engine after about fifteen minuets, and we sail on. 17:20 and we are past the lighthouse at Orford Ness, altering course to port 24deg to 15degT for the E Barnard Cardinal, and I make another hot drink and a couple of cheese and tomato sandwiches each. Ron has the chart and plotter on the coach roof, and just for practise he is using the hand bearing compass, taking bearings of the landmarks, and checking our position we go,  comparing them with the GPS. Its surprising how difficult it can be to pick out some of the landmarks, but Ron seems to manage very well, He is great at reading the coastline in Scotland, when we are looking for the way into a quite anchorage.

20:34 as we pass the E Barnard Cardinal, and head for Newcome Sand port buoy. Its one hour before low water, and we are mid springs/neaps. If the sea state is good we can follow the Stanford Channel to the N Newcome port buoy and round The Ridge and into the harbour. Its 21:32 and we are on the pontoon at The Royal & Suffolk Yacht Club, we managed to sail through the Stanford Channel, as planned, and entered the harbour under sail, only starting the engine to manoeuvre into the yacht club, and coming alongside. We are now going to head for the bar, after a good voyage, and in good time too.