Wednesday 15th June – Walton to Brightlingsea


The theme of blowing with the wind stays with us and we long tack up the Wallet with the Gunfleet Sand wind farm our constant companion. Heydays is beautifully balanced with a roll in the genoa and a single reef in the main. She holds steady on the wind with not even a light hand on the wheel, responding to the gusts and changes in direction with calm and assuredness.


Perhaps we are finally getting the measure of our boat and this coast. Off Frinton we are reminded of the days of Radio Caroline and listening to Johnny Walker under the bedclothes. In fact the MV Ross Revenge is moored in the Blackwater with talk about her being opened as a museum to the old pirates. Close inshore by Clacton pier, a final tack and then time to bear away down the Colne, skirting the bar with feet to spare under the keels and another Essex river ticked off on our I Spy book of rivers. Brightlingsea is altogether different from further up the coast although it is not helped (grumpy old git alert…) by the monstrosity of a gated community of town houses with berths jarring very uncomfortably with the traditional old buildings in the rest of the town.  In Bristol or Southampton these would be great places, but here…?

We moor our piece of 1980’s plastic on the ‘Heritage’ pontoon next to a row of traditional smacks. These are a bit like thatched cottages; great to look at but a nightmare to own.  Cooking seafood linguine was more of a challenge than it should have been although this may have been due to time spent ashore in the Yachtsman’s Arms.

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