Going east

jamesjermain

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16 May 2001
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2,723
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Cargreen, Cornwall
I was in Tollesbury last week testing the new Etap 32s (review in YM towards the end of the year).

It behoves all Solent sailors to visit this part of the coast from time to time. It's a different world, a different age. I saw boats of types which haven't been seen in the Solent area for years, wonderfully restored smacks and working boats, Buchanans, Gileses Robbs, Griffithses and so on by the score.

We had a damn good sail in a brisk four to five through waters the colour of liquid mud and then retired to the Tollesbury Cruising Club for a late lunch while the liquid turned solid - and, my goodness, isn't there a lot of it.

It was a thoroughly refreshing day and a reminder that there is another side to yachting than the Hamble Scramble and wall to wall Sunseeker
.
And soon we're off on our hols to Cornwall and, with luck, the Isle of Scilly where it's all very different again - what a wonderful country to sail in

JJ
 

Mirelle

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30 Nov 2002
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4,532
Do not be decieved...

JJ is just trying so say something nice about the Thames Estuary as a place to sail because, when he was Editor, he once printed an aerial photo of Maldon back to front, and the East Coast types have never let him forget it.

The truth is that the Thames Estuary is just that - a shallow, muddy extension of East London, consisting mainly of Essex and the Medway Towns of Kent, in which Estuary English predominates, the "facilities" in many places are either run down, ghastly, or non-existent, there is hardly anywhere to get ashore, there is nothing to see because the land, where there is some, is about ten feet above high water level and the locals actually navigate by reference to nuclear power stations! The roads are dreadful too - no motorways, just the A12 and ridiculous little country lanes.

There is only water to sail on for six hours in every 12, when the tide is in. For the rest of the time there is just glutinous mud. Furthermore, the locals are not very friendly; they can be downright unhelpful. Don't bother with the place.

If you want to enjoy your sailing, go somewhere where there is water all the time and decent weather - try the Med, or the Caribbean.

The East Coast was a yachting centre when few people had cars and they worked Saturday mornings, so Essex was as far as they could travel to. Nowadays you can do much better.
 

pvb

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16 May 2001
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45,609
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UK East Coast
Hear, Hear...

Quite right, Andrew, it's a terrible place. Certainly not worth visiting. Dreadful, in fact.

(Will that keep them away, do you think???)
 

jamesjermain

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16 May 2001
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Location
Cargreen, Cornwall
Not so -

I was trying to say something nice about Tollesbury because, when I was Editor, I once said the lightship there was a floating restaurant (I think) when, in fact it is the home of a sailing centre for underpriviledged children - and I have never been allowed to forget it.

All the rest is probably true - I'm just waiting for the post saying what a terrible, rock strewn, dangerous place the Scillies are - swept by vicious tides, seeded with rocks and populated by strange natives with two heads


JJ
 
G

Guest

Guest
Please do be deceived...

The miserable m*d dwellers need some company. Contact with the outside world will do them good!

Chris Enstone, Rival Spirit
 
G

Guest

Guest
A terrible place to be avoided at all costs!

Due to its proximity to London, Essex suffers a major problem...namely the "Romford Navy". Driving down the unmade road that the Transport Ministry jokingly refer to as the A12, every fine weekend you will see hoards of White XR3i's towing powerboats or PWC's to those centres of Yachting at Burnham or Brightlingsea or St Lawrence Stone. When it is high tide, it is virtually wall to wall powerboats plus waterskiers, and at low water there is mud as far as the eye can see!

Nah! I would avoid it like the plague!! The Solent is far nicer!
 

billmacfarlane

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16 May 2001
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Brighton
Looking at your posting form another angle James you seem to be saying:
" If as a South Coast yottie you fancy a change of scene go and look at an area where there's loads of clapped out wooden boats to look at , and the sea , when there is any at all is a disgusting brown colour. It's a reminder that there is another side to yachting and not one a South coast yottie would care see. "
 
G

Guest

Guest
Re: Do not be decieved...

You don't seriously mean that marinas, motorways and facilities are actually an advantage for a place, do you?

And so far as the south coast is concerned, what about Calshot power station, Southampton's petrochemical complex, and places like the nuclear power station at Dungeness?
 

vyv_cox

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16 May 2001
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25,305
Location
France, sailing Aegean Sea.
First day back from a cruise on the East coast, from Lowestoft down to Ramsgate. My first time in the Thames estuary and it was certainly an experience. Beating down the Wallet in a F5 with the tide under us was most refreshing and the boat enjoyed the battering also. Crossing the Spitway was no problem, there was almost a metre of water beneath us at times and the waves were only about half that height. On the south side we found ourselves in an area devoid of all landmarks except about 20 buoys, all of very similar appearance in the gloomy conditions. Following rapid reassessment of position, we headed for Burnham, expecting some nice scenery and yachting ambience. Neither seemed evident, although the marina was OK. Next a really pleasant sail to the Medway, with only a thunder storm and 30 knot winds in the middle of the shipping lanes to liven it up. Up to Chatham Maritime museum, somewhat disappointing, then a nice spinnaker run back to Bradwell, the epitome of the mud-sailor's paradise, where we briefly ran aground. Out of there and across the Wallet spitway in another F6, this time SE, but almost two metres of water under us. Back to the Crouch in the interests of crew health (!), then back down the Swins for the third time and across to Ramsgate, only a F5 NW this time.

Steep, short waves such as we encountered in the Thames are doubtless a pleasure that one can learn to enjoy, but not for me, thanks. Several times during the holiday I thought the thoughts that I believed would never occur to me - "what the hell am I doing this for?" However, it all turned to gold on Saturday, Oostende to Stellendam, 64 miles of southerly F5-6 covered in just over 8 hours and never less than 10 metres of water. Almost as good as it gets.

Next year perhaps we'll charter in somewhere nice.
 
G

Guest

Guest
In the 50`s I learned to sail on the Hamble ( ex Mercury ) and the main lot of sailors with their gin pallaces were a pretensious lot of prats then and it looks like nothing has changed. I now sail out of Wells Norfolk where there are real people who just enjoy sailing without running down others wether richer or poorer, with bigger or smaller boats. There is still a class devide for some in this pastime / sport and I dont class them as `sailors`, just childish. Enjoy, but remember everyone has to do it their own way for whatever reason.
 

Grehan

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11 Jun 2001
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3,731
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Inland France + Oxon.
South-life

Bought our boat in Tollesbury but we've sailed her 'round to the Solent.
We found, as you, that Tollesbury's damn nice - windswept marshes and coastal paths to walk our woofer, interesting sailing, friendly helpful personal marina. First class. The mud's also quite remarkable - a much more interesting class of mud than Langstone.
We also liked Bradwell Marina - yes, even in the shadow of the power station.
But, from central Oxfordshire, the journey was just too bloody bloody. [long, gruelling, exhausting, traffic-jammed, unpleasant]
So we've joined the other emmitts dahn sahf.
Shame, but such is life.
 

Sniper

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9 Jul 2001
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857
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East Coast
Yes, quite right; I agree with everything written above about the East coast. We're all unfriendly and its a Godawful place, so don't anyone get the idea that its worth coming over here. There is some truth in the rumour that non-East Anglian yachts entering Harwich Harbour are being shelled, so for goodness sake don't risk it. Apart from that, when you land here you'll probably contract some awful disease which us throwbacks have developed immunity to. No, the best thing is for all you nice people to stay on the South Coast out of our way.
(keeps it less crowded for us old scuttledrudgers; we wouldn't want to accidentally run into a nice clean yacht with our 150 metres of bowsprit sticking out the front)
 

Plum

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6 Jun 2001
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4,126
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UK East Coast
Re: Tell \'em it\'s bad to keep the crowds away.

Just like the rest of those people that say how terrible the East Coast is, I too love the place, but want to ensure that no one else comes to the area to spoil the peace and tranquility. If you have tried the East Coast and didn't like it then you either missed the best bits or it is just not your type of area. Long may there be choice!
 
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