February brought the wind. Gusts of 70mph ripped through the yard threatening to shake loose anything not tied down. The Orwell Bridge was closed causing traffic chaos. Simon spent the day tying up covers, securing anything the wind might move and tying up halyards, which were noisily flapping against exposed masts. The large mobile boat cover on the quay was strapped to the crane and forklift, as an extra precaution and all boats on the hard were checked that their blocks and supports were secure. These efforts were well rewarded, as the yard suffered no damage.
Extraordinary sights could be seen in the marina when the storm was at its full force. With the wind coming off the land, lightweight yachts took the blast broadside and lay at an unnatural angle leaning against their lines, as the strongest blasts battered them – but everything was well secured and when the wind abated, the Marina returned to its restful calm, with no signs of the fierce gale it had withstood. No doubt one more storm will pass though and that’ll be the end of the season’s blasts.
This month we were pleased to welcome the rescue rib from Neptune Sailing Club that operates from Woolverstone Marina. She is in for repair to its cracked fibreglass bottom and a quick spruce up. Neptune offer so much to young sailors on the Orwell, it’s nice to support their endeavours. They have a small fleet of Toppers, Wayfarers and a couple of Vibes for the more adventurous students. If you are in need of RYA tuition on a tidal river they are a great place to start.
We have another cruiser taking up a permanent floating berth in our marina. She is a Broom 37 ‘Caramanda’, who arrived this month from winter quarters in Levington but is now under new ownership. It’s lovely having ‘Caramanda’ back, it’s a small world in the rivers and estuaries of Suffolk. She used to be at our yard when she belonged to a previous owner; it’s good to have her home again.