Damp, dull and dark days set the tone for a subdued start to the New Year. As the days mature, they offer no dry and by the time the evening dag* settles it barely seems like the sun has risen at all. The rain has been relentless. Masts stream with water, which gathers into rivulets on decks and so even the boats ashore shed water from their scuppers. The wind is relentless too; managing to slap even well tied halyards to give that familiar ringing sound of bare-masted boats.

Life on the yard continues through this quiet season with the making of cradles to store even more boats that are still coming ashore.  General winterising maintenance continues as each one arrives. Masts have been lowered, so inspection of halyards and repairs to rigging can take place. Space on the yard is now at a premium, as each new boat has to be found a suitable resting place and secured. Work has begun on our new showers and toilets so we will be able to offer our customers a more modernised facility in the summer.

Simon has continued repairing the twin Ford Sabres in our own cruiser and he has been busy finishing internal restoration. Overwintering in our marina, she is one of the few boats still going out on the Deben in these colder months. The river looks so different from its summer coat of boats of all shapes and sizes, now it is lined with empty mooring buoys giving a feel of total abandonment.

The last job of the old year was to take out ‘Will Laud’ an Aquastar 33 from Ramsholt (named after a notorious smuggler from Orford who was Margaret Catchpole’s lover in 18th Century). This lovely fishing vessel awaits shot blasting and osmosis treatment in January.

* ‘dag’ = early morning or evening mist, especially associated with coastal / marsh areas, possibly also general eastern England dialect