Ever since we have been sailing the Dart on the Deben we have wanted to get all the way down to Felixstowe Ferry but, with only a 2-3 hour sailing window, we had only ever got as far as Ramsholt. However, Saturday 6th June offered a good opportunity to try and make the Ferry as the wind was a perfect 18 knots WSW and the weather sunny with a few clouds.
We left the Creek at about 21⁄2 before high tide, being careful to follow the channel and not get the rudders stuck in the mud. Once we reached Kyson Point we headed down towards Felixstowe with the thought being “we’ll just see how far we get”. The wind was gusting 26 knots and the WSW direction meant we didn’t have to tack. The rudders where soon humming and Angie was out on the wire as we sped through the water past the dinghies getting ready to race at Waldringfield, past the boats moored for gin & tonic at The Rocks, past all the people sitting in the sun with a cool beer outside the Ramsholt Arms. This was as far as we had got before but we kept going. The river widens here and Bawdsey marshes offered little protection from the 30 knot gusts but we kept our nerve and sailed on until we reached the houses of Bawdsey and Felixstowe Ferry.
Mission accomplished – 9 miles in 55 minutes. That’s an average of 9.8 mph/ 8.5 knots!
The return trip took about the same amount of time and we arrived back with the tide still on our side.