Archives for posts with tag: sailing


It’s that time of year again! Watchouse 2016! Four days and three nights in our own little oasis. Last week I casually mentioned it in my post about finishing the boat. What fortuitous timing! We didn’t have to use the raft again! Now, making a bit of a spectacle of ourselves on the quay is a bit of a tradition what with furiously hammering together a ramshackle driftwood raft as the tide races in. This year we had little Snipe. And thank god! On one of the biggest tides this year there was no way we could have controlled it in the currents, even once we could touch the bottom again! We loaded the boat as the tide came in, getting ready to leave at the top of the tide, when the water would not be racing. By this time, however, we were waist deep on the quay and clambouring onto the boat with a large crowd watching. Par for the course really. And we were off!


As ever the weekend was about friends, food, and fun. Mornings usually saw a big breakfast followed by sailing expeditions on Snipe. One morning we headed down to the point and anchored. The boys jumped out and swam around the boat. We girls waited to see if they could get back in. Only barely! The seals were basking as we were!


The lovely Fiona and Jackson from Oystercatcher Catering provided meal after meal of joy! Afternoons saw lunches, kubb, fishing, and yoga in the sun. We really lucked out and the weather was sunny and warm. Later in the afternoon beer and cocktails came out leading up to some fantastic dinners. I don’t know how Jackson manages to produce the quality of food we eat in that ‘kitchen’ (and I use the term loosely). Pallella, rich and creamy fish stew, and mega-BBQ followed by cheese and red wine. There is something about being out in the sun and wind all day that makes you sleep amazingly!

Now, things couldn’t go too perfectly, and on the way back our engine conked out while we were preparing to enter the cut. We threw down our anchor and came up with many possible senarios for getting all of us back to land with our belongings. But lo and behold, up comes our friend Chris who helped us get Snipe back in the water. And who then gave us a tow back…? Bless them! We arrived in style on the quay under tow and created another mild spectacle just as we would have had the raft been there. Its just fate!


Another spectacular year on Blakeney Point. Already looking forward to next year! 


When I first met Marek he had a boat in the garage. That was 11years ago (this Oct!). It was a wooden boat his grandfather had built in the family garage in the 1960’s and was passed through the family down to Marek. It had not been in the water since the 1990’s and needed some serious love. We toyed with renovations every few years but had only managed to sand her down, to what we thought was the base level until August 2015. With a bit of an unexpected windfall we brought her up to Blakeney from her shed in West Sussex for some intensive work. 



I will fast forward through the highs and lows of learning about power sanding and epoxy and skip to this past week or so. With a newly bought engine she was ready for the water!!


Of course two days after her relaunch were some mighty big tides and 40mph winds. What a baptism of fire, for her and us!

Blakeney Quay storm tide with northerly gale

Her triumphant return and maiden voyage (matron voyage?) was our annual trip to the Watchouse on Blakeney Point. With the highest tide of the year (or thereabouts) it was quite a spectacle on the quay loading 4 people and two dogs (for a day trip). And don’t forget ll that lovely food from Oystercatcher Catering


I suppose all there is left is for me to learn how to sail!! 

Boat against the September sunset in Blakeney Harbour

Boat against the September sunset in Blakeney Harbour

There are signs all around of summer’s farewell in Blakeney Harbour, albeit one protracted by days which continue warm and dry. The dusk light last night was very different from just a few weeks ago, something I only noticed when I looked back over the photos from an evening walk along the Cut. As the sun sets ever closer to the mainland, retracing the steps of the westward arc which took it far out over the sea in mid-June, so the harbour itself changes in character.

The evidence mounts in other ways too. The mooring jetty for the big barge has returned and, one by one, the little boats will start to disappear from their buoys, seeking a cosy berth on land. The car park is becoming sparse and that subtle tipping point has been reached where there are few enough walkers on marsh that people have started to say ‘hello’ to each other again.

Cleat and rope overlooking Blakeney Quay

Cleat and rope overlooking Blakeney Quay

Sunset over Blakeney Harbour in September

Sunset over Blakeney Harbour in September

Sailing gear at sunset in Blakeney

Sailing gear at sunset in Blakeney

Wooden boat detail overlooking Blakeney Cut

Wooden boat detail overlooking Blakeney Cut

Boats at dusk in Blakeney Cut

Boats at dusk in Blakeney Cut

Looking down the causeway beside Blakeney Cut

Looking down the causeway beside Blakeney Cut

High tide adventures.

Yesterday we decided to make the most of a Friday off work and used the morning high tide to make a trip down to Blakeney Point. Rather than hiking, or making use of the many tour boats, we were able to take the kayak at a strategic time. An hour before high tide we set off. The wind and tide against us we slowly made our way down to the point where we were treated to some time with our local seal colony. I was fortunate to get some shots of our new friends.

Please note that these are taken with a zoom and we were never any closer than 5m. We also did not approach the colony on the shore, rather they took an interest and came to us.

We then turned home and with that the tide turned to rush round the point. This time, however, we were aided by the wind which created surges we were able to coast along the top of home.

Stay tuned for a Blakeney low tide adventure.

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