Under the bridge

Wednesday 27 July

Yesterday I idled away another day in this peaceful spot, letting the jellyfish drift past me in and out with the tide.  Luckily nobody came to demand money or, indeed, their mooring buoy back.

Orwell Bridge

Today I had my first experience of guessing whether my mast was going to fit under a bridge; well, I do have an ‘air draught’ of 21 metres – I’m not a canal barge, you know.  The crew managed to time the passage so that the water around the feet of the bridge (that carries the A12 trunk road towards Ipswich, apparently) was calm and didn’t have any tricky tidal eddies to throw me off course.  I caught up with those freighters I’d seen passing my mooring downriver, patiently waiting for their cargoes to be offloaded or stowed aboard, as we rounded the last bend towards the lock into Ipswich Haven basin.  Of course, this wasn’t a new experience, as one of my first adventures before I left France was a trip up the Carentan Canal, but this time was easier on my hull as the lock keeper had kindly installed a floating pontoon in the lock, so my crew could tie me there while the waters swirled in through the sluices to lift me up to Ipswich Marina.  I had a lovely easy berth there on a hammerhead, right opposite the town quay with plenty of comings and goings to keep me entertained, but no noisy nightlife to disrupt my beauty sleep.  The crew headed straight off for town for provisions, noting the interesting mix of ancient architecture with derelict buildings only demolished to the extent necessary to erect modern structures amid the debris…an unusual town planning policy.  They also counted at least eight different ethnic cuisines on offer.