Stormbound in Lowestoft
15 June 2012
Royal Norfolk and Suffolk YC Marina
Friday morning. As planned, we provisioned Magnetic Attraction by car on Monday, and then travelled down to the boat on Tuesday 12th by bike and train. By Tuesday it had become apparent that weather window that we were aiming for had gone bad, and the north wind was COLD! So the timescale was slipped to Sunday morning – fortunately as it turned out as Roger got a puncture on the way to the station, which required a new tyre as well as adjustment to the spokes, necessitating benchwork at home. On the train at 5.45, I suddenly realised that we hadn’t brought the boat key… so off the train and back home. We eventually got the 7pm train, getting into Lowestoft at quarter to 8 to meet Jenny and Bryan who had been racing at sea. The train journey was a trip down Memory Lane – past the Norwich Frostbites SC; Buckenham, Cantley and then over the swing bridge at Reedham. The train line is seriously unimproved: there are signalmen operating each box, and the train crawls along.
So, we’ve been having a little holiday in Lowestoft! It’s a town that is better than its press: a decent shopping street with all the necessities (and more.) Everyone is very friendly, and the butcher describes me as a young lady (all things are relative.) Lowestoft VTS controls access to the harbour, including the marina entrance. The “regulars” know the radio comptrollers and the chat is both entertaining and efficient. “Ruth” calls up boats with the response “that’s the fellow” when they reply; this morning we heard the admonition “keep you a-coming” to a boat asking to enter the harbour. We’re home!
On Tuesday we walked up and down the Scores: paths down to the undercliff where the fishing boats used to be drawn up on the beach. Here is a picture taken from the top of the Malster’s Score: Gulliver (“He used to be the biggest windmill in the country when he was built”) is generating in the background.
It’s lovely to have the facilities of the sailing club to hand. Roger has been pulling the boat to bits to try to sort out the speed log (no success) and so I’ve withdrawn in good order with the phone and computer into one of the bars. There is a TV lounge, with comfortable sofas, and wi-fi available at all times. The station is 5 minutes away over the Haven bridge, and I walk into town for the shopping. Close to perfect!
It’s blowing old boots again today, but from the SW so it’s warmer. Tomorrow the task will be to get the provisions up to date, ready for a Sunday morning start. Next stop, Cuxhaven in about 48 hours!