Results of the day
1Stephen Squirrell23.2

Friday 18th September - Windsurf ** - The Dip at Felixstowe – sunny and warm.


Fin – 24.25 knot max, 23.20 knot ave ., 13.53 knot hour, 18.43 knot mile, 31.10 km ., 13.13 knot alpha.


F2 282 Ride with Tushingham Lightning 6.5 & 7m and 38 fin.


Walk ***** - Long Felixstowe prom walk – sunny, breezy and warm :)




With covid lockdown looming over everyone sadly again it is great to have a visit from our son Rob, his partner Arlo and the fantastic Grandson Arlo, now three:) With several friends heading over to the River Stour at Bradfield to make the most of another good East wind and favourable tide my plan was to stay in Felixstowe then head down to The Dip mid afternoon to make the most of the better conditions there and for Rob to kiteboard as he dose it very rarely these days:( Arlo was up at eight so Mag and I enjoyed our first breakfast with him, Weetabix and strawberries, then when Rob and Hannah appeared Mag made us vast quantities of very yummy pancakes. Then we all went for a bracing walk along the prom at Felixstowe, straight into a good headwind with Arlo a demon on the wooden balance bike we got him for his first Christmas! Rob and Hannah headed into town at the Fludgers while we continued to the end of the prom, it was stunning, large waves breaking over the rock groynes, sun shimmering off the sea, brave open water swimmers and the odd yacht making the most of the 20-knot wind. We made good progress back with a tail wind and had ham sandwiches for dinner. We then just had to wait for the tide to drop before Rob and I headed down The Dip. We played Arlo with a huge Brio train track before setting off 2.45 with the others deciding to stay at home as its not much fun setting on the beach on a windy day! I dropped Rob off by the steps in the cliff top car park before taking my gear back to our parking spot at The Dip. A few sailors were out with sails around 5 to 6m so I rigged my old and very well used 6.5 with the 115lt. with the plan to sail up to meet up with Rob. If anything, it was still too early to make the most of the flatter conditions but it was OK as I headed out, gybed and made well upwind and came right into the Deben. It’s then my problems started as I returned out to sea, pointing high to avoid the shingle bar I was knocked off in the waves and had the misfortune to break my 4.30 mast and finish off my much loved 6.5. Luckily, I was only a short distance from the now exposed shingle island so could walk a little closer to the shore. I ran out of shingle near the large red channel bouy some 580m short of safety with the tide racing out in front of me from right to left. I didn’t like the idea of trying to swim that as I was not sure if the current would take me out to sea??? I then had the bright idea of de-rigging and by placing the top section of my mast up the sail the wrong was round I managed to rig a hopefully usable sail even though there was a floppy bit at the top and not enough outhaul! I didn’t manage to get on the board while setting off, not helped by the strong tide and ended up swimming for 580m through the rough bit and was actually slowly moving further offshore! So, I tied waterstarting and managed to get up and actually landed at my launching beach, much relieved:) With no 4.30 mast and a broken 6.5 I had limited options so went for my 7m which proved OK in the end. I was soon back on the water but it was not that an enjoyable experience as I have never sailed in such an confused lumpy sea, even the flatter section by the shore has chopped up and then when sailing out to sea you hit the main Deben exit channel where the currant is its strongest making some steep chop with the only to sail very slow and hope for the best, the body and gear really take a hard hammering! Things didn’t improve further out with wave/chop coming at you from all directions caused by the flow of the tide. It was better coming in and you could play with the swell but going fast was difficult. Thinking back, I think I would have been much better off sailing down the other was away from the Deben where the water did look better! I had had enough of this battering and decided to call it a day as the others had all packed up! I packed up and was soon joined by Rob who had a great session behind the shingle bank, sailing in Bawdsey Bay and down the Deben by the sailing club, if only I had made it there instead of breaking my mast! I then noticed I had put a big rip in my 7m,so not a great day but I am using very old Tushingham sails which I love but they are well past their best, if only the Pension could stretch to a set of lovely Doutone E Pace HD sails but a set of them with a couple of masts would be £3000 so will defiantly have to pass on that! Got home in time for a quick shower before making homemade pizza for Friday film night and watched Moana, one of Arlo and my favourites:) Might give windsurfing a miss tomorrow as have two bad sessions in a row and try Stand up Paddle Boarding instead :)