Humber Barge Waterdog
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At the ‘Rocks’ we turned into the ebb, well away from all the anchored yachts, and lowered our anchor. We had 7m of water at HW so let out 28m of chain all by winding the large old manual anchor windlass. By placing a hand on the chain afterwards, you could feel it rumble slowly over the shaley seabed and then it went quiet as the anchor set and the chain was stretched straight. The wind was forecast to stay blowing off the closest river bank so we hoped that Waterdog would stay away from the shallows when she swung to the tide later.

We had a beautiful evening at the ‘Rocks’ with dinner in the wheelhouse waiting for the tide to turn to see how Waterdog would swing. She described a big arc while turning to the tide and the wind kept her away from the mud newly exposed to our North East. In the morning Lawrence and Peter manned the winch to wind up the 28m

of chain and anchor at slow speed. This was the first time we had used Waterdogs’ anchor in anger and we were very pleased that we could wind it back in without too much bother. We let a thunder storm pass first and then the sun came back out and off we went down river, it was HW-2hrs. The Deben entrance was a trial, we arrived there at local HW but the flood was still making fast so we battled out against the flood with a SOG of around 1 knot. When we got to sea, the ebb tide was already running from London out, so it was a slow slog along to Harwich at 1 to 2 knots SOG.

The tide was also against us to go into Harwich and with wind over tide the waves got really choppy, we had cool hand Peter helming us in though. We chose an anchorage based on the weather forecast of SW 4 with the smallest fetch, so ended up at Parkeston anchorage, opposite the Stena Sealink ferry terminal. We had 9m water at HW so we used 36m of chain. The sunset was magnificent with changing colours for a couple of hours.

The  chartplotter had an anchor watch function that we set to alarm if we wandered outside a 40m circle. The track overnight showed that the back of the boat had swung back and forth with a radius of about 30m, so we roughly swung around our chain catenary and didn’t drag our chain as the tide turned in the night.

The  recorded track from night as displayed on our charplotter.