Woodbridge: a dockside stroll in photos

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Woodbridge from along the estuary

Woodbridge from the head of the estuary. Click on the thumbnails for much bigger photos

Woodbridge mill Woodbridge mill from a distance

Woodbridge tide mill

Woodbridge motor cruisers Woodbridge liveaboard Woodbridge liveaboard 3

Woodbridge liveaboard 2 converted lifeboat

Liveaboards at Woodbridge

Woodbridge outstanding shed Everson's Woodbridge cruising club wind vane Woodbridge Deben Yacht Club wind vane

Eversons’ splendid sheds; wind vanes belonging to Woodbridge Cruising Club and the Deben Yacht Club

Woodbridge Arwen Woodbridge Arwen 2 Woodbridge Arwen 3

The intriguing and delightful Arwen

Woodbridge motor boat

A very sweet little motorboat

Woodbridge Lowestoft smack LO136 Woodbridge Bawley LO136 2

Bawley Good Intent, with a London port designation

Woodbridge interesting small yacht Woodbridge pretty small yacht Woodbridge yacht 2

Woodbridge dinghies

Pretty yachts and picturesque dinghies

Woodbridge wall detail 2 Woodbridge wall detail 1

Wall details from the old quayside, which is now set well back from the river

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Wrecks and working boats of the Ore

Working boats at Ore Working boats at Ore 2

Working boats on the  Ore 4 Wrecks on the Ore Working boats at Ore 3

Click on the thumbnails for much bigger photos!

The coast of East Anglia is well known for its crab boats, lifeboats, beach punts, beach yawls and Southwold luggers – but I can’t say that I’ve read much about the little boats with their sweeping sheers show in these shots.

These photos come from Orford, but similar craft can be seen along the Deben and on the Alde.

From looking at my copy of the marvellous but almost unobtainable Chatham Directory of Inshore Craft, I’d say that many of the small wooden working boats in these photos are relatives of what it calls the Felixstowe Ferry lobster boat, a lug-rigged 15ft open boat made at Woodbridge that died out in the 1950s.

There must be a story to be told about the history of these little craft. I’m struck that quite a few of the local modern plastic tenders have something of the same form.

Looking at these shots I can’t help but think they have more than a touch of the Norse about them, but it’s not just a matter of history: the advantages of that pronounced sheer line are obvious when you see the confused water of the bar they must cross to reach the sea (see below).

I was also tickled by the Laser converted for rowing by the addition of a sliding seat (which must be seriously wasted in a hull this short – see Rowing for Pleasure comment), and by this splendid shed.

Confused water at the mouth of the Ore Laser sliding seat converted for rowing Ore boatshed

Sailing fun on the East Coast

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Sue and Mike Feather took a series of photos of a race between a collection of gaffers from Harwich to the River Deben – and it looks like splendid fun to me. Follow the link to see some photos.

Mike also tells me that Sue and he were in the Old Gaffers race at Brightlingsea featured in Dylan Winter’s recent Vlog. Mike was the guy on the grey smack Transcur wearing yellow oilies and Sue was on the rib with Dylan taking photos. I’m beginning to wonder whether Dylan knows as many people as the Pope!

‘It was a really exciting race – lots of wind so very fast,’ says Mike. ‘Those boys put everything up in a blow and go like hell – bow wave coming half way up the stem and heaven help you if you broach with that lot up.’

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