This film was shot a long way from our beloved Waldleys Marine Yacht Club. But since there’s not much going in the the bleak-mid-winter on the River Wyre, I recommend you watch this. I am hoping to move and enthuse you to draw up those passage plans, hoist those sails, and live out those dreams – and all before that blasted clock runs down.
It’s BBC quality!
Watch preferably on a good sized monitor or smart TV.
Revisiting the Dubhs Ridge from Howard Steen on Vimeo.
Just a few photos taken during the 2017 season. If you are a member and have any photos to share on the site, please send them in to “firstname.lastname@example.org” with a short narrative.
Tom in the bow of Malcolm’s dinghy. Taken shortly after successfully retrieving an anchor that had been buoyed in the main channel. It was cut loose due to some serious anchor dragging/snagging when Jamila was caught out in a half gale coming back from Piel. The anchor was finally deposited on the main jetty in Knott End and shortly after put in the back of a car. The photo was taken a hour or so after high water at the point when the motor-boaters were packing up and going home.
Tom securing Malcolm’s dinghy after the successful execution of Operation ‘Retrieve Jamila’s Anchor’. Propulsion was supplied by a circa 1972 British Seagull Forty Plus. Fresh fuel was correctly mixed at 25:1. The ancient Villiers carburettor was well tickled. This famous piece of British Maritime folk-law started on the third pull. Its unique musical note carried to the port of Fleetwood bringing smiles from the retired fisherman.
Off loading the anchor on the Knott End slipway. This is where the Knott End ferry operates a service across the river mouth to Fleetwood. But beware when launching on this slipway. The eagle eye of the ferry skipper will lock-on and before you can slip your moorings, you’ll find your self £7 lighter – receipt provided. Still, once off and away you’ll find tidal steams that surge in and out up to five knots. Use them correctly and there won’t be a lot of paddling to do! Get it wrong on the other hand, … !
A more modern dinghy. A bit small in this configuration to rescue a heavy buoyed anchor like described above. However, with its optional inflatable tubes that attach around the gunwale it turns into a quasi RIB for all intents and purposes. Thus safe and pretty much unsinkable.
William’s ‘Otter’, stood awaiting the next tide. This Wardley’s yacht that has spent more time on the river in recent years than any other. She’s a good little boat for the Wyre estuary and Morecambe Bay. She takes the ground well as can be seen. She also has a trailer on which the skipper can take her home for winter maintenance.
John G’s ‘Westerley 25′ family cruiser. A triple keeler tailor-made, one could argue, for Morecambe Bay. In many way’s you could consider it a 23’ boat with a two foot extension designed to house a decent sized outboard motor. It had a diesel inboard when John first bought it, though not any more! The engine room is now a useful place to stow the extra kit that once invaded the main cabin. Instead of the once oily inboard there is a clean and quiet ten horse Yamaha securely fastened to the original transom bracket put there by the builders.
On a cruise across to Piel this little critter landed on the boom. I guess its tired little wings needed a rest. Surprisingly it didn’t seem at all concerned about the Skipper sat only a few feet away. It simply sat there and enjoyed the ride. Eventually it flew up and away and continued on its journey.
When sailing to Piel, ever thought about forgoing the Ship Inn’s excellent hospitality and just sail on up to Barrow? Or perhaps you just want to, out of curiosity, see just how far you can go? Well this is it – the bridge over to Walney Island! Here you are out of the dredged sections used by the commercial boats , and where your depth sounder’s low alarm will begin to trigger. Time to crank up the plate if your are a lifting-keeler! On the other side, if you can get your mast down, you’ll be off on your way to Haverig and other delightful South West Lakeland destinations.
One of the outer lateral markers coming into the Barrow channel. Captured on the last day in September. Visibility had been poor, bordering on fog for most the the way over. At around 16:30h the sun suddenly made a spectacular appearance as you can see above. Normally, the whole background would be awash with wind generators. Not today though. Only these few falling within the sun’s globe could be seen. An eerie but unforgettable sight.
Yes, you’re right, no where near Morecambe Bay. However needs-must and work took this Wardley’s member over to the great city of Leeds. Lucky me ,I stayed in a hotel situated on ‘Leeds Dock’. Here was my ride into the city centre. Mixing work with pleasure one could say!
Pic 1. Low water ———— (see caption below)
Pic 2. High water. ——- Not many Yachtsmen in the world need to cope with 10 meter (33′) tides. At Wardleys we flip between the two scenes twice a day. The transformation is quite amazing, and goodness knows we are amazing for putting up with them.
Wind over tide on Morecambe Bay. The disturbed waters can create an intriguing effect when the sun is low in the sky. Tacking into such seas with the wind on the nose is tiring in a small yacht. In the other direction, however, with wind on the beam it can be quite thrilling.
Darren on Wardleys Yacht ‘Thunderball’, sailing off on another adventure.