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  • Writer's pictureAsha

Back to square one

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

I owe an apology to all who visit this website to catch up on what is happening with Mark, I and Altor of Down. I often think that writing doesn’t come easily to me or isn’t my thing and that some periods are uninspiring but that’s not really the case. Mark pushes me to add my thoughts here and after a while the constant nagging has the desired effect! Once I have finished I realise that I actually quite enjoy it even though I am not writing in my mother tongue, so here we go!

We left Lowestoft in the early morning of the 15th of October and headed for Mark’s favourite river – the River Orwell. Seriously, it must be a favourite one, because if I had a pound for every time he expresses this sentiment I would buy a Moody of my own and go sailing!

A few days on a buoy near to Pin Mill didn’t prove as peaceful as we had hoped as our house batteries failed and the gloomy clouds of the problem tainted the perfect skies above the favourite River Orwell. Mark contacted the company and was advised that a warranty claim should be submitted which required a courier to collect the batteries for testing. This was good news but courier companies don’t offer collections in the middle of a river so we headed to Ipswich Haven Marina to enable the collection of the batteries and to enjoy some carefree time tied to a pontoon.

The entrance to the marina is through a lock so the move had to be planned precisely, especially with wind blowing us off the pontoon inside the lock. It was my first time going through a lock and I was anxious about the manoeuvre. The lock in Ipswich is quite narrow and the stern line had to be secured asap in view of the strong wind blowing us in which could have blown us in sideways if the skipper had cocked it up! Fortunately we got in and secured to the pontoon. The gate shut behind us and the lock did its thing and opened the gate in front of us once the water had level reached equilibrium. Once inside, we motored towards the designated space in the marina. Back to a life of luxury! Water on tap, showers, launderette, shops all around and even free wifi.

Two weeks passed before the battery issues got resolved which took a lot of emails, phone calls and some of Mark’s PR skills! Despite this little battle we enjoyed our stay in Ipswich Dock with it’s weather proof location and great facilities. We even had some socialising time with Mark’s family and friends. However as soon as the batteries arrived we left to avoid being locked down in Ipswich as the return of this dreaded two word curse was about to be unleashed on the English nation once again! We motored out in the dark and went through the lock, this time in really calm conditions.

We left the River Orwell, sailed into a beautiful sunrise and enjoyed glorious sunny weather and fair winds as we sailed back to the River Crouch. We reached Burnham in the afternoon where we were greeted by Mark’s Mum, sister and nephew at the entrance to Burnham Marina, the very same spot where they waved us goodbye on the 27th of March. As we weren’t berthing there, we swooped in and out quickly to say hello and then headed further up the river where we dropped our anchor for the night.

The following day we motored to Altor's winter berth in Fambridge Marina. Tomorrow I’m flying back to Poland to spend some time with my family and Mark is going to get to work on the boat!

Completing Season 1 of Adventure Now feels really emotional in all sorts of ways as we get reunited with our families but also have to spend time apart which will be strange having spent 7 months in close quarters aboard Altor! We have some improvement works to complete on Altor over the winter before we step into Season 2 and set sail again. We are being drawn to the north once again owing to the breathtaking beauty we have seen and the draw of the challenges associated with some of the more northern waters. We’ll keep you posted as the plan for Season 2 develops!

For now I want to say one more thing on behalf of both Mark and I! This has been the best adventure of our lives to date and we’d like to convey our sincere thanks to everyone who has followed us, read this blog and watched our Youtube offerings. We are excited to launch into Season 2 and hope you will join us once again for the next part of our Adventure Now!!!!!

Perfect morning light in Ipswich Haven Marina

Pint in Pin Mill

The cutest passenger, the black and white one of course!

Dinghy racing on the River Orwell

Dramatic colours of the sunset in Ipswich

Colourful barges on a river in Ipswich

Ipswich Marina on a moonlight night

Windmill farm on the way from River Orwell to River Crouch - green energy, or so they say...

Dusk over River Crouch, Fambridge Marina

Kitty of Harwich, Fambridge Marina

Altor of Down moored safely on the river pontoon in Fambridge Marina, River Crouch

Sunset over River Crouch, Fambridge Marina

Sunset over River Crouch, Fambridge Marina

Foggy morning on River Crouch, Fambridge Marina

Sunrise on a foggy morning on River Crouch, Fambridge Marina

Foggy morning on River Crouch, Fambridge Marina

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