Summer Cruise to the Blackwater July 2019 + album

The great interest expressed at the outset about going on this years Summer Cruise to the River Blackwater was very encouraging. In the event 16 members boats took part. FAR more boats than in more recent cruises.

Some could only join us for a few days, some had to leave a day or two early, however because we were sailing relatively close to home, this made it practical for members with other commitments to ‘dip in and out’ and undoubtedly made this cruise more popular.

Photo album

Here are a collection of images from the cruise sent in by members who took part.

Burnham – the cruise assembles

Early morning departure from Burnham
The ‘fleet’ sets sail for Brightlingsea
Approaching Brightlingsea – Smacks racing


Just click on the image below each heading/place name then use the back and forward arrows to look through a slide show of the related images.


West Mersea

To Heybridge and in the Basin

Sailing down the Blackwater


We were very fortunate with the weather especially, with super sailing breezes and smooth seas. A steep learning curve for our less experienced members, but by the time we got to Heybridge URYC we looked almost professional. Well, at least no one fell in the lock.

Great team work and much laughter made the 2019 summer cruise both memorable and good fun. Now, where shall we go next year?

Locking into Heybridge Basin

More photos and a video from Terry Bagley – some really good quality pictures; please click on this link to an album on Facebook:

Original news item and summer cruise itinerary;

There were an exceptional number of members at our meeting on Friday 17 May. This meeting gave the opportunity to expand on the planning and the built in options that take into account different wind directions and weather conditions that we may experience.

There is also a single page summary which you can click here to down load (picture below). This summary also gives you the tidal differences to Hullbridge HW times.

Up River Yacht Club Summer Cruise 2019
Click on the image above to make it easier to read

If you could not go to the meeting, here are 10 edited highlights:

1. Although you could make an early start and sail directly from Hullbridge to Brightlingsea on Saturday 6 July, the recommendation is to drop down the Crouch on the evening of Friday 5 July to Burnham. Then pick up a buoy with the rest of the Up River Armada (usually on the Eastern edge of the moorings on the North bank) for a more leisurely start on Saturday morning.

2. By being at Burnham Friday evening you can depart at a civilised hour on Saturday or, if the wind is against us, leave early and still reach the Swin Spitway in good time to catch the flood into the mouth of the Blackwater.

3. Why just the Blackwater this year? This was felt to offer an ideal cruising ground for newer members, or for members who rarely leave the Crouch and would prefer a shorter club cruise, rather than a longer trip to the Suffolk rivers. Also this will make a welcome change for the ‘old hands’ who might feel we have spent rather too much of our time in Ipswich and Woodbridge in recent years.


4. Saturday and Sunday; we are spending the first two nights in Brightlingsea. This makes it a relaxing start to the trip. Also, if for any reason the weather is unsuitable for you to go on Friday or Saturday, it will still be possible to depart on Sunday and catch up with everyone else in Brightlingsea.

Plus, John Jones plans to offer an option for those of you who fancy a night on the pontoons at Wivenhoe Yacht Club that dry out, rather than stay afloat on the pontoons at Brighlingsea. This variation, gives anyone who prefers to skip Brightlingsea, a cheaper alternative for the first two nights. Its a bit more adventurous, so chat to John, he will give you all the details if you’re interested.

Tollesbury Marina

5. Monday; a night at Tollesbury offers an opportunity to go in a nice marina overnight.

6. Tuesday; plenty of time to visit Tiptree Jam museum and tea rooms in the morning. Then it’s just a short motor from there to West Mersea (see picture at the top of this page) in the evening. No need to worry about getting ashore, as West Mersea Yacht Club run two tenders until 10.30 at night. And the return trip is free if you eat or drink at their rather nice clubhouse.

Heybridge Basin

7. Wednesday; time to explore West Mersea (see this link for more info) before heading off to Osea Island. If its warm, time for a swim, otherwise a nice spot to anchor for an hour or two for lunch before heading up the Blackwater to Heybridge Basin for two nights. This offers ample opportunity to visit the Weatherspoons in Maldon, an essential part of any Up River cruise.

Bradwell Marina entrance

8. Friday: sail to Bradwell Marina. Nice walks there plus the opportunity to enjoy a meal at the Green Man in the evening.

9. Saturday; sail back to the Crouch. There are two options for the return trip that offer a short cut through the Raysand Channel, or to sail back later via the Swin Spitway.

10. Sunday; this is effectively a contingency day should the wind blow up from the West and make it rather too much like hard work to get back to Hullbridge on Saturday.


Please put your details on the list on the Club noticeboard or alternatively email Graham:

Its very important for us to have confirmation of the number and size of boats going as berths have to be booked in advance in marinas and Heybridge basin.