Date & Time: Monday 24th August 2009.
Location : Pin Mill on the River Orwell, near Ipswich ( TM 206 380 )
Places visited : Pin Mill and the village of Shotley Gate.
Walk details : An early morning ramble and an afternoon walk.Highest point : Waking up at the right time for a beautiful sunrise.
With : Cathy, grandsons Jack, Matthew, Sam and Alexander, Ann and the dogs, Saffie, Theo, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Beautifully sunny with the occasional cloudy shadow.
Day 2. Sunrise and Shotley Gate
Following a recent period of cold and wet weather in the Lakes, yesterday's Suffolk sunshine was a real delight.
However the high overnight temperatures and bright morning light came as a bit of a shock to the system
but it meant that I found myself awake at just the right time for a morning walk.
Not a moment too soon . . . the sun is nearly up . . . as reflected in a local Pin Mill window.
The Butt and Oyster on one of those magical mornings.
Pre-dawn . . . with the low tide the Thames Barge is high and dry.
Dawn and the sunburst lights up the clouds and vapour trails.
Closer now, making careful progress down the muddy slipway.
The Scrubbing Posts, more normally used to moor boats against while they are beached for cleaning,
serve me well this morning but in a much more photogenic way.
In the time I spent down at the end of the slip, the sun has risen and colour was returning to the village.
The tide is flooding in and the first posts are being lapped by the water.
[ Apologies for not recording the beautiful marine dawn chorus of the many seabirds.]
- - - o o o - - -
As the day progressed the tide rose and a return walk after lunch had a completely different feel.
Overcast skies hid the sun and the water had hidden the mud banks . . . the boats were now well afloat.
It was high spring tides and the road back to the pub had been covered by the rising tide.
Keep Clear for boats perhaps ?
No sun but it was warm enough for the local kids and holidaymaker's to enjoy the water while their parents looked on.
The pub seemed to be doing good trade for a Monday lunchtime.
So it's true . . . you can moor your boat against the pub wall !
The water had dropped slightly.
At high tide it was within a few feet of the boatyard by the look of the wet tide line on the ground.
High water . . . Pin Mill style.
- - - o o o - - -
By early evening the sun had come out again and it was time for a walk, so we drove a short distance down-river to the village of Shotley Gate.
Shotley is at the end of the peninsular formed by the Stour and the Orwell and in it's day was home to HMS Ganges, an important shore based Naval Station.
All that remains is a well hidden but abandoned barracks, parade ground and associated buildings,
but it is surrounded by a delightful village of mixed housing that grew up around this once thriving naval community.
The deep water harbour on either side is home to two important east coast ports which would add interest to this early evening walk.
Nice car . . . not ours . . . but it adds some bold colour to the rather grey car park.
This is Shotley seafront looking over to the large Felixstowe Container Port.
The Lads . . . Sam, Alexander and Jack.
What looks like an old Naval training boat (red and white) is moored out alongside three redundant Lightships.
The green ship to the right is a North Sea Ferry berthed at Harwich.
A cormorant sits on a channel marker post as we look over to the Church and town centre of Harwich.
Huge Maersk Line container ships appear to be able to carry nearly a thousand freight containers each.
A wider panorama from the seafront as the swans glide by.
The seafront parade gives way to a protected footpath as we continue our walk.
Someone has built a rope swing which the boys took advantage of.
Well . . . wouldn't you ?
A little further on the sea wall has ended and we take to the beach.
Fallen trees leave fine natural sculptures, gradually being decomposed by the sea.
The dogs enjoy the water but I hope they don't get too muddy.
Still standing . . . but definitely suffering from the salt water incursion at it's roots.
Moored up opposite an oil rig support vessel.
This old lightship has seen duty under the banner of Radio Sunshine at some time in it's recent past.
Leaving the banks of the Stour we walk up through the farm fields, recently cropped for cereals.
Rounding the circle we find ourselves above the village, looking down once again on the River Orwell.
A reasonably sized sailing cruiser is dwarfed by the impressive rows of Felixstowe container cranes.
You can get a better idea of the capacity of these huge boats by trying to count the grey containers on this one.
Making our way down to the river . . . the boat marina is just coming into view.
The Orwell and Stour, as with many of these east coast rivers, is home to thousands of pleasure boats.
A low sun is shining in our eyes as we look over the marina.
The tidal lock gates allow us to cross back into the car park
and to complete our walk.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with Ann's Cannon 75 or my Cannon G7 Digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . fine weather from dawn to dusk.
Previous walk - Sun 23rd August 2009 Day 1 - Pin Mill in Suffolk
A previous time here - 4th to 6th April 2006 A family visit to Pin Mill in 2006
Next Walk - Day 3 - The Old Felixstowe Ferry Walk