Day 94 – Minsmere to East Mersea

Confused and frustrated. Nothing personal, but this is now Essex.

Confused because I can’t tell where the coast actually is, there are so many estuaries. Frustrated because there is no ferry at Aldeburgh, Butley and Deben ferries run at weekends only in October, and we’re out of hours for Brightlingsea ferry.

Which all meant a broken and unsatisfying day with lots of long detours. Thanks to Carolyn and the van for coming to the rescue!

I did manage about 40kms on the bike, though. And my Harwich harbour ferry journey was an enjoyable epic that kept the day fun.

Firstly I couldn’t find the ferry at all; all the signs disappeared. When I found it I looked for the yellow flag marking the boarding point on the beach – it wasn’t there! So I waited by the sign, taking in views of Felixstowe’s impressive container port.

Then the little yellow boat arrived fifty metres down the beach. I ran over the shingle, dragging my bike. The man asked where I wanted to go. Harwich, I said. Oh! he replied. The pontoons had been shut in Harwich. Wait a minute, he came back. He went off to the boat’s bridge and made a radio call. Good news; we had special dispensation to dock in the harbour authority area, but I’d have to be escorted out. Eventually an uneventful if choppy crossing.

I so love the ferries. This was my first since Fleetwood. I just wish they ran more frequently, so we have to use them.

And after all that, I saw the sea in Clacton, which seemed not to have noticed that nobody was there!

I suspect more of the same tomorrow …

… Ken

3rd October

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