Tiki - Up the Creek Without a Paddle

Meet Tiki. She's a Vivacity 24, 4 berth, bilge keel (twin keel) yacht moored in a creek not far from home. Built in the late 80s we aren't the first owners (I think we're third). We bought her on Saturday 5th June 2010 at around 2pm from a couple of local chaps who weren't able to get as much use out of her as they'd hoped.

Tiki seen at her pontoon. We see her starboard side.

Tiki at her pontoon. The picture has been doctored slightly to remove the post that would obscure part of the yacht.

The boat is currently moored in a Suffolk creek where she's afloat for only an hour or so either side of high water. Still, it's a beautiful spot with a lot to recommend it and very handy for us.

View down river at mid tide.

A view of the creek at mid tide. Like many East Anglian scenes, the sky dominates...

Having taken possesion of our first sailing boat, the family is very keen to get out on the water. We'd been out the previous week while deciding whether to buy the boat or not but this was to be our family's real Maiden Voyage.

High tide was at 18.30 by which time we'd fiddled and fussed, been home to fetch a few things and were all ready. Slip the mooring, start the outboard, we'll push out in the main river and then hoist the sails for a short while, then head back before the tide fades away.

The plans of Mice and Men and all that…

Tiki back on her mooring. Just ahead of the bow you can see grooves in the mud where she went aground.

The picture shows Tiki back on the mooring after her Maiden Voyage. Notice the two grooves in the mud just ahead of her port bow. They're not tyre marks - they're keel marks. We went roughly the length of the boat herself.

Look, it was high tide, right? Last week when we went out for a short trip that's the course we took, so I followed it again. Of course, the previous week had been a spring tide, this was a neap, only about 3 metres above datum at high water.

Thankfully we were close enough to shore that we could throw a rope back to a helpful neighbour on the pontoon who hauled us back. All confidence gone we tied up and I went to get fish and chips.

Next week, it's a high tide at around lunch time, and we're back on springs of course, so we should be able to get a decent trip in?

The family will never let me forget this. The experienced boatsman, the nautical master... the 20 foot man. Ah well. It's something to look back on and laugh about once we've got a few successful trips under our life belts.

June 2010
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