What can we do? What might we see?

Waldringfield

The river Deben is one of the most beautiful and scenic spots on the East Coast. The tidal Deben Estuary is a Special Protection Area and within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The boat will have its own swinging mooring which we will take you out to. It is possible to borrow a tender at your own risk.
The boatyard is adjacent to The Maybush Inn which serves food all day from 9am and has a lovely beer garden over looking the river. They do get very busy in the summer, so booking is advisable.
We will discuss tides and safe areas to sail with you during your briefing.

The Rocks

Heading towards Felixstowe Ferry, one of the first locations to stop is The Rocks. This is a small beach on the port side shortly after buoy 2A. Boats can anchor here for picnics ashore or aboard. Low water or mid tide is best. If you hunt along the shore line you might be lucky enough to find a fossilised shark’s tooth.
The tide will fall by 3 metres here over a 6 hour period. At half tide anchor in 2.5m.
Use 4-5 times chain to depth for anchoring.

Old Felixstowe Ferry

At the river mouth you’ll find Old Felixstowe Ferry. A word of warning here, the tide runs very hard here. It’s not a place for swimming or anchoring and care must be taken if rowing ashore. Avoid Horse Sand! Check the chart and keep to the channel. There are a few visitor’s moorings off the beach at Bawdsey on the port side. There’s a tea shop ashore.
On the Felixstowe side, there’s a sea food café, ‘Winkles’ café, fresh seafood for sale, a diner and The Ferry Boat Inn 01394 284208.
As you approach Felixstowe Ferry, bear to starboard and follow the inner channel to find a suitable inshore mooring.
Call the harbour master John White on Ch08 ‘Odd Times’ or phone on 07803 476621 for a mooring.
It’s possible to walk into Felixstowe from here 3.5 miles or there is a bus stop after you have crossed the golf course. See timetable in handbook.

Heading from Waldringfield towards Woodbridge

Always follow the buoyed channel when heading down towards Woodbridge. You can pick up a buoy at Methersgate for a quiet picnic aboard. Again, follow the ‘weedy strop rule’.
Beyond that you need to check the tides carefully. Head down towards Woodbridge on a rising tide approximately 2-3 hours before high water should give you enough water to begin your journey. Keep an eye on your depth.
You can do a ‘tide top’ an hour before high water just to see the sights. Turn at high water and head back down to Waldringfield.
It is sometimes possible to book a lunchtime stop in the Tidemill Yacht Harbour. If they aren’t too busy, you can book a lunchtime/short stay berth on 01394 385745 for a fee.
You can stay between 2 and 3 hours depending on the tide. There is a sill to go over to get into the Yacht Harbour. Ensure that you have enough water to get back Waldringfield.

Wildlife

The river is a haven for wading birds and as the mud uncovers you will see a whole variety of birds such as Oystercatcher, Godwit, Red Shank, Curlew, Avocet, Turnstone, Knot, Dunlin, Wigeon, Teal, Shell Duck…
You may see a Marsh Harrier, hear the cuckoo or watch Barn Owl hunting over the fields.
If you are up early, it has been known to see deer at the water’s edge and otter. The odd friendly seal may pop up to see you if you keep your eyes peeled.