Suntis departure delayed on Tuesday

As you will know by now, Suntis comes in every fortnight to unload a supply of wood to Anglo-Norden. The normal process is that it arrives on Sunday sometime – comes through the lock at the next high tide during the night in the Summer or at the next high tide at any time  in the winter. She then gets unloaded on Monday with the balance being taken out on Tuesday. She then gets the next high tide out.

Recently, she came in on Tuesday night and they used two cranes to unload her on Wednesday and got her out again. This week, we had a timing issue. She came through on Sunday afternoon but they seemed a bit leisurely in unloading on Monday leaving them with a lot to do before the Tuesday afternoon high tide set for 14.28pm. They were still working when the lock gates were fully open – normal at high tide to reset the level of water in the Wet Dock. As they were finishing off, the ABP (Associated British Ports) personnel were untying the hawsers to release her – it was that tight. They were just in the process of putting all the unloading ropes back on board when the outer lock gates closed and the swing bridge came across. The ABP people retied the boat up again and everything calmed down. Suntis then left of the next high tide at 02.48am.

The Harbourmaster has a responsibility to maintain the level of water in the Wet Dock to ensure that no vessel finds itself beached – even for a short period. Hence, the gates must be shut at a certain point after high tide. Unfortunately, Suntis got caught up in this. I didn’t get any images – well there wasn’t much to see anyway that would have been interesting – but I thought that you might be interested in the little break from routine.

Update on Our Josie Grace

Remember me saying that the fishing boat that visited last year – Nicola Ann – had been replaced by Our Josie Grace. Well, I had the opportunity to speak to the crew the other day.


We had found out, from our iPad app that tracks boats, that Nicola Ann was up in the Hebrides. I am told that she was sold and replaced by Our Josie Grace as this was a much newer boat than Nicola Ann. They use the boat for fishing off the Suffolk coast and catch Sea Bass which, as explained before, they sell to a Dutch merchant who then sell the fish onto Italy and Greece! They load up the Dutch lorries from Orwell Quay here. It seems that we have them with us for some time as I was told that they have paid the fees for the Wet Dock for a quarter. Expect more on this!

Mind you, they will have a few problems every fortnight. Anglo-Norden have had trouble with people parking cars up against the dock overnight on a Sunday when Suntis is due. Recently, there has been one car that has been left there all day Monday. This is quite tricky for them and dangerous for the car owner as they are swinging large piles of wood around on cranes overhead! To try and stop this, Anglo-Norden have taken to blocking the quay off over the weekend when Suntis is due. She is due this weekend so this is what the quay looks like this morning.


As good as this is for Ango-Norden it isn’t much fun for the families that like to come down over the weekend and teach the children to go crabbing and so on. It also creates a parking problem for the Aurora restaurant as it relies on this area for parking for their popular Saturday night and Sunday lunch booking. It is even less fun for Our Josie Grace as she has to tie up elsewhere for the duration. Let’s hope that the large Dutch articulated lorry isn’t due until Tuesday!


Anglo-Norden have the right to close the road on a number of days each year but I am not sure about their rights to block off the quayside at other times.

I spoke too soon.

I went onto Facebook at lunchtime and posted the following:

“We still have loads of tall ships in the Wet Dock. Not sure why they haven’t left yet.” along with the following photo:


I sat down for a cup of tea and the next thing I saw was this:


As is often in life, timing is everything! They are all slowly working their way out but as one one of the big ones can get in the lock at one time, it will take a little while for them all to depart.We have had lots of people down today to have a look, including a BBC Suffolk camera car so we shall see if anything arrives on the local BBC news tonight.

The event is called “The Race of the Classics – for young professionals”. there is a web site HERE but it is all in Dutch so off you go then!

The Tall Ships close up

As part of the walk along the Waterfront, I try and get some images that give a closer feel for the complexity of the boats and the fun that the crews have. Firstly, this crew were busy opening up, hanging up and painting new sets of white tights! Now, you may wonder why. Well I asked this pretty Dutch girl. I didn’t fully follow the explanation – it involved the word Mikado, I think – but I did grasp that it was being done in aid of a party that they intend to hold this evening. Mind you, If I remember, they don’t party late as they have to be up bright and early to get going again on their way back to Rotterdam.


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Now, I will wander down and get in close.




















Lastly, I will show some of the crews – some of whom had snazzy matching coats whilst others didn’t!





They were all happy to give us a wave though!

The Classic Tall Ships race from Rotterdam to Ipswich

After the taster, earlier, I have now managed to walk along the Waterfront and get lots of lovely images. When we went along. we stopped off at The Cult cafe for a tea and a beer. I mentioned to my wife that I hadn’t deleted any images from my camera for a long time. It was showing that I had 640 images on the memory card. Now, the card I have is an Eye-Fi card, which means that it automatically transmits images back to my iMac, using the home wireless connection, whenever it gets into range. Thus, there is no good reason why I keep so many on there. However, whilst checking, I found out that almost the last image I took today (and one that I put up on the blog earlier, was of the Morgenster – one of the tall ships that came in this morning. When checking on the first image on the card, it turned out to me – guess what – the Morgenster! The photo was take on 16th April this year – exactly 6 months ago to the day!

Well, here we go. I will split it into two. The first blog will be images of the ships themselves whilst the second will cover the detail.















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Modern and Old Time

No, we are not talking about ballroom dancing!

We have had one of our regular visits by the Trinity House Rapid Intervention Vessel – Alert. Her job includes buoy handling and wreck marking. However, the interesting thing is that this time her decks are bare of any equipment! She is the modern one and one her way out.




The Old Timer is Queen Galadriel also making one of her regular visits to the Ipswich Waterfront.


Remember Nicola Ann?

That was the fishing boat that turned up last year and spent the summer landing its catch down below us. I covered it in a series of blog posts starting HERE.

We were surprised that we hadn’t seen it this year when, all of a sudden, a few days ago, something very similar appeared.



This is the “Our Josie Grace” and seems to be a replacement for Nicola Ann as the crew are the same. It is also loading fish onto a Dutch lorry so…

Out on the Internet, there is a comment on one photo of this boat as follows: “Leaving Tom’s boatyard for Essex for new owner Trevor Mole”. You can see that picture HERE so I presume that he has dispose of Nicola Ann and now has this boat. On checking, the last known position of Nicola Ann was back in August when she was moored at Lerwick in the Shetland Isles.

The new boat is loading up fish onto the same type of Dutch lorry as before.


As I remember it, they told me last year that they could get better prices for the Sole selling to the Dutch than trying to sell to a UK outlet!

It has been sitting here for a couple of days without moving but today they started work on their nets. This is something that you normally see when you holiday down in Devon or Cornwall, not on the Waterfront at Ipswich!