Walton Backwaters 1 45 mins of gentleness

On one of my frequent trips up and down this coast I scuttled down to the Walton Backwaters for a few days

It was a jolly nice trip to one of the UK's classic sailing spots.


Incidentally I have been re-reading the Ransome books....... I might have been wrong when I spoke of him in the past.

In the meantime here are a few stills from the first part of the trip

By the way, this is only part 1. I will make part 2 if...it is worth doing


350 views - average $1 per view - bloody excellent.

chip in
I just want to say that....


This is about Sailing around Britain.

42 Responses to “Walton Backwaters 1 45 mins of gentleness”

  1. 8 October, 2017 at 1:47 pmIan Clarke says:

    Can I just say I’m a returning subscriber; & I’m much enjoying the Deben video’s. Hope you can do a Part 2 of the Backwaters – the one’s from the first trip were great as well.

  2. 8 October, 2017 at 2:08 pmdylan winter says:

    Thanks Ian,

    it is a wonderful sailing area. I was there this time for four days and three nights – it is both challenging and charming.

  3. 8 October, 2017 at 2:53 pm[email protected] says:

    Lovely D – made me look differently at places I’ve sailed several times!

  4. 8 October, 2017 at 3:22 pmdylan winter says:

    I hope the sound was okay – it was bugger to mix


  5. 8 October, 2017 at 4:48 pmPeter T says:

    Thanks D. I am loving your trip to the Backwaters and the run up and down the lower Stour stirred some memories too. Thankyou for posting this, cheque in the post to help a bit. P.

  6. 8 October, 2017 at 4:57 pmian clarke says:

    Did see you – we were on the outside pontoon at Titchmarsh when you went by (& gave us a wave).

  7. 8 October, 2017 at 5:04 pmdylan winter says:

    was I running the camera as you waved? That would be cool. I had just been around Horsey Island – scraped the bottom lots of times. That channel twists all over the shop.


  8. 8 October, 2017 at 7:30 pmjack says:

    Thanks D, lovely trip, lovely trip down memory lane for me…….?

  9. 8 October, 2017 at 8:23 pmJonB says:

    Great to hear you’re revisiting your thoughts on Ransome. I enjoy them as much today as I did 40 years ago when I first started reading them!
    Incidentally the Coastwatch record your sail number/boat name so that if you went missing they would know you were at a certain point at a certain time and it would help the SAR narrow down where you might be – nothing more than that.
    Great vid. Thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to part 2. I have very many happy memories from my childhood of those waters. Tap on the way.



  10. 8 October, 2017 at 9:15 pmdylan winter says:

    I still find the “lets pretend” stuff hard to take – but he can really describe a place with some pretty tight prose.


  11. 8 October, 2017 at 9:35 pmIan Clarke says:

    You seemed to be. Look forward to the 3 storey gin palace comments (although they are really nice people, as all are on the outer pontoons).

  12. 8 October, 2017 at 10:47 pm[email protected] says:

    Sound a little variable – especially the ‘essay’ on Felixtowe, and level really dropped in the Backwaters – I don’t know whether I missed a few of your ‘jewels’.

  13. 8 October, 2017 at 10:53 pmdylan winter says:

    anyone else find that?

    I can go and have a tweak


  14. 9 October, 2017 at 6:20 amTed B. (Charging Rhino) says:

    I can see why the watercolorists feel in love with the East Anglian skies and waterscapes. Lovely shades of blue, grays and tans….

    Watching on Youtube, the contemporaneous commentary is fine, but the studio voice-over about Felixstowe (22:30 and later the containerport and Harwich) has a muted-volume playback. The background music is correct-volume, but the commentary is barely audible. Farther up the Stour the problem disappears…

  15. 9 October, 2017 at 7:56 am[email protected] says:

    At 34.01 I think you may be saying something – or I may be going deaf….. by the way every time we’ve been up the Stour, my mate has me looking for the Essex House near the South bank. Can you see it from the river???

  16. 9 October, 2017 at 8:05 amdylan winter says:

    Thanks Ted – I am re-digitising it after boosting the v/o. The new version will be up in about 18 hours or so

  17. 9 October, 2017 at 9:56 amStephen Mundane says:

    The sound really is OK on my big telly but Ted B. is right, the v/o is lower in level in the parts he indicates but when you’ve got the volume cranked up like me it doesn’t matter as I heard every word. Others’ mileage might vary I suppose so I appreciate the effort to make the film even better. I shall have to watch it again now ;-)

  18. 9 October, 2017 at 10:04 amdylan winter says:

    thanks SM. At one time I knew that the films would be watched on a laptop or desktop. I knew the DVds would be played on a telly with inbuilt speakers.

    the snag with this stuff is that the birds are low level. If I crank them up then the clonks and boat noises become too high and when I speak it counds as thugh I am sitting in the middle of a tern colony. However, I do not want anyone to miss my stuff about german royals – even if they are listening through ipad speakers.

    I assume that the real pro sound men have a way of dealing with that. … so I have tweaked it.

    I like setting the computer off on a long job where the processor is working like a goodun as I know that I can go and mess about on the river for a few hours.

    this film at 43 minutes was 3 gigs long – rendering takes around 8 hours and then uploading it to youtube takes another eight or so. This is slow but does not involve any work from me.


  19. 9 October, 2017 at 12:07 pmPeter T says:

    “Let’s pretend stuff” ……. Bearing in mind that Ransome was a children’s author writing books for 1930’s children and the fact that all 12 of his childrens’ books have been continuously in print since he wrote them in the 1930s/40s….. he must have judged his market well. His intimate knowledge of The Lakes, The Broads and The East Coast rivers together with his extensive sailing and cruising experience all contribute to the readability of these stories. P.

  20. 9 October, 2017 at 12:29 pmdylan winter says:

    He is hard to re-evaluate as an author when viewed through the myopic eyes and ossified mind of a 62 year old sailor. I can never remember a period when I have not had access to a sailing dinghy of some sort. So the idea of being able to go off up a creek did not seem that amazing through the eyes of a ten year old – with three older brothers all of whom were astonishingly at home on the water. My real 15 year old brother was more of a hero to me than any of the Ransome characters could ever be when perceivd through the pages of a book. However, when reading as an adult with experience sailing in these places Ransome does a great job of capturing the magic of the Backwaters


  21. 9 October, 2017 at 4:33 pmHans Valk says:

    Those TacTic boxes are sold in England as well, then? Saw of them pass in the beginning of the film. I have a small assortment of them. With plastic locks, though. Yours seems to have metal ones..

  22. 9 October, 2017 at 4:35 pmHans Valk says:

    I was also surprised to see how quiet the Deben, the Stour and the Walton Backwater were in mid-summer. Want to go there even more, now..

  23. 9 October, 2017 at 5:54 pmDave Barker says:

    Really great, Dylan. SWMBO says we are going back to live in England so I hope to be close enough to Suffolk/Essex to sail there again. Might be the Ouze though, certainly can’t afford your neck o’ the Woodbridge area. Anyway, I have friends who sail out of Maldon and Shotley so might get a sail or two if I can wield a deck brush. Maybe see you around one day, who knows?
    Thanks again,

  24. 9 October, 2017 at 9:18 pmEuan Mckenzie says:

    Lovely I have sailed there once from the Orwell to the Deben and back again. I get it. It was like an animated Maurice Griffiths story. Nice Piece of work (despite the variable sound levels)I need that!

  25. 11 October, 2017 at 8:02 amPaul says:

    Glad to see you doing something from that part of your Coast again Dylan. I just zapped you a big $2. Actually it took about 2 minutes for the paypal page to load. I used to live in a digital backwater but then the people voted in a government that has spent billions on making it a digital mud puddle where I often can’t watch a youtube clip in 144k without major buffering… So I haven’t actually watched this film yet. Is there a download button I missed somewhere as thats the only way I will get to see it at the moment (spend a day downloading it). Otherwise, I guess I can just rip it from youtube in HD if need be.

  26. 11 October, 2017 at 8:06 amdylan winter says:

    Thanks Paul on all counts. I tried uploading it to vimeo but the system choked on it. The files are getting too big for my connection to vimeo. Youtube is about to kill another competitor I think. I am afraid you will have to rip the youtube version.

    I want to stick with vimeo… but I feel that they are being squeezed for bandwidth too. Blimey the tec is moving fast.

  27. 11 October, 2017 at 8:41 amPaul says:

    No worries D, I will rip it overnight then, cheers,

  28. 11 October, 2017 at 8:45 amdylan winter says:

    the good thing about vimeo was that it made the actual file that I uploaded available. Youtube will compress it. Keeping up with the tec is tough.

  29. 12 October, 2017 at 8:46 pmTom Young says:

    Lovely film, Dylan. My wife and I watched it. We love the way you give us a taste of the coast, boats, buildings and people, along the way.

    Looking forward to your final Scotland pieces. Thanks, Tom

  30. 12 October, 2017 at 9:14 pmdylan winter says:

    thanks Tom

    I am currently rendering a 4K version for uploading to youtube


  31. 13 October, 2017 at 10:39 amPaul says:

    Managed to download it. Thanks for sharing a very peaceful and relaxing sailing :-) very nice. Where is part 2?

  32. 13 October, 2017 at 11:11 amdylan winter says:

    I have not started making it yet. I will see if this one covers itself. So far it has earned about $340 and been watched 350 times – so that is amazing. An average of $1 per view. I am currently uploading it as a 4K file to youtube – which takes 30 hours. I will release it there where it will be watched around 8,000 times in the first six weeks. The revenue is an unknown at this stage but it will be nothing like the early adopters on here.


  33. 13 October, 2017 at 10:33 pmDavid Priest says:

    Enjoyed that mate. I wouldn’t worry about comparing East Anglia with the West of Scotland, both look fantastic. Although I get the benefits of living in Scotland I do miss the calmness and big skies you get in Southern England, even the bathing huts (wipes tear from eye) I’ve just been eating onions honestly..

  34. 15 October, 2017 at 11:53 pmGiles says:

    It is now late October and last night I spent at anchor beyond Kirby Creek amongst the seals towards Quay Lane. In my view there is nowhere in the world so peaceful and remote whilst being so close to the hustle and bustle of a major city. Don’t tell where it actually is, we’ll have crowds on our doorstep.
    Beautiful film Dylan, but I take issue with you; my daughters went to RHS and they can sail pretty well! Yes, they take girls now and even day pupils – whatever next!
    One more thing, I believe you are becoming a bit of a curmudgeon. I don’t water ski, I don’t jet ski and I don’t use a mobo, but these people have to go somewhere and if it happens to be a roped off area at the bottom of the Deben which they use only during summer months and then only after they have got up and had a hearty breakfast then, so what? Let them play, we’ve got the rest of the river and most of the North Sea to play with. The only time I really grumble is when a thoughtless mobo goes past at speed when I am trying to get off the tender on to the mother boat. It sometimes hurts…

  35. 16 October, 2017 at 8:00 amdylan winter says:

    I agree on most counts. You do keep your boat in an amazing spot. My data/comment on the sailing skills if RHS is obviously historical and based solely on their team racing- I am sure the place has produced some excellent seamen. We used to have team racing fixtures against Holbrook and the Navy at Ganges. We stopped because the races were always so one sided. As for girls at Holbrook – Wolverstone, my old school, has been entirely taken over by private school girls – lock stock and barrel.

    Finally to the skiboats on the Deben – just like the hunters…. wrong thing in in the wrong place. To use a river like the Deben as a shooting gallery and race track is a criminal waste of a magnificent environmental resource.

    Both activities have a massive impact on the local environment. Even the mud is a different consistency where the ski boats race up and down at 25mph. The shooters chase the birds away for months on end.

    The geese are tentatively returning… but will soon be blasted away by the privacy seeking men with guns and cammo.


  36. 17 October, 2017 at 9:24 pmMick says:

    What a fantastic video, I absolutely loved it !!
    I have crossed the Deben bar a few times including in the dark of night (created a gps track to follow).
    Never sailed across always chickened out and put the engine on lol

    Also the rest of your video, brilliant, such great work and I can only imagine the effort involved in creating such a great video. Have to confess out of sheer selfish indulgence I would have loved to have ended with you tucked up with a glass of wine and immersed with your reflections of the day. Well done superb video. thank you so very much !!! very reminiscent of your your earlier works, 100% pure quality xx

  37. 18 October, 2017 at 6:07 amdylan winter says:

    thanks Mick,

    trust me…. every sailing day ends up with a glass of wine…maybe more


  38. 18 October, 2017 at 9:44 amdylan winter says:

    thanks Mick…. I live in a great place for gentle sailing. Very easy and peaceful.


  39. 23 October, 2017 at 12:12 amGiles says:

    Hi Dylan
    With regard to Ransome, you have to read his biography. It makes so much sense of his children’s books and how he came to write them. He was an amazing bloke who suffered from very poor eyesight and a few other limiting factors during the First World War. Didn’t stop him from being a great foreign correspondent for the Daily News in Russia where he witnessed the uprising of March 1917 in St Petersburg. He was also a spy for the forerunner of MI5, befriending Lenin and Trotsky. He had a nightmare of a first marriage, the second wasn’t too great either, so he forgot facts and let himself slip into the fantasies of sailing for children. It was Swallows and Amazons which first fired my sailing ambitions, set in the Lake District. Now I am lucky enough to sail in his Secret Waters. His books are still great, if a little simplistic, but they tell of a time of innocence and joy. I for one am a fan. Glad you are slightly changing your mind.

  40. 23 October, 2017 at 8:49 amdylan winter says:

    the trouble is Giles, I came to him too late. I should have read them when I was nine. I grew up in a family of sailors with boats all around me. My three older brothers – three, six and nine years older than me were real flesh and blood sailing heroes to me. The oldest two read the books and still sing their praises. I have tried to go back to the books since. I read Racundra …..which I rather enjoyed…. but bad mouthing the boat builder and sniping at the paid help mades me uncomfortable. I know that there are many, many old blokes who loved the books as kids and still love them now. They can wallow in the emotions they stirred as dreaming youngsters. Most of the books are on my shelves and I have tried and tried again.

  41. 27 October, 2017 at 1:08 amGiles says:

    All I can say then is come down to Hamford Water, or even better, up Kirby Creek beyond Honeypot Island towards Kirby Quay, drop the hook, light the candles and settle back with a glass of good whisky and read ‘Secret Water’. Pure magic!

  42. 27 October, 2017 at 1:09 amGiles says:

    PS never mind the glass – make that a bottle. Everything will seem wonderful…

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