I thought of Swallows and Amazons when I considered my plan to sail along the River Orwell. Arthur Ransome's eighth book in his series of children's books, Secret Water is set in and around Hamford Water in Essex, close to the resort town of Walton-on-the-Naze. It is an area of tidal salt marshes, and low lying islands. Ransome sailed the Nancy Blackett from the River Orwell to Flushin. Our trip was planned with Top Sail and the focus was Birdlife. We hoped to see a variety of birds described as "of international importance, such as little terns and wintering dark-bellied Brent geese, wildfowl and waders. Weather conditions made sailing challenging with a force 7 wind so we were unable to broach the Stour River channel or get nearer the banks. Photography was challenging as the birds were far away. Cormorants were in abundance as was juvenile gulls. We sawa few Mediterranean gulls, Oystercatchers, Snipe, Herons, Green Shank and some Seals. I must remember the recommendation from a fellow passenger, that Mistley situated along the Stour is an ideal place to closely observe the bird life.There was interesting architecture in derelict and newer constructions in view as we made our way to the boat. We passed through a lock and alongside different industries until we reached Felixstowe Port with the huge tankers with many containers. We watched some being loaded and stacked.