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Archive | July, 2012

Lindisfarne to Berwick in a Strong Wind…

Steve and Northern Soul

I slept well on the yacht Northern Soul. In the morning, enjoying the feeling of being dry and warm, I lay in the forward cabin thinking about the day ahead whilst halyards clanked against the mast. I was grateful for Steve’s kind offer of shelter on his yacht Northern Soul, without which I would have [...]

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Amble to Lindisfarne…

Stacey and the Ribs

Saturday dawned sunny with a promise of a real summer day. I took a breakfast of cereal and toast alone at the B&B, before anyone else was about, and departed for Coquet Yacht Club, carrying two drybags over my shoulder. After loading up and rigging the boat in the sun I pushed off. A light [...]

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Paused at Amble…

Craster & North Sea Surf

Having just reached Scotland, and looking back with a little distance of time and space between, it seems my time in Amble was a low point in my journey around the coast. I knew that long sails, challenging conditions, getting ashore and doing this solo* would be physically and mentally arduous but I didn’t reckon [...]

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North Shields to Amble

Druridge Bay

I usually sleep well on boats, so on Monday morning I awoke on Ed’s yacht Samphire feeling refreshed. Katherine and Ed had sent details of local physiotherapists. A few phone calls later and I’d arranged an appointment with Swiss Physio in Tyneside for 12.15. Lately, increasing knee pain (and some hip pain) has caused me [...]

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Progress Review and Re-assessment…

As the half way point in time approaches I’m nearing one third of the distance from Southampton, around Britain via the Caledonian Canal across the Highlands of Scotland, and back to Southampton. Given what’s promising to be the worst summer for a hundred years or more, I’m not dissatisfied with progress, but the delays due [...]

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Hartlepool to the Tyne…

Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club

Newspapers this morning talked of a normal summer resuming, gradually. Let’s hope so. This strange summer has seems more like winter at times and my slow progress northward in the face of frequent northerly and easterly winds had begun to become dispiriting at times. Determined to lift my mood and experience a little of Hartlepool [...]

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Runswick Bay to Hartlepool…

Keith and I had sailed into Runswick bay, the day before. Our route had taken us down the middle of the small bay, which is surrounded by higher rolling pasture land on all sides. We’d carefully steered a path between the headlands either side of the bay, where the large swells (innocuous at sea) were [...]

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Scarborough and Fair Winds to Runswick Bay…

Scarborough Breakfast

Sunlight streamed in through the windows. Keith Morris and I were looking out over Scarborough harbour. A full English breakfast needed eating downstairs in the Ivy House Café… This was followed by a short walk over the road to retrieve the sailing canoes from the fairground. Sadly, it’s no longer possible to transport sailing canoes [...]

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Amid big waves and fairground dodgems…

Scarborough Fair

Keith and I had hoped to set out for Whitby on Tuesday, but waves were still crashing over the line of rocks (called the Brigg) at the north end of the bay. The surfers website, Magic Seaweed was still predicting five foot high waves. Sheltered from the continuing rain in Keith’s camper van, I brought [...]

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Filey Sailing Club

I like the convention, or maybe superstition, of titling a yacht log entry about a destination with ‘Towards’. It conveys a sense of aspiration rather than certainty and, for the superstitious, avoids tempting fate. This must have been all the more real in the days of sailing ships without engines and with very limited ability [...]

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Around Flamborough Head and on to Filey…

Flamborough Head

More fog meant Friday was another day ashore. Jim and David returned me to The Manor House before returning to London, and I occupied myself with writing in a beautiful book lined study with an open fire. Such is the peculiarity of this weather that it did not seem at all strange to be tucked [...]

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Fog off Flamborough…

In Fog 30M from Flamborough Head

After the rigours of the previous three days I couldn’t resist a lazy morning relaxing in the sun with coffee, catching up on emails and blogging. I’d slept comfortably upstairs in the clubhouse on a large soft sofa. The large windows looked out over the bay and in the distance I could see Flamborough Head, [...]

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Saltfleet Haven to Bridlington

Saltfleet Haven to Bridlington

For some reason I didn’t sleep well. I was aware of the pattering of rain on the tent from time to time as I awoke from time to time and  tried to get comfortable in my sleeping bag on a Thermarest inflatable matt. When I crept out of the tent next to the River Eau, [...]

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Wainfleet Haven to Saltfleet Haven

Stacey tied up at Wainfleet

I was woken from my slumber on the floor of the Skegness Yacht Club by the murmur of voices followed by the nasal roar of an outboard being briefly tested out of the water. John, Mike and Alex had returned at 5.00 am, as promised, to tow Alloa back into the haven. However, by the [...]

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Ashore for 3 Days in Hunstanton and then Across the Wash

An interlude between one spell of strong winds and another had allowed me to enjoy a pleasant sail from Wells to Hunstanton (see previous post), but the forecast for the next few days was poor – with strong winds and periods of heavy rain. However, Hunstanton Sailing Club had said I could store Stacey next to their clubhouse and [...]

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A day in Wells Next the Sea and then on to Hunstanton…

Approaching Hunstanton

The campsite and caravan park at Wells, with hundreds of mobile homes, wouldn’t have been my first choice for a stop, but as such places go, it wasn’t bad. There were plenty of trees to break up the rows of caravans and the showers and laundry facilities were good. Yet again, there was a strong [...]

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Winterton Ness to Wells – 38 NM and a very long day

Wells Beach

At 5.30 am, after the trials of the evening and night before it was difficult to emerge from the warm cocoon of 2 layers of Merino wool, a fleece, sleeping bag and bivi bag. But as the sun rising over the sea gradually warmed the day I rose from my sandy bed on the beach, [...]

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Northward from Lowestoft, and a Mishap

c/o AW: Departing Lowestoft

I’d arrived in Lowestoft late into Saturday evening feeling very tired after the toughest passage yet, from Shotley. It hadn’t been so much the duration of the sail, less than eight hours, but more the physical and mental demands of steering and balancing the boat in the midst of large following waves and a fresh [...]

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