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 by train in the guards van* but what other sort of sailing boat can be sailed in the open sea and then stored in a fairground for the night before setting off again the next day? We enjoyed our short stay at Ivy House and much appreciated Alison’s kind hospitality and unusual home for the boats overnight.
Watched by an audience leaning over the railings above the slipway, we re-assembled our boats and launched into the harbour. Before departure, Capt. Doug Shannon, the Assistant Harbourmaster had come over to say the harbour would waive any fees for landing / launching – for which we were very grateful and would like to say thanks.
Paddling through the crowded harbour brought us back out into the bay, and thence past the headland into large but long slow rollers coming from the North. Unlike the waves of the day before, this swell posed no obstacle to our journey. We paddle-sailed for an hour. Then, with the breeze from the South-West gradually filling in, we ate our rolls whilst slowly sailing. Gradually we picked up speed as we alternately rose and fell on the small moving hills of the rollers, whilst ploughing watery furrows northward and parallel to the sunlit cliffs.
From time to time Keith and his boat would completely disappear behind a big wave, with only the top half of his sail visible. I snapped away with the camera, trying to capture this scene. Keith posted messages on Facebook and checked our position from time to time on the Canoe-Sailor blog. A narrowly averted collision reminded us to pay more attention to sailing and less to electronic media!
Was The Canoe Boys ever like like this? Their hand written accounts posted, from various ports in the Hebrides during the late summer of 1934, to the Daily Record might now be called a blog.
As our speed increased to an unexpected 4 to 5 knots and we neared Whitby, it seemed a waste to not make more use of this fair wind and sunlit day. We passed the ruins of Whitby Abbey, silhouetted against the sky on the headland just south of the town, and resolved to press on to Runswick Bay. Five miles further on, our course took us mid way between the Runswick Bay twin headlands where the long rollers reared up in shallow water and crashed, white, onto the the rocky shores. The north western part of the bay provided a safe corner to land free of surf.
Dave and Hilary were there to greet us, and we hauled our bags (well, mostly my bags as Keith was travelling considerably lighter than me) to the Cockpit House B&B perched on the side of the hill above the tiny harbour and rescue boat station.