Category Archives: Sailing

Log Entry 4th September 2018

Automatic logging on the computer makes it very easy to become lapse in writing up a log as this late entry demonstrates. We departed Hartlepool on the 23rd August at around 11.00am, we locked out with Tees Soundsman a motor cruiser from our home port. We had left our pontoon quite nicely springing off the finger – it almost made it look like we knew what we were doing. We had the promise of a W or SW wind force 4 – 5 occasionally 6. The forecast held true and we had a cracking sail past Whitby at which point it was clear we would make Filey bay before dark which meant anchoring for some sleep was possible – though pressing on would mean we would get to the Humber early morning and could anchor for some sleep before free flow into Grimsby. Our decision was made when the next forecast arrived – the wind was now forecast to be W or SW 5 – 6 occasionally 7. This would probably mean we would arrive at the Humber in the dark with a strong wind or near gale. Decision made Filey anchorage for some sleep and depart at first light to take on the challenge. The crew took the helm to bring us into Filey bay and we tucked ourselves in a little closer than before because if we chose to say longer than the night some NW wind was forecast for the following 24 hours. In fact the wind dropped over night, and when the alarm went off at 3.30 the last thing we felt like doing was getting up to sail in the strong winds. So what was the motivation to press on, well after the NW winds there was some strong Southerly winds forecast which would have meant heading back towards Scarborough – and it was bank holiday weekend – which might have meant no spare berths. So motivation was found and we departed around 5.00am. The winds were light, we had two reefs in the main and together with the large Yankee there was enough tide to takes round Flamborough head. The wind started to pick up, but the wind speed instrument started to play up only working intermittently – instinct soon dictated that the big Yankee needed to come down leaving the Staysail and main driving us along at 5 knots plus. We soon picked up Spurn Pilots on the radio which made it feel like we were nearly home – with that we also heard the wind reports at Spurn Head were 6 / 7 West, something to look forward to. As we got closer to Spurn there were a number of squalls with winds of 34 knots – the boat seemed happy and the sail plan coped well leaving us nicely balanced. As we approached the squalls became more frequent, with the traffic separation scheme we would have to motor part of the recommended track. This was easier said than done, so first the mainsail came down and then the Staysail with the Crew doing excellent work on the helm. The decision to avoid the outer binks had already been made, but it was very slow progress head to wind, as we rounded the point the tide started to help us on our way – but at the same time there was another heavy squall of 38 knots of wind with hail stones the size of peas bringing with it zero visibility. With the crews help the chart plotter was given shelter and we continued to make our way to Grimsby. We may not have been fast but I have no complaints about our Yanmar 3GMF as it did well to give us steerage and make way in the winds we had. A more seaman like approach might have been to sail across to Hail Sand using the outer most precautionary area – we would have missed the tide but could have anchored off Hail Sand – that said there were those NW winds forecast which would have made that anchorage unsafe. Perhaps we should have stayed in Hartlepool longer or explored some other anchorages = lets leave that for next season when hopefully we will have an electric windlass. In any event we made it safely to Grimsby for free flow and now have the season next year to look forward to.

Log Entry 20th August 2018

Departed Blyth 14th August 2018 at around 10.00 am bound for Hartlepool.  A reef in the main with just the staysail in anticipation of the F5  W, SW which was forecast.  A couple of small fishing boats called up to give directions to avoid their drift nets  We watched on as a Dutch boat seemed to ignore the frantic gestures of the men in the fishing boat signalling with an oar. The fishing boat put their engine on in full astern, at which the Dutch boat twigged and altered coarse at the last minute – incident avoided.     In addition to the radio call, local advice had been given in the Royal Northumberland Yacht club to steer at a salmon fishing vessel as they will then use an  oar to indicate which side to pass on.   Apparently drift net salmon will be a thing of the past, as allegedly the Government have bought up all the licenses so the salmon get into the rivers – true or not there are certainly fewer vessels fishing for salmon with drift nets.

The wind died, and the next forecast  gave a  F4 S  or SW wind – fortunately it came through as the SW.  We had the large Yankee up for a while before the wind picked up to a 5, and then dropped back to only having the staysail.  In the end we had a good sail, and arrived at Hartlepool just before high water.   The wind gave us a few challenges in the lock, and despite asking for a suitable berth for a long keel yacht with no bow thruster we were given a berth that required a turn against the prop – we  managed to tie up safely ready for safe arrival drink.

Yesterday we visited the Hartlepool Amateur Radio club at the Hartlepool light house,  as there is a lighthouse event  each year on the third weekend in August.  We were given a warm welcome and asked to join their 2M net in the evening which we did to pass on our thanks.

Just looking for a suitable weather window to take us on the next leg home, via a couple of anchorages – most likely avoiding Whitby and Scarborough.

 

 

Log Entry 9th August 2018

Departed Holy Island at around 14.30, bound for Beadnell Bay, slight hick up on the tidal calculations which left us pushing tide with the wind on the nose. Not good, and we made slow progress under engine. Hugging the coast again we managed to skip the tide and take a look at Beadnell bay, the wind was variable forecast to be SW or W – which would be fine, however the actual wind was South and there was a little swell. After taking a look we headed for the contingency of Embleton bay, which gave us more space and some latitude for wind direction – of course the wind then came from the WSW, hey ho. There is something quite grand though being at anchor under a castle – Dunstanburgh Castle.

As to the matter of the anchor dragging last night, that may not have been the case, because the following morning we had exactly the same track as the day before when the tide changed. On passage today a light came on, the GPS antenna is at the stern, the anchor is tethered to the bow, which gives another 22 odd meters when the boat swings through 180 degrees – something to take into consideration next time.

Our anchorage tonight is shown below.

Log Entry 8th August 2018

Departed Eyemouth around 09.00, bound for Holy Island, a  pleasant and non eventful sail with winds up to force 5. Arrived Holy Island just before high water. Enjoyed the afternoon sat in the sun watching the world go by.   The forecast was for the wind to drop, however, it increased to force 6 at times.

Its just before midnight now and on anchor watch as the anchor dragged slightly and the tide will turn again in about an hour – the joys of sailing.

Log Entry 7th August 2018

A great time was had at Peterhead with visits to Aberdeen, Boddam and Fraserbrough.  It appears you either love or hate Peterhead, well we fell into the former category – perhaps influenced by the fact there is easy berthing on arrival, cheap rates the longer you stop, and friendly people.

On one of our walks we had the good fortune to meet Peter who was fishing on the river Ugie, he kindly shared some local knowledge, and next time Peterhead is visited a day permit will be purchased for some fly fishing.

Time passed, and although there were winds to take us to the Orkney Isles, there seemed to be a lack of wind that might take us South.  Day after day of South West wind, with some South gales thrown in.  Finally a weather window appeared on the 3rd August and we took our chance, and left around 17.00.  The winds were light NW and progress was slow. The wind died, so there was slow motoring at our usually speed of around 3 knots.  Then the forecast changed to W or SW !!  Fortunately we caught the West and were making for Holy Island.  The night past, the Day came and finally were were across the Firth of Fourth.  The crew kindly took a watch and some sleep was had.  The wind died again and instead of Holy Island we made for Eyemouth and were tied up around 18.00 – Much needed sleep was welcomed.

We aim to depart Eyemouth tomorrow, 8th August, bound for Holy Island again.

Memories from Peterhead:

Boddam

 

Fraserbrough

Log Entry 22nd July 2018

A little sad to leave Eyemouth, which was affordable and a very friendly Harbour.

We departed Eyemouth Tuesday 17th May at around 7.00am bound for Arbroath knowing we may have to find somewhere to anchor on passage to align with the lock times.

The forecast was for  variable winds mainly SW, in fact it was more W, which made it a little tight for Arbroath so we made for Peterhead.  In doing so the wind of course then dropped, and we were fortunate enough to find a peaceful anchorage at the North end of Montrose bay:

We departed the following morning just before 9.00, bound for Peterhead.  We were treated to a pod of dolphins escorting us from the Bay which was amazing.   Although there was not much wind the tide was carrying us well,  and the views of the cliffs, and birds and seals was absolutely incredible.

We past Stonehaven, and saw where we might anchor.  We should perhaps of taken the opportunity anchor and spend the night off Stonehaven as the tide turned and we had a hard time making anyway – but managed to avoid more of the tide by getting close in shore.  This allowed us to evaluate some of the smaller anchorages in the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club pilot. As it turned out these were a little small and or I did not have the skill to take advantage of them as the charts did not show depths and your reliant on the pilot notes.

There was supposed to be an anchorage in Nigg bay just before Aberdeen, but alas this was being developed to expand Aberdeen port – and no room for yachts.   A wind farm has also appeared in Aberdeen bay – along with a guard vessel which called us up to give more clearance – so much for being able to sail through Wind farms.

We also had an interesting experience with a commercial vessel whose course over ground appeared to be at right angles to his fore and aft line – anyway we managed to avoid the ship without incident.

It was getting dark and one of our options was Bay of Cruden which were pleased to find just after midnight. The anchor narrowly avoided taking fingers with it – a reminder of the care which should be taken.

It was peaceful and there is surely not much better experience than to arrive in darkness and then wake safely in a beautiful anchorage:

 

After a leisurely breakfast we departed Bay of Cruden around 11.00am and made our way round to Peterhead.  We tried several times to call but there was not response, but as we approached we were called and asked when we intended to call. After an explanation we had tried to call without success we were given a warm welcome and tied up around 13.30 in Peterhead Bay Marina.

 

Log Entry 27th June 2018

Departed Holy Island around 10.00 am BST bound for Eyemouth. Anxious ride over the bar at Holy Island but made it without any issues only to be faced with fog. The new Raymarine radar with display at the help was much appreciated and picked up targets which were tracked until visible at less than 1/2 mile.
Light winds but we arrived safely at Eyemouth around 16.00 hrs BST – despite best efforts the main halyard got caught round the radar reflector again – freed once tied up.

Log Entry 25th June 2018

An exciting night at anchor in the Kettle as the anchor dragged, but seemed to reset. The following morning when we departed for Holy Island the reason for the problems with the anchor became apparent – Kelp a massive chunk on the chain. We were lucky, next time the anchor will be lifted and then re-set.

Arrived in Holy Island early afternoon today, lovely light winds and very settled. Anchor has been buoyed on advice from the pilot.

Later in the afternoon we lifted the anchor and moved a little further out – good move as we got an onshore wind later.