Monthly Archives: August 2021

Log Entry 16th August 2021

Departed Eyemouth Harbour around 06.00 Monday 9th August with mixed feelings – we hope to remember the fishing vessel that gave way when we entered Eyemouth Harbour and the HM who instructed the returning fishing vessels to wait before we cleared the Harbour when leaving. Prayers were answered for some south in the wind when we left the mooring which pulled the bow round to turn through 180 degrees – the commercial cats had moored up against our bow and stern as their final gesture. It was notable that one of the cats had only used two lines to secure their vessel.

We had light variable winds forecast which gave some concern has to how long the passage across the Firth of Forth would be. Infact we made reasonable progress with sail and engine, there was an unmarked wind farm development on the Navionics chart – but was shown on the Visit My Harbour charts and Live Charts. There were some curious maneuvers made be a vessel constrained by their draft around the wind farm which placed us inside the development but no one appeared overly concerned. The Isle of May was sighted in the distance, and then the mark for the Bell rock and the mast further East.

There was a minor panic at one point as the bilge alarm for the heads sounded, there was no obvious site ingress of water, and when pumped out with our battery portable pump there were clear signs of soap bubbles. We were unable to work out how two buckets of water had go into the bilge – but it was fresh water – don’t ask how we discovered that.

Lunon Bay was to be our anchorage for the night and we had the anchor set by 20.00 BST, followed by tea and bunks. The anchorage was a little uncomfortable but provided a welcome rest. The anchorage bay was departed on the 10th August 2021 around 06.30 BST with Dolphins spotted playing. There was little or no wind and we drifted along the coast with the engine on tick over. We just managed to make the anchorage at Stonehaven before the south going tide was in full flow. We had the anchor set for around 13.00 BST, which gave the opportunity to take lunch and have a rest before taking the next tide.

The anchor was weighed around 16.30 BST even though there was still some south in the tide it meant we would get the full north going tide. There was a friendly wave from an inbound yacht to Stonehaven. The winds were light and variable but we did get some westerly wind to get us across Aberdeen bay. The forecasts were changing every time they came through, but no stronger winds were forecast until the following afternoon – and it was clear we were not going to make Peterhead before the tide turned. We decided to anchor at Cruden Bay, there was little or no wind as we set the anchor around 01.00 BST. The next weather forecast suggested the wind could get up before the previous forecast – we decided to take some rest before proceeding to Peterhead. It was just that some rest not sleep as we both constantly were assessing if the wind was getting up. The alarm must have woken us from a doze around 05.00 BST and thankfully we were lying in a very light SE wind – we should really have taken our opportunity and set off, but the call of a warm bunk tempted us to take another hour. Once again when the alarm sounded we felt comfortable even though the wind was picking up – the crew offered sausages for breakfast – an the next hint we should have moved was the crew felt a little sick – the sausages were still calling so the skipper stepped in, but as the cooker burner was being pricked it started to feel a little bumpy. Breakfast was postponed and attention focused to departing the anchorage. When the snubbing line was removed from the anchor chain, the real state of the sea was felt, the bow was burring itself in waves – thank goodness for the life jackets which require full immersion before inflating. Our hand signals worked perfectly as did the windlass, now named Georgia. As the bow dipped Georgia pull the slack chain in, and once free we headed out of the anchorage full steam ahead. Even though the wind was only F4 we made slow progress, and the rocks either side of us ceased to become protection but a possible threat – luck was on our side and we gained some sea room. It was raining and we were wet and cold, but safe and only had a few miles to make Peterhead. We should have left at fist light, but were able to demonstrate we can leave an anchorage quickly when required. Once a couple of miles from Peterhead we called up as required and gave our intentions to enter the marina. The wind was actually the top end of a 4 and touched 5 on occasions but we were safely tied up by 10.30 BST on the 11th August 2021. The sausages which still lay in the pan were cooked and eaten for lunch.

Eyemouth harbour showing the etnrance

Log Entry 7th August 2021

Later on the 5th August 2021 we had another visit from the Skipper of Sagittarius inquiring what was going on, when I told him that the Harbour Master knew nothing of the request to move up from our current berth and further more was told to stay where we were, he turned round and said well I am going to moor alongside your boat. He simply walked off and refused to discuss the matter. The HM was phoned and he declined to come down to the pontoons and said he would phone the skipper. We heard nothing more and no movements took place. This morning however, we found that our electric had been unplugged – hey ho what friendly people.

We have a new neighbour alongside ‘Bruce’, who was kind enough to hand write some passage notes for cruising around sky – what a difference between people.

We are looking to move on as soon as the weather allows, tomorrow looks a possibility but Monday may be kinder. The sea state is currently moderate, and with light winds that may be a bit uncomfortable, we plan to review the weather in the morning.

Log Entry 5th August 2021

Departed Holy Island 3rd August around 11.00, slightly later than planned as the bilge alarm had sounded. On the Sunday night the water intake filter had blocked which caused the engine to alarm for overheating. The filter was cleared and that appeared to sort the problem. The overheating had in some way made the exhaust hose a slack fit on the silencer, once the jubilee clip was nipped up the leak appeared to be sorted. Relieved to have sorted the problem the transits were followed out of Holy, there was an impressive tall ship anchored right on the transit line and just outside the main channel which was a bit of a pain. Once we rounded the tall ship the sails were hoisted and with a force 2 – 3 NE wind we were comfortably making 3 knots against the tide.

The Harbour Master at Eyemouth indicated we could probably get in on any state of the neap tide which was reassuring as by 16.30 we were on the leading line for Eyemouth. We had plenty of water and a trawler even waited for us to clear the entrance. The Harbour Master greeted us and directed us to a berth alongside and yellow catamaran, “Sagittarius” , with the instruction to move across to the other side of the harbour in the morning when another visiting yacht left. Not what we wanted to hear, but the following morning we were up for 07.00 waiting for the boat to leave, and when they did we moved across to lay alongside an older blue hull wooden boat. After returning from the laundry the owner of the blue boat arrived and was not pleased to have a visitor lying next to him, he calmed down a little when we advised the berth was allocated by the Harbour Master. In fact he was very chatty and filled us in on some of the local history and politics. When we were back on board we heard the owner complaining to the Harbour Master who came down and very politely asked us to move back on the berth Sagittarius had been on. The wind had us pressed against the blue hull boat but we managed to spring off and get across to the allocated berth with the help of the crew from an orange inflatable work boat. No sooner had we tied up when the skipper of the orange work boat approached us to indicate we would have to move in between two other visitors, a white catamaran and Gordon’s blue boat. He cited the reason being that Sagittarius and another work boat would need the berth. I politely responded by saying I would happily move when the Harbour Master asked me to. I invited the skipper to call the Harbour Master which he mumbled that he would probably be at lunch. The conversation ended by me thanking him for the help from his crew in getting me moored up. We sat a little anxious as to what would happen when the work boats returned, when they did it was uneventful. However, once tied up the Skipper from Sagittarius approached saying we would have to move at 9.00am as he had disabled passengers. Again I politely pointed out we had been allocated the berth by the HM, and I would move when he directed us to do so, the Skipper mumbled he would go and see what his boss had to say, but he did not return.

So this morning we woke a little anxious, but 9.00am passed without event, in fact Sagittarius did not move from where she lay alongside another work boat. However, when having coffee, we think it was the Skipper from a vessel called ‘Oceanic’ asked us to move back towards the other visitors in the berth the orange inflatable work boat had left. On two occasions he confirmed these were the instructions of the HM. The HM was contacted by phone and knew nothing of the instructions so we stayed put and await the next development.

The photograph below shows Eyemouth bay and in the background you can see the significant development work taking place related to servicing a wind farm near by.

Log Entry 1st August 2021

We departed Grimsby 21st July 2021 5.00am BST ultimately bound for Inverness. Before departing we had to replace both the AIS and outboard – quite a dint to the wallet. On the promise of light easterly winds we hoped to be sailing once crossing the traffic separation scheme. Sadly there was some north in the wind which meant we couldn’t make the desire course. The wind then dropped and we had the engine on tick over carried mainly by the tide. Later in the after noon there was some easterly wind which helped get closer to Flamborough Head. The wind died as we approached Flamborough Head and the sea was lumpy and confused even though we had an offing of 1 nm, carried mainly by the tide we anchored in Filey Bay at around 21.00.

The following morning, 22nd July 2021 at approximately 06.00 BST we departed Filey Bay with only light airs and basically drifted up to Robin Hoods Bay with the engine on tick over, where we anchored at approximately 13.00 BST. Ah yes, we had fitted an electric windlass and it worked superbly – worth drilling those extra holes in the deck. It was a bit lumpy at anchor with the variable winds but safe.

We departed Robin Hoods Bay on the 23rd July 2021 at approximately 07.00 BST, again little or no wind and we drifted up on the tide with the engine on tick-over, anchoring in Runswick Bay at about 10.30 BST. It provided a little more shelter than Robin Hoods Bay, but was still a little lumpy with the light SE winds. We had hopped for the night at anchor, however the wind increased to SE force 3 – 4 and was forecast to back to E NE, so we decided to depart at around 20.30 BST after tea and head either for Hartlepool or Blyth. We were pleased with our decision as the winds increased to a steady force 4 E then NE. This gave us the opportunity to sail across the Tees bay towards Blyth – it was hard to stay awake and the Crew provided a welcome watch so some rest could be taken as it got light.

We were all tied up in Blyth for 09.00 BST along with a safe arrival drink before some proper sleep. Blyth has been a favourite for a number of years, but the lack of showers and toilet facilities makes it less favourable this year. There is still a warm welcome although some members felt a little distant.

We studied the weather daily and it looked like there might be an opportunity to depart Tuesday or Wednesday. On Tuesday morning we discovered we had no electric and the house batteries were nearly dead. Reviewing the logging software we saw that the batteries had only provided 40 amps before being nearly fully discharged. We decided to take advantage of being able to have a delivery to the marina so ordered two more 100 amp batteries, ouch. These did not arrive until the following after-noon so we decided to depart on Thursday bound for Holy Island. We had discovered Eyemouth was closed to visiting Yachts until either the 2nd or 3rd August.

We departed Blyth 29th July 2021 at about 07.00 BST, we had the promise of SW or W winds which should have given us a nice sail, however the winds soon shifted for W to NW. We weren’t sure we would make Holy Island as the tide would turn and then we would struggle to make progress. As we approached the Farn Islands we decided to use the wind to give as much Northly ground as we could as we could then come back on ourselves with the tide and wind. It did work as the strong tide did take us North however it was very lumpy, even though we gave Longstone a good 1.5 nm offing. As we came closer inshore there was still some tide taking us North and no wind so with the engine on tick over we made steady progress and anchored safely in Holy Island at around 16.30 BST. It was beautiful and calm – and gave an excellent nights sleep.

On Friday 30th July 2021, we noticed that we were lying very close to the anchor buoy and that didn’t change when the tide changed. We discovered the chain was fouled, thankfully with the tripping line we were able to get the anchor back onboard and with some maneuvering under engine we were able to free the chain – thank goodness, well the language was more colourful at the time.

On Saturday 31st July 2021 we saw both the other boats anchored in Holy Island had pumped their dinghy’s up and were going ashore. Gordon off one of the boats offered to take us ashore but we declined as this was time to try the new outboard and derrick.

The derrick and outboard worked a treat and we made it ashore by the slipway, a little worried as Gordon had chained his outboard to a cleat on the slipway. We covered ours with the dinghy and kept our fingers crossed whilst ashore.

We enjoyed a rather expensive couple of pints in a pub near the slipway.

The dinghy and engine were still there on our return and we were able to make it safely back ashore.

The new outboard and derrick

Holy Island Harbour with upturned boats in background, used as sheds.