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.

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