Sugar 'n' Spice – Weblog 8

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At Home in Ipswich, UK




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Levington, Suffolk UK

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Thursday 15th Aug.  A bus ride N along the coast to the picturesque fishing village of Staithes, unsurprisingly home to an artists’ colony for years.  Narrow streets scramble up steep cliffs, cottages jostle for space & cobles, the traditional local boat, bob in harbour & beck.



Fortified by lunch we took the coast path (Cleveland Way) S up out of the village past Port Mulgrave (built solely to service an ironstone mine & destroyed in WW2 by the army so it could not be used by the Germans) & on to Runswick Bay, our tuesday anchorage.



Walking back UP to the bus stop for Whitby we realised the mistake of walking DOWN to the Bay itself!  A family of swallows nesting in the bus shelter entertained us – they were totally oblivious to us humans.

Friday (16th Aug).  After an early bridge Arcarius, a Southerly 42, was rafted alongside.  They too were going round the UK, but taking a lot of time, & plan to arrive in the Orwell, our local river, in several months time to overwinter.

Our original plan for the day to kayak up the river Esk from the marina was scuppered by the discovery that about a mile up the water was licensed & we would probably have to use hire boats for that bit.  So instead we set off to cycle the Cinder Trail, a disused railway path, now part of National Cycle Route 1 (again).  Leaving Whitby via the spectacular Larpool viaduct across the Esk plans were scuppered again - by a bee - which flew into Doug’s face & stung his lip.  This swelled hugely so we returned to Whitby to get it checked out.  Fortunately the patient recovered after swallowing some antihistamine tablets.

Sat (17th Aug).  Off early to do (successfully this time) the Cinder Trail as far as Robin Hood’s Bay, couldn’t resist walking down to the pretty village, before returning to the boat in time to beat the forecast bad weather.



A very nice ride, lovely views over the coast, & even the climb of over 200ft was relatively painless because of the “railway” gradient.  About 15 M. 

The wind & rain duly arrived, but we dodged the worst of the wet to go out for fish & chips (compulsory in Whitby) & then on to watch some performers in a Folk Festival.

Sunday 18th August.  We took a short stroll along the Esk as far as the viaduct.

The rain had passed & the wind was decreasing as forecast, so we opted to depart at the 12.30 bridge lift to ensure we had daylight for the approach to Lowestoft, our intended destination around 24 hrs away.  The harbour was busy with the yacht racing fleet returning through the bridge, rowing 4’s racing further down & the general fishing & pleasure boat traffic.

Outside the harbour conditions were rather friskier than inside the marina/harbour & more (W to NW 5 gusting 6/7) than expected from the forecast (4 dropping), with quite a swell still running.  Hoisted main with 2 reefs & left some rolls in the genny, then as we gybed onto our course down the coast there was a loud bang, & the main went slack.  The outer sheath on the halyard had parted, luckily the inner core had held & seemed undamaged.  We cautiously tightened things up & hoped no changes would be needed that would cause the sheath to jam, until we had sorted something to encase & smooth the frayed edges.  It was a point of sailing the boat loves & with the tide helping she rollicked along leaping from wave top to wave top – quick, but not particularly comfortable.  With a course almost parallel to the Yorkshire coast we passed Scarborough & were off Flamborough Head by 4pm – lots of gannets, a few guillies, one yacht going the opposite way & the tide still helping.  Then our course took us away from the Yorkshire coast towards Norfolk.  Clear of the land the wind eased, the sea abated, we repositioned the halyard & Doug whipped & stitched the sheath so that it could not jam in the mast.

The wind continued to drop & mid evening the engine went on to maintain our speed over the ground.  Still lots of birds plus several large gas rigs insight.  (19th Aug). The wind continued light, in the early hours 3 large ships passed, presumably inbound to the Humber & there were lots of lights from windfarms.  Nice to find there are guillemots along the Norfolk coast as well as further North.  Around 8am a wind shift enabled us to sail, only to switch off almost immediately then on again.  We put the kite up, decided to give Lowestoft a miss & head directly for Levington.  Late morning, wind increasing we took the kite down, then had a period where the wind went round the clock & varied in strength so it was constant sail changes & on/off  with the engine. 

Sad to pass the lighthouse at Orford Ness, now de-commissioned, as the sea is reclaiming the shingle bank on which it stands.

Mid afternoon the wind finally settled to give us a fast close reach down the coast, a lovely sail to end our journey.

7.30pm. Arrived back in our berth at Levington in time for supper.

206.9 nm in 31˝ hrs.





2013  Round UK Trip Distance Logged     1531.1 nm       [engine hours  174.5}

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