Passage 04, Wells-next-the-sea to Grimsby
I had to wait for the tide to be well in to negotiate the shallow, twisting channel back out of the beautiful Wells-next-the-sea. The only reason I'm happy to be leaving Wells-next-the-sea is that it is a right bind to keep typing its name! Otherwise, what a lovely place.
Still thoroughly wrapped up in multiple layers of clothing to protect against the cold, there was not much sun in the morning until the afternoon when the wind died to nothing and the sun blazed. In the morning, however, with just F3 winds I managed to sail all the way across The Wash and only had to put the engine on 20 miles before Grimsby.
Planning this passage tide-wise is a nightmare. The tidal currents outside The Wash are very complicated and I had very little idea of exactly where I'd get to by when. So I gave up and just had a vague notion of where the tides might or might not help.
As it turned out I made great sailing progress and it was the best sail day so far. Only fly in the ointment was an emergency repair I had to do at sea. I noticed that my starboard rudder mounting was working loose. This had to be fixed fast. Don't want your rudders to pack in. I had to tighten up two large nuts right at the back of the boat deep down inside the end of the aft locker. This meant emptying out the locker, which included all my spare fuel and water tanks, grabbing a spanner and disappearing into the dark depths of the locker. I was worried that this would make me sick; On the contrary it was almost pleasant sitting in the dark with the boat sailing itself! Nuts tightened, locker refilled, drama over.
When the wind died the sea became glassy smooth. On went the engine and I poured over the almanac to understand the complex shipping channels and what my entry procedure is for the Humber river. Text book pilotage into Grimsby fish docks, though I say it myself.
The marina here is very friendly and I've done my usual spiel for Honeypot. I hand out my "business cards" and get the harbour office to stick up my "I woz here" notice on their notice board. I think they'll donate my berthing fee too, though not yet confirmed.
One of the harbour guys, a violinist, was to be jamming with some friends (a guitarist and 2 lady singers) in the (deserted) drinking area and so I came up later and chatted with them and listened for a while. It's so nice to relax with locals and get a sense of their lives after a long day's sail. They sung well in close harmony, very pleasant.
Since this was classed as socialising I allowed myself a beer - an ale that the harbour bloke seemed especially proud and so I made appreciative noises as to its quality, though I wouldn't know one beer from another. Cost me £1.80 for pint. Isn't that quite cheap?
I'm staying here for 2 nights so Thursday is a shore day. I catch up with work and write this blog and other social duties ... and then a bike ride. They say Grimsby is not the most decorative of places but I shall be taking my bicycle and discovering for myself.
A long passage of 11.5 hours starting at 8:15 and arriving at 7:45 and mostly sailed despite winds continuing to be against me and, today, light - F3 Northerlies.
It's the second time those rudder bolts have come loose - check 'em more often