On top of the challenges getting in, we needed to leave Grimsby before 8am when the lock would close to allow dredging to continue. We did - lest we'd be trapped in Grimsby for another day. That wouldn't have been good because bad weather is again forecast for tomorrow so it could have become longer.
However it was a grey morning with low cloud, drizzle and only 0.5 mile visibility. That might sound a lot, but in the Humber estuary it means that you can't see very much except grey sea and grey clouds. We followed our passage plan out of the estuary, eventually slipping through the narrow gap between the Humber firing ranges and the TSS for big ships. By then the visibility was improving as the cloud gradually lifted and we headed out across the North Sea. We'd planned a route to avoid the wind farms which wasn't too much of a detour from a straight line to Wells.
Going from high water Grimsby to high water Wells meant that we had a contrary tide almost all the way, but needed to be spending at least 10 hours so it was actually helpful that we had a slow passage.
We knew that Wells was an 'interesting' entrance due to a shallow, changing entrance. We radio'd the harbour master when we we close to the entrance and had to hold station for 20 minutes until the height of the tide was sufficient and a dredger had vacated the channel. We were then told to proceed to the lifeboat station where we'd wait for further depth of water. At the lifeboat station we were asked to park our bow into the mud of the bank to wait there. That is a very unusual procedure. We did, and were reasonably settled until the rising tide and the wash of an entering fishing boat pushed us sideways onto the back. Soon after this the harbour master came to guide in the 5 visiting yachts gathered there. At this point we had to turn around, and in a narrow channel with strong tides and wind, no keel and twin rudders this was very difficult for us. I managed to turn us around but with us parked back on the mud bank with one of our rudders in the mud. It was best to wait for a bit more of the rising tide to clear that so we remained whilst the other yachts headed on.
15 minutes later we could finish our manoeuvre and head in to the pontoon without further complications. After tying and tidying up, we had a pint from the local Norfolk breweries to celebrate that today we'd passed the 2,000 nm mark.