Whitby, 26th August
A fairly busy day to have a look at the sights. A walk through the town up to the church and abbey, then a ride on the restored North Yorkshire Moors Railway to Goathland and a walk back down along the 'Rail Trail' (the line of an even older railway) to Grosmont, and finally a quick visit to Robin Hood Bay.
For supper we sampled the delights of the Quayside fish and chips - winner of a national award for the best fish and chips. Personally, I found it distinctly mediocre - our local pub in Brixton does much better.
We were up early to catch the 6am opening of the Whitby swing bridge. We were aiming to make Grimsby which we estimated would be 12-14 hours - and also has tidal entry constraints.
There was a slight swell but not too much, and although it was cloudy there was a band of blue sky visible to the south. The cloud moved north as we went south and for most of the day we were in sunshine. The swell diminished, and we made good progress, even against an opposing spring tide at Flamborough Head where we did get some choppy overfalls. The wind was initially only 5 knots so we had to motor for the morning, but it strengthened to 10 knots during the afternoon and we were able to sail the rest of the way.
We past a couple of wind farms under construction - an impressive scale of operation. Then the entrance to the Humber and our route to Grimsby provided perhaps our most complex pilotage of the trip so far - whilst the motor cats taking the workers to the wind farm sped past us on their way back into port.
The marina in Grimsby is in an old fish dock, for which there is a lock which is open in free flow for 2 hours either side of high water. That is the window that we were aiming for and indeed arrived at the beginning of. You do have to radio for permission to enter. I'd spoken to the marina during working hours earlier in the day and been told we'd have no problem berthing there However our plans hit a stumbling bock when we called for permission to enter and were refused entry. Apparently there were 'no visitors allowed'. A couple of dutch yachts ahead of us were told that perhaps Hull, anchoring or something else were there options. Hull is 2-3 hours upstream so not attractive after a long day and in the dark - and then to have to do the return trip first thing in the morning. Anchoring is strong spring tides and exposed to a gusting southern wind wasn't sensible either. Fortunately we had the mobile number for the marina berthing master and were able to confirm that the 'no visitors' message was not the whole story - and were then given permission to enter.