Grimsby to Hartlepool the long grueling leg (30HRs)

After two weeks in Humber cruising club marina in Grimsby, Carl and his long-term boating friend Michael, as Christine had to work,  headed back to Tiger Lily to try to get her home to North shields, we should have guessed that it was going to be a difficult time as the weather on Friday was terrible with fog strong winds and big seas,  so Friday was called off as it would have been a wasted trip, so it was decided that we would keep an eye on the weather and make a decision on if we could even try to sail the weekend, 12 hours later we had sun and a North Westerly wind so the decision was made to head to Grimsby to catch the tide at midday Saturday as the lock would be open and free from 10am (there is a 10 pound charge out side of free flow hours).

So we picked up michael and then Christine’s sister jade at 07.15 (so she can drive the car back from Grimsby) a nice easy 3 hr drive down to Grimsby and a quick stop at  to ASDA’s to stock up for the trip home ( beers, cider, crisps, chicken for a chicken curry), it was into the Humber cruising club marina, once we had ferried all the provisions and clothing down to the boat, it was time to fill up with diesel and pay for the mooring fees, a full tank and a weeks mooring for £152 not bad at all, a quick mention for the Humber cruising club it a great marina and the members are massively friendly, would whole heartedly recommend a visit just for the club house bar.

we headed out of the marina and promptly got told off from the harbour master for not radioing them before we left out berth oops, once out in to the Humber michael was steering, while i sorted out the sail covers and ropes ready for the forecast force 4 -5 westerly winds


we motor sailed out of the Humber with just the main up, for about 2 hr’s we motor sailed with little to no wind, but once we rounded the main point of Grimsby the wind started to pick up and we had a great sail for 6 hr’s at about 4.5 knts


unfortunately we had to turn more westerly so ended up with the wind nearly on the nose and the sea state was getting to long rolling seas, we slammed if we went straight on or rolled badly if we turned to the wind, so the motor went on and resigned to motor sailing for the rest of the trip a possible 10 hours, as we were sailing through the night we started the 3 hr watches at 11 pm and I let michael take the first off watch as we were about 5hrs from Whitby, we had a tug towing a barge behind us and he contacted us as he knew our heading and name and speed from our AIS so he asked to pass us on the starboard sides to let us keep what wind assistance we were getting, we passed bridlington and Scarborough which we spotted via the amusements flashing lights, the wind was starting to get up and the sea state was getting worse, i was looking to reef but i though that the wind would drop like it had most of the night, i went off watch at 2.15 and was woken by michael at 2.45 shouting that he didn’t know what to do with the sails, the wind was gusting to about 30 knots and as micheal hasn’t any sailing experience he was right to call me as the toe rails were nearly under water, i quickly got the large torch and worked out which way the wind was coming from and while micheal steered us into the wind i double reefed the main, a little try to see if this was enough with the lights of Whitby harbour just half a mile off as a fall back plan, it wasnt very comfortable and the sea state was nasty so i made the disicion to drop the main totally and bail out into whitby for a little refuge, so it was that at 3.45 we were tied up to the bridge waiting pontoon and got a good 3hrs sleep before heading back out at the turn of the tide at 7.30.

In the morning we watched all the charter fishing boats heading out and we started to follow them out, it wasnt long till the first ones were heading back in, no a good sign, the sea was still a little rough and hardly any wind, we motored close to the shore and hoped that we could motor against the sea and wind at 2knts we were going nowhere fast so after another 8 hours motoring ( which should have been 4) we decided that north shields was out of reach with this sea so we headed for Hartlepool


we nearly ran out of fuel after so long motoring, good job we had a spare gallon of diesel onboard, we slowly motored into the lock at Hartlepool and were greeted by Christine, it was a challenge to berth tiger lily as the wind had now picked up and the pontoons are a little tight, we had it with some other boaters taking out lines and pulling us on to the pontoon and there she is staying for a moth or two till we can sail her back to north shields

Shotley marina, Felixstowe to Lowestoft

It was another reasonably late start leaving Shotley marina and as we had motor sailed a lot of the way from pretty much Portsmouth we thought we would fill up with diesel and as the fuel pontoon was right near the lock entrance seemed silly not to and we wanted to check how much we had actually used, it took 47 liters after a quick calculation it looks like we only use half a litre an hour, anyway it was then into the lock which we were prepared for this time and then a nice motor out of the river mouth,


We thought that Lowestoft was only 35 miles away so it wasn’t expecting a long trip so as again we had little wind but we managed to get all sails up and we were sailing down wind with the main and head sail goose winged but as the wind was so variable it was a struggle to stop the main slapping across so after a few gybes we dropped the main and motor sailed with the head sail, we were going along nicely at about 5-6 knots so we were expecting to be at Lowestoft reasonable early, but a quick look at the charts and chart plotter showed that it was actually 42 miles so a 7 hour trip, we used the inner channel all the way past great Yarmouth and up the coast passed Aldeburgh and Sizewell power station,  we think that when we come back along this coast we would like to anchor and go and have a look around as Aldeburgh looks a nice place,  but as we have been on a timetable no time for unscheduled stops ha ha, as we were taking the inner channel it was a little bit worrying that we were so close to Lowestoft beach on the way into the harbour but all was good and we radioed the harbour masters and got clearance into the outer harbour we planned to go up the river so had to mess about in the harbour dodging all the wind farm boats waiting for the bridge to open at 19:00, once through we tried contacting the Haven marina but no reply so when we got up to see the marina there was a yacht cruising club marina with a massive sign saying visitors welcome so we dived into a berth two down from another sadler 34,  after speaking to one of the members who was at his boat then showed us where the visitors packs were and the mooring payment was a honesty box so with the recommended payment for tiger lily was £21 and that’s with electric hook up great, after 7 hours sailing it was a quick training and an early night as we knew that the big on way tomorrow Lowestoft to Grimsby a 20hr trip so a good sleep ws needed, we worked out that we needed to leave at 17:00 the next day to catch the right tide, so after a little bit of a sort out on the boat the next morning we headed for a chandler for a chart and a few bits of food

Dover to Shotley marina, Felixstowe

The tides at this end of the South coast are a lot later than the other side so much so to catch the right tide we left dover marina at 10:00, Dover marina was a bit disappointing as they are in the middle of a massive regeneration scheme that will see the old marina filled in when the new one on the other side is opened in 3 years time but for now is a long walk to the toilet block and a building site to walk passed too, anyway we manages to get out of the berth again with little problem but again there wasn’t much wind to hamper us, we contacted dover port control to let them know we were going as didn’t want to get run over by a ferry, Dover was one of the place that I thought would be a nightmare with all the ferries coming and going but it’s excellently controlled and we only had to go round the back of one ferry and them things shift for being so huge,

so then it was a bit of a sail passed the white cliffs of Dover,  motor sailing as we needed to keep our speed up to get to Felixstowe before dark, with the sails and motor together we were getting 6.5knots we made ramsgate in 3hrs just to catch the right tide to take us over the Thames estuary.

What a place looks like loads of water but no depth we only missed one sand bank as we drifted East as we were sailing and trying to keep the wind,  a quick look at the chart plotter and a double check with the chart and it was engine on and hard to starboard another disaster averted ha ha, then it was dodging wind farms for the rest of the way and looking for navigation bouys,

once we could see the container cranes of Felixstowe the navigation was easy as I worked on the docks a few years ago and it was a bit easier to aim for, used the yacht channel as there was big container ships coming in and out and them things are massive, we arrived at Felixstowe an hour before low tide so it was checking the echo sounder for our depth to be sure we were OK, then headed for the lock of Shotley marina the lock is quite small and the cleats are quite a way down so a bit of a hurried scramble to get the lines on, the lock keeper came down to give us a nice clear berth and we quickly got in and lines on and then a shower and bed as it had been a 10hr sail

Eastbourne to dover,the day the wind died

After much double checking of the tide flows and times to make sure we didn’t have a error like Portsmouth as the best time to leave Eastbourne was 10;30am a nice late morning, so we took full advantage,  boat was tidied, showers we leisurely and then over to the marinas harvester pub for breakfast of eggs benedict and we were away for the 11:00 lock, there was a little wind but we managed another easy reverse of the berth and into the lock, once out of the main harbour channel we got the full main sail up and the full genoa complete with a new shackle on the bottom of the sail as that is what came loose on our way to Eastbourne, with all the sails up we were going along at 4-5 knots but after an hour the wind started to fail and we decided to motor sail but another 15 minutes later the wind died and we rolled up the genoa and just motored with the main up to see if the wind would return,

the weather was that nice we were in shorts and t shirts and very warm and clear that we could see dungeoness power station 10 miles away so the navigation was easy, “keep the power station on the port side”.

We seen a load of yachts heading West either with no sails up or like us with just the main up, all were motoring,

Once past dungeoness it was a long 22 miles into dover and even from that distance away we could see the line of ferries going in and out, about 6 miles out of Dover Carl spotted a black thing popping up and down in the water at first he thought it was a badly marked lobster pot, but then there was another one near by, it was DOLPHINS!  Only two young ones but the were playing in our wake once we passed them,  we were happy to see them and hope to see more on this trip,  another 4 miles later as we approached dovers West entrance we seen a seal what a cracking sea life day it had been only in the last six miles.

We spoke to dover port control to get clearance to enter the port and once in spoke to dover marina for a berth, got out preferred port side too berth and this time made a perfect mooring approach and tie up at 19:45 some 8 and a bit hours after leaving Eastbourne, 1 hour sailing and the rest motoring, we are doing well on fuel consumption we only topped of our tank in Portsmouth with 25 litres after leaving Plymouth, and after two days of motoring we have used about the same amount so not very thirsty, but while I was at the marina office getting our mooring paid Christine knocked up a steak and vegetables dinner so we will be full and happy going to bed tonight.



Portsmouth to Eastbourne still big seas

Well the alarm was set for 4 am as we needed to be leaving Portsmouth as close to 5.15 as possible we got a way at 5.20 so pretty much spot on, we had two days in Portsmouth as we got a little bit muddled with tide and today flow times and ended up 12hrs out oops, so in stead of Sunday it was Monday before we left.

carl was still concerned about the manoeuvring out of the berth after the almost disaster getting in the berth (eternally great full to the crew of S34 vivace) where another yacht was coming out as we turned in,  anyway the wind had dies down a little and we performed a text book reverse out of the berth and with waves good bye from vivace we headed out into Portsmouth Harbour,

I was reminded by Rodger on vivace that there was a passage through the submarine net called the dolphin, I was first told about it on our compotent crew course,  it saved us a long trip out passed horse Sands fort, the sea was still big and rolling waves but we must be getting used to it as we had no worries about the sea state lol, as the wind was directly from the west we had to motor sail with just the head sail up, we made good time so much so I nearly missed the Looe channel that is the safe route round Selsey bill,  luckily I noticed that the depth was going down in time to adjust course to get through, after that it was a straight line course till ramstead wind farm which is still under construction,

It was next to pass beachy head and with the waves as they were it was a bit nerve racking but as usual tiger lily showed us again that for her it was no problem, we then had the shackle on the bottom of the head sail come loose so we had to roll it away and just motor from there but getting the head sail in was a struggle with nothing holding the bottom of the sail, but a course change sorted it out,

we then made our way across Eastbourne bay missing the lobster pots and then try and do our first lock as Eastbourne has two locks, we got the lines ready but it was a little late when Christine shouted fenders!, we had for got to put fenders out a little bit of a hurried scramble and there was fenders on, we locked in with no problems and we’re given a choice of berth and we said we’d try and get in a starboard berth which we missed terribly and ended up reversing out and into the next berth down, then phew a couple of lines on and we were sorted in Eastbourne sovereign harbour

Poole to Portsmouth, a great days sailing but a few manoeuvring issues

We had set our alarm for another 5:30 start but with another quick look at the weather and tides we were ready to go for 7am (a lie in),  as we started to get going a small breeze came in and as soon as we started going in reverse the wind caught the bow (front) of the boat and we ended up trying to reverse out of the marina berth after a few twists and turns we managed to get pointed in the right direction and started heading out of Poole Harbour, We were in a line of quite a few yachts heading out, so being a bit lazy I followed a few and they took me out via a different channel to the one we came in on which I think saved us some distance and time,

it was a good sail on from there with a reefed main and a few rolls of the head sail we were going along nicely on a port tack heading passed Brighton, christ church heading for the Hurst or north channel into the solent, now the Hurst channel can be a little rough with the waves on a wring tide thankfully we had timed it right and had a little bit of chop and the boat did plough through one wave getting water nearly to the cockpit lol, but once in the solent it was quite literally plain sailing, sun, good wind so Carl got sun burnt as usual oops.

It wasn’t until we made for the entrance to Portsmouth that we had a couple of problems, carl snapped his sunglasses putting the main sail down, we forgot about the small craft channel and came in the main channel and got told off, then nearly caused mayhem between two Isle of Wight Ferrys, at that point we headed for gosport marina and asked for a berth, we were going along fine and nice and slow we had asked for  a port side berth to make mooring easier, which would have worked perfectly but another yacht was heading out as we turned in!! Evasive maneuvers were needed and without the help of another sadler 34’s (VIVACE) we would have not only damaged our boat but a few others! Once safely tied up a huge sigh of relief was done, after a few very heart felt thanks to Rodger and his wife (VIVACE) we went for a shower and something to eat at the Castle pub where we knew the portions are generous as we ate the before our component crew course in August 2016IMG-20170610-WA0018IMG-20170610-WA0026IMG-20170610-WA0030IMG-20170610-WA0034

Torquay to poole round Portland bill, an epic adventure

Well I’m sorry for the delay in getting this post done is has been a challenging few days

, anyway we left Torquay marina after being stormed in for a day just after 5.30 on Thursday 9th June to catch a good tide to speed us past Portland bill a place where the wind and tide can make a very dangerous sea condition call the “Portland race” its best avoided at all costs by either planning your tides well and knowing your exact speed, difficult when sailing, the other option is to go far enough off shore to miss the race altogether, the second option was what we went for, planning to go 3 miles off, should have been on a 093 degree course but with the winds we had the best we could do was 103 degrees, this took us nearly 6.5 – 7 miles off.

Every this was going OK we had a good wind,  to much so we had a double reefed main and a few rolls of the head sail up and was still doing around 6-7 knots (our max was 9.7 going down a wave) the sea was supposed to be slight or moderate but it was more rough but as usual tiger lily showed us that it can deal with a decent sea and wind easily.

Our first 10hrs crossing Lyme bay with the wind and tide with us was fun and with very few problems, at just after 2 pm the tide changed and the waves really kicked up, with waves hitting us on the rear corners of the boat it was getting a little hairy, Christine said we should drop the sails and motor with the waves directly on the stern and we did and it eased the swell but it was still about a 7ft swell.

So at 2.45 we started to head direct into Poole bay via anvil head, we had a few big waves come to the back of us but we had little problem once we got into Poole bay we even put the head sail out a bit to motor sail.

The original plan was to anchor in Studland bay but once we got there we realised that after the 12hrs of pretty hard sailing we couldn’t be bothered to work out tide and chain length to anchor and just headed into Poole to find a berth, didn’t realise that getting into Poole would take as long and after a few confused moments we finally got tied up in Poole Quay marina, again we still are having problems with mooring as the back of the yacht always kicks out once I put her in reverse, haven’t sunk her yet and touch wood haven’t damaged more than our pride.

We have escaped Salcombe!

Well after an unintentional night out in the Victoria Pub in Salcombe harbour where we met some great people, we took the small weather window that was forecast and left salcome on the rising tide at 13:00 a little bit ruff but happy to be moving on, Salcombe is a lovely place and the harbour masters and yacht taxi lads are amazingly friendly and helpful, anyway so we left Salcombe under a double reefed main sail (the smallest bit of sail we can hoist) and a few rolls of the head sail so the sails were equal sizes, and we we going along at 5-6 knots, the sea for the first few hours was quite large with big waves coming up from behind us as usual the boat handled everything easily, after the first few hours the sea flattened out and we had a nice sail into Torquay just as the weather was starting to change.

We are now in Torquay with 21-32 knots of wind and heavy rain so we’re staying put for the day as wind is supposed to be lighter tomorrow and as we’re going round Portland we need lighter winds.