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