24th May, day 27 on the water. Our alarm went off at 4am, we didn’t turn the lights on, so as not to spoil our night vision, but got dressed ; turned all the instruments on, and hauled up the anchor in the semi gloom of the hour before sunrise.
Quite frankly I was dreading crossing the bar again at Blakeney, but as we came out from behind the sand dunes, the sea didn’t appear quite a turbulent as it was yesterday. The tide was ebbing , and although we were only 90minutes off high tide, when we passed the last exiting channel markers the depth sounder registered .8 m beneath us. The waves were still breaking all around us, but this time I knew what to expect, and as we headed off towards Grimsby on a tracking of 334 degrees, all seemed well.
We put the sails up, and motor sailed for the first couple of hours as the tide was against us and the wind light. But at eight we turned the engine off and were quietly sailing along at between 6 -7 knts, on a new bearing of 314 degrees. I can say I wouldn’t recommend going into Blakeney, we are bilge keeled and landed without any really perceivable bumps as we dried out. Once the tide had gone fully out it was easy to see the passage, which was a very narrow strip of water, very close to the green buoyed marked channel, and everywhere else was sand.
So here I am four hours into our sail, the sea state is moderate to rough, its pouring with rain, the sails are working hard for us and we are still averaging between 6- 7 knots. So what I want to know is, if you get up at 4am and have breakfast, does that mean at 8.30am you can have brunch, and then what about elevensies? My tummy is confused, so to help settle the matter let’s just have tea and biscuits whilst I give the matter of food some serious thought!
So now its 10.30am, its rough, and we have reefed in which hasn’t affected our SOG, we carried on like this for another couple of hours and at twelve thirty the wind dropped and a broad reach became a run.
Initially we just rolled in the foresail, but the wind became so light, that with the size of the waves we were just being rolled from one side to another. The decision was made to bring in the main and turn the engine on we were just off Northcoates Point near Grimsby.
I dashed to avoid a large black bouy, which turned out to be a seal! Again there were loads of seals as we approached Grimsby, it must be to do with all the sandbanks. When we left Blakeney this morning I counted over 50 seals on the beach and they were all around us in the water, that is some colony. We also saw a pigeon, mid channel, he looked as though he was going to alight on us, but changed his mind as he was coming into land and flapped off. Other wild life seen were a Tern and Guillemot.
Approaching the lock entrance at Grimsby Meridean Quay Marina (which thankfully was on free flow) was a bit like Harry Potters, platform 9 and half, it just appeared as we crept towards it. We ‘landed ‘ at 2pm, none the worse for our journey. We will be staying in Grimsby for three nights as we are anticipating friends arriving and a bit of down time.
Bad weather came in and we ended up staying for a week – I can say that we were made very welcome here!
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