Monday, 10 August 2015

Finale, Wednesday 15th July : Hartlepool.

What would we feel like, returning to Hartlepool again after 4 years away? Today we will find out! We left Herd Sands at 09-50 and motor sailed with the blue genneker. By 11-05 we were rounding Souter Point and turning on to a course for Hartlepool.

Souter Point Lighthouse. 

Genneker up. 

The sun comes out. 

 The entrance to Sunderland.

Approaching the Heugh at Hartlepool 

Tees Bay wind farm ( not there when we left in 2012! ). 

Nearly there! 

In the lock at Hartlepool, we're back! 

Hartlepool Marina lock office. 

Moored in Hartlepool, job done! 

We were very happy to be back in Hartlepool to see what had changed over the years and felt a great sense of achievement having completed what we set out to do.
View across Tees Bay towards Teeside. 

View from Seaton Carew looking back towards Hartlepool. 

Our old familiar walk, nice to see it in beautiful sunshine!

Tuesday 14th July : Tynemouth and Herd Sands

It was now time to head south and formally finish our UK mainland circumnavigation. We would be passing familiar places and decided to break our trip to Hartlepool at Tynemouth. With low water at 09-00 we had to wait until 12-30 for clearance over the cill to exit Amble marina. 

Leaving Amble. 

Heading out towards Coquet Island. 

Coquet Lighthouse. 


 A 'new' weather mast off Blythe ( not on our chart ! ).

 Passing the end of the north wall at Tynemouth.

We motored as there was very little wind and by 15-50 we were anchored off Herd Sands, behind the south sea wall at Tynemouth. Herd Sands is a place we have used several times in the past, it is an amusing place to stop and watch the shipping movements in and out of the Tyne. We were not disappointed.

'Norman James' at anchor in Tynemouth. 

'City of Rome' departing 16-05. 

HMS Protector departing 16-40.

 HMS Protector with tug and pilot in attendance.

DFDS 'Princess Seaways' departing 16-50. 

Container vessel 'Gerda' arriving 17-30. 

Dinghy racing from the anchorage. 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Monday 29th June to 3rd July : Amble.

We left the berth in Eyemouth at 08-45 having timed our exit to coincide with enough water in the canyon. As we headed into the canyon we saw a fishing boat  apparently about to enter so backed off into the fishing harbour to wait. When the boat did not appear we called them up on the VHF and  they stated that they were waiting for more water in the entrance. As we traversed the canyon we noted a minimum depth of 2.7m which we relayed to the fishing boat who seemed quite grateful for the information and immediately headed for the entrance. We were clear of 'Blind Buss' north cardinal at 09-00 and heading south east. 

We spent most of the passage motor sailing as the wind came and went. Mid morning the Saltire was lowered as we left Scottish waters off Berwick upon Tweed. 

Lowering the Saltire.

By 11-50 we entered the Goldstone Channel heading towards Inner Farne and the inner sound with a fair tide under us. After passing Bamburgh castle, we made a minor detour close to Inner Farne to look at the thousands of sea birds.

Bamburgh Castle. 

Approaching Inner Farne. 


We passed by Dunstanburgh castle and the anchorage at Lower Newton, and a little later, Craster.

Dunstanburgh Castle.

We called Amble Marina at 14-30 and an hour later we were moored. 

At the end of June the weather improved considerably, and we took a couple of days to unwind and enjoy Amble and it's surroundings in the sun! We took the dinghy across the river around high tide, and had a walk in glorious sunshine along the beach, north towards Alnmouth.

Baby boat moored on the north side of the river. 

Endless Northumbrian beach. 

Warkworth Castle.

View of Amble from across the river. 

The following day we used the dinghy to have a trip up river at high tide to Warkworth and had great views of the castle. We had a circular walk taking us into the village, past the castle and further up stream before returning to the dinghy. During our walk we found a useful landing stage upstream of the village.  

Warkworth Castle. 

Landing stage on the river. 

'Norman James' in her berth in Amble Marina. 

Amble Marina at low tide. 

Coquet Island over the rocks at low tide. 

The approach to the marina at low tide. 

The exposed marina cill. 

Looking back at the entrance to Amble from the quay.

We like Amble so have decided to base 'Norman James' here for the rest of the summer. After our month away we took the train home to return a few weeks later in the car and finish our circumnavigation back to Hartlepool.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Sunday 28th June : Eyemouth.

By 10-00 some early morning rain had cleared, so we dropped off the mooring and headed out from West Bay at North Berwick towards Bass Rock to see the gannetry. 

 Bass Rock, a sight to behold.

Gannets everywhere ! 

It's not icing !

After a great visit to Bass Rock we turned south towards St. Abbs Head. At 13-30 we heard Humber Coastguard for the first time in four years, our round trip from Hartlepool is nearly over. 

 St. Abbs Head.

It was nice to have calm conditions and prior knowledge of the entrance to Eyemouth, as it can be a little daunting the first time, the Canyon is only 60' wide!

Approaching Eyemouth. 

 The entrance to Eyemouth with transit aligned.

Looking down 'The Canyon'.

We had been into Eyemouth in 'Norman James' before, when we were permanently berthed in Hartlepool Marina in 2011, so in sense our circumnavigation of mainland UK was now compete. However, our return to Hartlepool would mark the formal end of our endeavour.

In the evening we celebrated with a fish & chip supper at the appropriately named 'Contented Sole' pub. A little later we had a walk and took a few more photo's.

Eyemouth Harbour from the Canyon. 

Eyemouth Middle Quay. 

'Norman James' rafted against a dive boat. 

Looking east towards Eyemouth.