Adrian and Sheenagh joined at Hartlepool on Saturday, and it
was to be a short trip up to Sunderland ( 54:55.1N, 001:22>1W), today
together with Sam, my nephew, who joined just for this day sail. Unfortunately
this turned out to be a rather grey and wet day, with a lumpy swell rather more
than we would have expected for the F4 , gusting 5 that we experienced. The wind was generally from the north,
meaning that we were motorsailing most of the 20 miles, but we did manage an
hour’s good sailing when the wind shifted a little.
The main issue on this trip, which was to be repeated once
or twice in coming days, was the need to keep a look out for large floating
branches and even trees, swept out to sea after all the heavy rains and swollen
rivers. We even heard a navigation alert from the coastguard concerning a large
tree spotted near the Tyne, a little further north .
Sunderland turned out to be a nice and quiet marina,
although for some reason it suffered from some minor swell coming in from river
and sea, which was just enough to keep all the boats bobbing about gently. The marina was tucked away and it was difficult
to see how this swell got in. We also saw more big logs in the river and
marina, and the contrast between open sea, and the brown muddy waters of the
river mouth was very clear.
The forecast for Tuesday was fairly grim, with heavy rain
and potentially strong winds later, so we elected to stay in Sunderland on
Tuesday, and explore the ‘toon’. Turned out to be surprisingly pleasant ( apart
from the weather),with a lot of regeneration building in evidence, and the old
industrial wasteland of the old docksides turned into a very nice linear park
and pathway into town. We spent most of the afternoon in the museum and winter
garden ( free and dry ), and learnt rather more about Sunderland than we either
expected, or in all likelihood, needed to.
Just ask if you need to know anything about the Venerable Bede and his
Abbey, mining, steel, ship building, glass making, pottery....seems there is
nothing that Sunderland has not had a go at. We also now know why the Stadium
of Light football stadium is so called, which is fairly advanced level