Whitby to Amble 6th May 2018

Wed 9 May 2018 21:14
7.45 start this morning, very civilised, for the 65ish mile sail to Amble, aiming to arrive Coquet Island at about 7pm, an hour or so before high tide, when there should be plenty of water over the bar at entrance to marina
Two years ago we spent a week in Amble marina, storm-bound, waiting for some strong north-easterlies to abate, time we used to explore the vicinity, on foot, by public transport, and a day further afield in a hire car when we drove out to Lindisfarne, Eyemouth and Berwick on Tweed.
The sail was going well, the forecast was light westerly, going round to southwesterly max 14 knots. We only motored for an hour before we shook out the sails and cut the engine and we're making a nice 5-6 knots. Perfect conditions for the cruising chute which gave us an extra 1.5 knots, Chris managed to rig it to act as a spinaker, sea flat calm, very nice. We had a delicious lunch at the table in the cockpit, a change from the usual cheese on toast whilst braced against the angle of the boat and the unpredictable and sudden movement. Cold paella, salad and a glass of beer, very nice.
Though not forecast, the wind built, we were making 8+ knots and Chris started thinking about dropping the chute before it got tricky. Too late, the following 10 minutes were scary, Chris on the foredeck and me trying to keep the boat on a dead run, I failed, we broached, there was a lot of sail flapping around, a lot of wind, a lot of adrenalin circulating. Started the engine to get a bit of steerage, Chris managed to sheath the chute and drop it onto deck, crisis over.

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Lovely afternoon sail

We were still making 7 knots with just the mainsail up, the wind had probably reached about 25 knots, which certainly wasn't forecast but you never can be sure.
We reached Amble, secured a berth and took a walk along the harbour wall to investigate the delicious smells that we encountered down river.
We were so lucky, The Old Boat House restaurant squeezed us in, we hadn't really been expecting to eat out, but it was irresistible, beautiful, fresh, local seafood, we had a starter each and then shared a lobster. I didn't notice this restaurant two years ago, we couldn't even find a decent pub, I recall the Working Men's Club of Amble was served a decent pint and we watched some footie there!