May 23rd HCA Grimsby to Sunderland Marina

Our marinas have been chosen for two reasons, that they have fuel and that (except for Grimsby) they have 24 hour access in most sea states.

Grimsby needs to be left on a free flow which starts at 7am and finishes at 11am, two hours either side of high tide which was at 9am. The forecast was fair, the sea states were going to be slight for what was going to be a coastal leg of 110 miles. This was a six hour run at the boats comfortable cruising speed of 18 knots.

We exited the lock at 10am and made our way back through the Humber estuary to Spurn Point and headed north. This passage was going to take us up the Yorkshire coast past Scarborough, Flamborough Head. Robin Hoods Bay and Whitby.

Spurn Point High Lighthouse
Flamborough Head Lighthouse
Whitby High Lighthouse

I was feeling guilty about not going into Whitby as it looked a bit special, apparently had wonderful fish and chips and was the place where Captain James Cook’s boat Endeavour was built as a Bark for the original purposes of transporting coal from Newcastle to London. I had just read ENDEAVOUR: by Peter Moore, about the life of Endeavour from the choice of wood that was selected to her demise as a troop ship during the American war of independence against the British, when she was scuttled in the harbour entrance of Newport Rhode Island to prevent the American naval boats from getting in to attack the depleted UK fleet there. 

It was going to be a ‘Plan B’ harbour in case of need but it didn’t have genuine all states access , had a lifting bridge that only operated for four hours and the fuel berth looked a little bit too trawler inspired. Anyway that was my excuse for not going in.

We went past Whitby as the sea picked up to moderate from slight and we had to reduce speed to our slowest planing speed of 14 knots, and then to displacement speed for a while. It was low tide with 1.5 metres above chart datum which would have given a least 2.5 metres at the harbour entrance. we decided that we would plug on for a few more miles to see if the sea would flatten off again, but we were both very tempted to enter. 

Roker Pier Lighthouse

The sea reduced to a more comfortable state again allowing for 15/16 knots so we ploughed on to Sunderland past Hartlepool. The entrance to the River Wear was simple and the newish Sunderland Marina was to starboard, a short distance in from the harbour entrance. 

Entering Sunderland Marina

The marina staff were eventually raised on the phone and we were allocate a berth. This is a super little marina and very convenient for any pleasure boats passage making, up or down the east coast of the UK, it also has a very respectable Italian Restaurant in the Marina complex.

Sunderland Marina

The boat was hosed down and the coldest beers were found to lubricate our tonsils.

Who would have thought we would visit Sunderland in a boat?