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News from Spruce Goose

The Story of Spruce Goose’s Travels so far…..

 Wednesday 22 May 2019 

Left RMYC berth with stowaway crow whom we couldn’t shift until halfway up the Swash Sailed round south side of IOW heading for Bembridge. Controlled ordnance explosion behind us on our track – we’d just cleared the exclusion zone. Noted totally submerged fishing buoys south of the Island. Making good progress so carried on to Brighton arriving 2000.

Thursday 23 May 2019

Early start from Brighton marina. We hadn’t left the entrance when we were called by a man drawing our attention to a man in the water round the other side of the marina wall. We duly turned left instead of right and indeed there was a man in the water – still with his glasses on, wearing a black backpack and carrying a large empty bucket (quite a feat if he’d fallen from the wall!).

He was in the marina caissons with a life ring. One of the three men on the top of the wall had rung the police, but Giles contacted the duty marine officer who came out in his RIB. By this time a man in a kayak had guided the man in the water to us and I was able to pull him on board while Giles kept the boat away from the wall. He was transferred to the marina RIB and taken to the First Aid room. No further update has been found.

Onwards to Dover 0540. Too complicated and busy around Dover, arrived Ramsgate 1950.  Wetherspoons calling!

Friday 24 May 2019 Friday

Rest day. Walked around the town and took a bus to Margate.

Saturday 25 May 2019

Boring motor across the Thames Estuary (I’m not complaining!).  Sea at the entrance to Shotley marina was quite lively and the lock was quite stressful for a crew of two: jumping on and off the boat; raising and lowering fenders; controlling the boat in the lock… Made it safely to a berth after refuelling. Short evening walk around the edge of the marina.

Sunday 26 May 2019 

0503 Left Shotley. More bombs blown up behind us 10.30. Wind suddenly picked up to 20 knots just as we entered Lowestoft. Very busy marina and very tight berth! Ate at the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk.

Monday 27 May 2019

0710 Left Lowestoft. Sailed through the night passing countless wind farms, gas fields, tankers, cargo ships, fishing buoys….and seals off the Humber Estuary.

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Arrived Whitby 1300. The approach through the entrance is very pretty. It was lovely to see this town from a different perspective.

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Met friends for brunch, visited the Cook Museum and took a tourist bus trip around the town – very informative.

Friday 31 May 2019

Thursday 30 May 2019

Went by steam train to Pickering and back. Just made it up to the Castle and back for a pub lunch before catching the train back. It was a very windy day.

0435 Set sail for Newcastle. Cold, windy and rainy. The wind died just off Middlesbrough – donkey on. Arrived at St Peter’s Marina just outside of Newcastle 1405. We just managed to squeeze in to this small, busy, locked marina.  Walked around Newcastle city, over three bridges and into the city. I could not believe how many nesting kittiwakes were there: on every possible building ledge. Finding shops to victual quite difficult.

Saturday 1 June 2019

Down the Tyne to North Shields: Royal Quays Marina: 5-star facility for 3 star price! ASDA (small) not too far away. Raining.

Sunday 02 June 2019

(Our 13th wedding anniversary).  Wet sail to Amble, but saw many puffins, guillemots and razorbills. Safely in Amble 1215. The owners of the boat (Maisy) from my neck of the woods! Anniversary curry at the top of the high street. the main street is excellent for victualling and there is a very well stocked hardware store. We even managed to get a spare boat key (quite rare) cut at the automobile shop!

Monday 3 June 2019

A morning of housekeeping and passage planning. Howling winds again. Entertained our neighbours from Maisy: they gave us some very useful information on sailing in Scotland.

Tuesday 4 June 2019

Walked to Walkworth Castle: huge and amazing. Enjoyed a pint in the Masons Arms at Walkworth. Sailed out of harbour 1556. Good sailing until we reached Scottish waters then at least Beaufort 6 with a very choppy sea. It was too dangerous for us to attempt an entry anywhere, so we decided to pass Arbroath and head for Peterhead. Arrived 2000 watched by a grey seal as we packed the mainsail and prepared fenders.

Wednesday 6 June 2019

Woke to fog and drizzle. Noticed a strong, intermittent cross current swirling round the marina.

Thursday 7 June 2019

Left Peterhead 0445. Sunny start. No wind, then too much, then no wind again, leaving a sloppy sea. Arrived in Wick 1930 feeling as if we’d been in a washing machine! The Harbour Master couldn’t be more helpful: he was there to take our lines, didn’t want paperwork and money straight away and even drove us to Wetherspoons!

Friday 8 June 2019

Too tired to carry on today. Also, there was very thick fog at the time we should have left. visited the very interesting Heritage Museum. Bought charts and a pilot book for Northwest Scotland.

Saturday 9 June 2019

Victualled at Tesco 2km out of town. It was a long walk back with heavy shopping. Walked out to Wick Castle – the oldest in Scotland (1160). Watched some sheep shearing on the way. Then did an historical town walk.

 Sunday 10 June 2019

Left Wick 0430 heading for Stromness, Orkney First sighting of a porpoise – it was heading south. Arrived Stromness1100. It had been a very cold trip and a six-hour motor. information regarding the marina not terribly forthcoming.

Monday 11 June 2019

Weather-bound here for a few days. Caught the tourist bus round Mainland Island – visited Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar and Kirkwall. Very, very interesting.

Crow Stowaway

Thames Estuary



Newcastle Cathdral

Amble Marina

Walkworth Castle

Peterhead Marina

Wick Marina

Wick Catle

Skara Brae Neolithic Village Orkney

Skara Brae Neolithic Village Orkney

Kirkwall Cathedral Orkney

Stromness Street Orkney

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