Tuesday August 16…flying the Saltire.

 

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We leave Amble marina and some great memories of parts of England we would never normally have visited. It has been a voyage of discovery for all of us, challenging pre-conceptions and opening our eyes to the beauty to be found in the most unlikely places. It is far too easy to be seduced by foreign places and exotica…who would have thought we would have found delight in Grimsby…

With a decent tide and at last a wind with more south than north in it, Heydays is soon creaming along at over 6 knots. The coast is hazy and Bamburgh Castle is only just visible and we have a view of how this might have looked to the Vikings so many years ago.

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We are safe and comfortable in our modern plastic boat with electronic charts and accurate weather forecasts. We wonder what drove people to set out into an uncertain North Sea, to an uncertain coast…and then to fight.

Our original plan had been to anchor around the Farne Islands for lunch, but while the SE wind is good for putting miles under our keels, it is not so good for the anchorages. With some regret we leave them astern in the haze, but not for the first time we feel the almost spiritual side of Northumbria and have just a little understanding of what drove people to escape here for contemplation of bigger issues. Berwick and the Tweed pass by and then…the border. We rummage around for our flags and decide to fly the Saltire as a courtesy and the gold stars of the EU as solidarity. Fortunately there is no-one to hear a shaky rendition of Jerusalem and some badly remembered Scottish songs.

With our speed up we can hope for a landfall at Eyemouth in the last of the daylight. This proves to be a real stress reliever, as even with some light we can only just make out the rocky entrance at the last minute. With two electronic charts as well as paper ones, we had to convince ourselves to head for what appears to be a certain grounding on the rocks which line a very narrow channel in. Another yacht seems to hang around to watch our progress first. Four pairs of eyes peering into the gathering gloom…so no pictures here!

We step ashore in Scotland for the first time and the feeling of another major milestone in our trip round the UK. We had originally thought that Eyemouth would just be a quick tie up and sleep before a relatively early start on Wednesday. In the event, we still have time to get ashore for a drink. In the pub we meet a group of Canadians and Chris gets pangs of home. The late forecast is slightly more worrying with some strong winds promised later in the day. We resolve to get up early for the morning forecast and make a decision then.

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