Saturday, 14 May 2016

Grimsby to Wells Next the Sea

As we left Grimsby Sarah's Choir
St George's Singers were live
on Radio 4 LW . Our boat has a
car style radio that actually has LW
(which is rare and useful out of FM
range). Sarah sang along.


We had a spot of reasonable weather and a chance to get away so we went to the boat on Sunday. The Gribs said the wind would be easterly and later in the week come round to the north.  I was thinking to go north of the Humber again, but also wasn't feeling too good so thought we might have a day of light boat maintenance and victualling  and set off the next day.   The thing about going south is the obvious port is Wells Next the Sea. Its a tide away and best to go in HW-2 to HW.  And HW Monday was 2130. Sarah got up early and got to doing some passage planning with other club members in the ladies shower. She came back and got me out of bed saying we were putting to sea. She told me the passage plan and she started stowing things while I did the engine checks and got out the charts. It was a high Spring tide, so the Fish Dock lock was closed until about  HW+1 as otherwise the the level would be too high for our pontoons. So we left at 0920, but as we had not done the planned shopping our neighbour threw across half a loaf of bread to make sandwiches.

It was a great day for a sail and while close hauled we could make it on one tack from the Humber

We took the recommended route south of the Rosse Reach separation channel, but we would have to tack to miss Donna Nook Bombing Range. The presence of (Typhoon?) planes doing low level attack runs, probably getting a radar lock on us, suggested the range was in use. Humber CG informed us we should call the range on Ch 16. We called but did not get a reply until quite close and they requested we pass North of the range, so we put in a tack.

We made excellent time and had to hand around for half an hour waiting to make our approach just before HW-2. We couldn't raise Wells harbour on the
Our track in to Wells Next Sea on Google Maps.
VHF from the leading buoy but one of the wind farm vessels relayed the message.  The Channel is narrow and very winding, but well marked by port and starboard buoys. The sandbanks visible and with breakers on the approach made it rather worrying. When we reached the life boat station we were in radio contact and the harbour master could see us on CCTV.  A launch came out to meet us to guide us in through the tricky bit. We spun around and came along side the visitor pontoon stopping easily and ferry gliding in facing the flood tide.

The visitor's pontoon in Wells in the evening.
Our track back from MarineTraffic. You can see
where we hove to
We spent a pleasant but rainy day in Wells which has a good chandlers and lots of quirky food shops and cafes. On Wednesday the wind was still easterly and we left so as to be going down wind on the way back.  Going out we passed the colourful beach huts on the long sandy shore. A seal bobbed up and was watching the beach too then turned around when he heard us. A glorious day of sun shine and following wind. Tui loves to reach and we were making 6.5 knots through the water. Before reaching the traffic separation zones  we hove to for 40 mins (Tui heaves to perfectly at zero knots and rock steady - its a ketch thing!) . We cooked some new potatoes in the pressure cooker and Sarah read her kindle in the sun.  This meant we arrived with perfect timing back at Grimsby Fishdock in time for its lock to be open "free flow".