Wednesday, 3 July 2013


Grace Darling (1815-1842)
When we woke in the harbour at Lindisfarne it seemed a nice day for a sail so we heaved up the anchor and off we went. We sailed through the channel between the mainland and the Farne Islands. These are a dramatic group of islands close off shore that are now a bird sanctuary.

This is where Grace Darling, the Victorian heroine and inspiration for the formation of the RNLI, lived with her father. He was a lighthouse keeper and on 7 September 1838 they took a rowing boat and rescued passengers from the SS Forfarshire that had been wrecked on one of the outlying islands. It was a joint effort with her father, but because the 23 year old Grace was young and glamorous she naturally got all the attention from the press. However after her sheltered upbringing in the lighthouse the pressure of fame and her unwanted status as a media celebrity were too much for her. Despite the attempts of her family to shelter her from the constant attention it adversely affected her health and she died tragically at the age of 26, the cause of death was recorded as TB.

We had been hoping for a SW wind but it turned Southerly so we had a rather tedious beat to windward complete with rain showers etc. But with Guy at the tiller we made steady progress even against a foul tide. 

Amble in Northumberland is a tidal harbour and it is too shallow to safely enter at low tide. Naturally with the wind against us we arrived almost exactly at low water, and had to anchor off the harbour entrance for an hour or so to wait and drink tea.  As we have several  reference books we got differing advice as to when it would be safe to enter, but eventually motored through the entrance channel with about half a metre under the keel.

We had had a long and damp day on the boat and when we went ashore we didn't get much further into this little town than the first pub serving food. None of us has been to Amble before so no doubt there will be plenty to see tomorrow.

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