Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Blyth

We looked around Amble which is a pretty town with an excellent breakfast available in Jaspers just off the High Street. Amble is the first place on this trip where we have had to pay marina fees on Bonita's bowsprit and bumpkin. Everywhere else these protuberances have been ignored or covered with a vague gaffer's discount in return for adding what we consider to be a bit of class to the place.

Unwilling to pay for the sticks a second night we left Amble with the tide but there was little wind so, despite a couple of attempts to sail, we motored most of the way down the coast to Blyth. This is a large harbour and was an old coal exporting port that seems to be finding a new role in developing wind farms.

Guy, Geoff and RNYC HQ
The marina is run by the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club which has an excellent headquarters ship converted from an old wooden light ship built in 1879. Everything in her construction is massive, and she was once stationed on the Seven Stones rocks off Land's End which must have been fairly testing. The club bought the ship in 1952 when she as decommissioned and they have clearly cared for her very well. Wooden light vessels made excellent club ships but eventually the problems of rot in the massive timbers was usually too much for a relatively small organisation to deal with. The picture shows Bonita's all-weather crew about to enter the clubship to sample the quality of the RNYC catering.

Also at Blyth are Minstrel (whom we know well) and Silver Bear - who we had not previously seen on this trip.