Saturday 22 July 2023

Blyth 2

Today we enjoyed the NE area OGA Party Port events, despite almost constant rain. In the morning we had a very informative guided tour of the club lightship (LV50) which dates from 1879. She is heavily built of wood, with iron strapping to enable her to withstand the worst weather in exposed locations. Her first posting was to the Seven Stones rocks off Lands End. She gave service as a lightship until 1952 when she was sold off and bought by the RNYC as their clubship. She had around 7 crew who did stints of two months on her at a time. Lightships became a practical proposition with the large scale manufacture of heavy chain in the early 1800s, but have now been replaced with modern automated aids to navigation. The picture shows the cabin with widespread use of iron reinforcing straps.   
In the afternoon with went to see a local boat building facility, the Blyth Tall Ship project where they are building a large replica Zulu, a type of fishing boat popular about 100 years ago. We were impressed by the quality of the work being done there. They also have the tall ship Williams 2 on the quay by the yard.
In the evening we were joined by Hugo, who will be sailing with us for a few days. We had an entertaining supper on the club lightship with the Gaffers. The evening was greatly enlivened by singing sea shanties with plenty of audience participation. The lyrics of the song written by the irrepressible Claudia Myatt give a flavour of the evenings entertainment.

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