Back from a very enjoyable 10 days in Hamble catching up with family. Port Edgar (Edinburgh) has been a good safe place to keep Kasara and all is well.
This week I have been joined by The “Kasara Dream Team”. To explain - it is a real pleasure to break into their busy young lives & sail with my son, Jonny and great pal Jamie. Along the way I’m sure I have had some input into their love of sailing & the sea, and what a joy seeing them relax & enjoy our continuing Kasara adventure.
I arrive back on the boat in fine weather and the boys have already completed a good walk over the Forth Bridge, done the shopping, are tucking into lunch and eager to move on immediately!
Fortunately I have a plan:
We have 5 days to sail Kasara to Hartlepool, some 150 coastal miles south. Not a big target. A gentle stroll.
Weather Report: once again we are looking at high pressure, light South Easterlies in the main & calm seas so we turn our attention to the delights of the area we were about to move through.
Our night stops turn out to be anchoring off the beaches of North Berwick - (you can only do this in very calm weather - as it was, there was an uncomfortable overnight roll on the flood tide).
Then onto Eyemouth, a very friendly Harbour Master, nice visitor pontoon mooring in town & amongst the local fishing fleet. We are the only visiting yacht. Last time I had been here on a land recce it had been pouring down and blowing a gale - what a difference the day makes.
Our early morning departure caused a certain amount of breathe-in anxiety! We had to get through this ???? metre gap before our first coffee in the morning!
Next anchoring off Holy Island (Lindisfarne) was a real treat. Only us & 2 other boats in the most idyllic setting & weather.
Then onto Blyth, HQ of the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club & their “unique” Club House on the old light vessel “Tyne” (the oldest light vessel still afloat, which amongst other scary places had seen service at Calshot in an earlier life”).
Finally on to Hartlepool, a surprisingly pleasant upbeat locked marina with bars restaurants, property around - a bit like Port Solent.
The beaches, castles, bird sanctuaries and holy places along this stretch are numerous & so our 5 day stroll was filled with interest of one sort or another.
First up - wildlife highlights: Siting of dolphins in Firth of Forth, seeing most of the 1000 seal colony off Holy Island, another lone dolphin jumping clear of the water off Blyth were all good, but there is no doubt the winner is the thousands upon thousands of gannets on the Bass Rock off North Berwick. What a sight! It looked from afar like a snow covered dome, closer up - and we got pretty close - the density of bird life on this outcrop was simply amazing. 150,000 gannets live on Bass Rock and we could certainly smell them as well as see them - it was incredible.
Not sure I would want to be the lighthouse keeper!
Best Eat in: was night 1 at anchor in North Berwick where the Steak Pie with trimmings was on the table only seconds after the anchor went down - great timing guys!
The Kayaks came out in the morning to check out the glorious beaches and islets.
Best Sail: came following an early start from Eyemouth when a firm Westerly wind gave us a 110 degree reach - up with the cruising chute - lovely 😊
Not only that, but breakfast of Haggis, egg & mushroom bap.
Not a bad start to the day - leading us to our
Best Landfall & Cultural highlight: which has to be Holy Island (Lindisfarne). Accessible from land at low water, but pull up the draw bridge and this is a gem. Not only did we learn about St Aidan & St Cuthbert, but also had chance to enjoy the priories, castle & quirky gardens in this bedrock of Christianity. The Crown & Anchor pub did fine fare and the head torch kayak back to Kasara well after dark, dodging seals was well up there for entertainment.
Not having had enough of St Cuthbert we moved on to a lovely anchorage 7 miles further down the coast, tucked inside Inner Farne where Cuthbert lived for a time in near isolation. The crystal clear waters of “The Kettle”, as our best anchorage is called, even tempted us in for a swim.
We ate out a lot this week - perhaps a bit of the “lads on holiday” mentality - top eat out was a toss up between a very swanky restaurant on the Harbour front in Blyth called Caboose which served the most delicious combo of Scallops & Black pudding 😋 & The Ship in Eyemouth, recommended by the Harbour Master - always a good call.
A lot of folk have suggested the East Coast is merely for sailing past, but so far from Inverness to Hartlepool we have enjoyed great scenery and landfalls. The weather continues to enable us to drop anchor in remote places and fully enjoy the coastline bit by bit.
A great few days with Jonny & Jamie who are now heading back to the grindstone, whilst Kasara prepares to press ever southward with The Captain Cook Team - bring it on!