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0042 - Scarborough to Berwick-upon-Tweed

The next morning my alarm went off, and I woke just up long enough to grab my phone and turn off the remaining alarms, as I tend to set about 10 in a row....and after ensuring silence, I went back to sleep and didn't wake up till about 7pm that night.

Waking up when it's dark seems to generate some confusion, for me anyway - not knowing if it was the same day or the next, it took a few minutes for reality to mesh properly...but after a few cups of coffee, all was well(ish) again.

By the time I realized what time and day it was, an hour had passed, and I was now feeling pretty hungry. Eating out of tins and packets is a cheap way to feed yourself, but it can get a bit boring - I just didn't feel like making anything, but still wanted to eat.

Google Maps revealed that Scarborough has a KFC. This was all too tempting, only a mere 0.7m away - I was already putting my shoes on. Within 25 minutes I was on my way back to the boat with a bag of chicken and gravy. I don't normally eat out but as this is pretty much our last stop before completing chapter one of our travels, I felt that a treat was in order.

After 3 bellies were filled with chicken and gravy, I put the heating on - Chloe hopped into my lap for a nap, then no amount of coffee could keep me awake. As Captain and Crew fell into 'food comas' - this day was over before it had even begun.

Although there was one notable note. When I was in Bangor, Ireland they said that you could only buy Lemon Tops there, I was told it was the 'only place on earth' I could get can imagine my surprise when I saw this being advertised on a closed ice cream stand on my way back from KFC:

If I needed a reason to come back to Scarborough - I have one now!! The stand was closed, being that it was nighttime, but I doubt it would have been open anyway due to the lockdown situation...The 'Lemon Top' is proving to be very elusive...

The following day and much more rested - the crew had a look around before we left...

In preparation for leaving, I again checked for updates regarding the 'lockdown' situation, and again, there was nothing - Port Control had no updates and gave us clearance to leave. So we did.

We got out of here about midday and motored on out into the fog...on the way in I had seen a lot of fishing gear out there, gonna have to keep an eye out for them - these were at least well-marked and easy to spot.

I noticed this sculpture on the way out, it's called the 'Diving Belle' - it kinda reminds me of a hood ornament you used to get on expensive old cars...

We didn't really get a good look at Scarborough, hopefully, we will be back this way and get a chance to explore properly when restrictions are eased... That castle sure looked interesting though...and more importantly - the 'Lemon Tops'...

Scarborough soon creepily disappeared into the fog as we continued North. It wasn't a totally unpleasant day, but the fog just gets everything damp and clammy.

As it got dark the wind really dropped to only six or seven knots, our speed dropped to about two knots - I did wait a little while to see if the wind would come back but it didn't, so I started the engine just to give us a little extra push...

Chloe, since getting over her fear of the engine, or rather the sound of the engine when it's running, has now come full circle. She's learned that the companionway steps get warm once the engine is from being afraid of it and being as far away as possible, to being as close as she can get to the heat - the girl just likes to be warm!

The fog didn't lift and as the night passed I had kinda hoped it would be gone by morning. It was a long night with a brief period of activity as we passed Newcastle, but after that, it was all quiet-ish again.

The fog means no stars, no moon, just blackness - not very stimulating stuff - with the odd squawk from some random bird it was like sailing through Silent Hill. On the VHF the weather reports announced that the fog should probably be gone by mid-morning but returning in the afternoon to the North - So probably fog for us for the rest of the way I guess.

There was no sunrise, It just hazily got lighter...but, out of nowhere, we had a surprise visitor. A bird, a very tired bird, decided to hang out with us for a few hours. I say hang out, but it tried to land on the mainsail but then rolled down the sail, then crashed and burned in the cockpit before jumping up onto the backstay...

Deciding I wasn't good company, the bird relocated to a safety line near the bow.

And for the next few hours just had a bit of a rest, I suspect this bird was a tad lost in the fog, it didn't look much like a seabird. As we were headed towards land it was certainly its good fortune that we were here - as there are no other boats out here for miles in every direction, assuming it was lost and looking for land that is...but it sure was tired...

Our little hitchhiker left as soon as the fog lifted and headed straight for the land that was now just visible in the distance...

We were approaching the Farne Islands, a bird sanctuary - an awesome little place but we won't be seeing it today as the fog was soon to return...but we're almost to a point where we can call the circumnavigation done.

I quite like that a little bird stopped by - you always read about that happening, and I've kinda, on some level, been waiting for it to happen. Sometimes at night, when it's foggy, you see little birds flying around the top of the mast, but they never land - not that I've seen anyways.

That little bird must have been flying for a long time and I like that I provided a little safe haven, somewhere for it to rest. Miracles happen every day, and the number of things that had to go exactly right and wrong for us to be there, at that exact time, just when a little bird needed something to be there - I just think it's interesting - maybe that was the point of the whole trip.

Looking at the map it's strange to think that just a few months ago we were here on a day trip right back at the beginning of the blog (0002), once we enter this harbour it marks the completion of the UK Circumnavigation.

The crew can no longer be called 'greenhorns' or 'amateur boat cats' - there are fully-fledged, card-carrying yacht cats now.

In the distance, through the fog, I could just see the lighthouse that marks the breakwater at Berwick and began to get our lines and fenders ready. By the time I had things set up we were pretty much there.

This harbour is a little sketchy depth-wise, and it didn't help matters that we were coming in here at low tide, not even halfway into the harbour we had very little water under the keel, but we made it most of the way in with no problems....until...

Just before we were entered the basin where the pontoon is located I noticed the depth getting very close, I slowed down. Having been in a lot of harbours I often get certain packets of advice mixed up, and in this case, I was aware of silting in the harbour but thought the deeper water was on the starboard side of the channel.

This was a mistake and I lightly grounded into some silt, not once, but twice. A harbour worker motioned where to go and after I got unstuck I pulled into deeper water and went toward the other side of the channel where the silting was minimal and just squeezed in with just 0.25m under the keel in the channel and then into the deeper basin

The Harbour Master came down to take our lines and got us onto the pontoon without any further fuss.

It did bother me that we had grounded out, twice, 50ft from the finish line...not the most graceful ending to this chapter of our travels, but graceful or not - UK Circumnavigation complete.


Is this the end? Absolutely not. We didn't really plan on doing a circumnavigation, but it's just what seemed to happen, and having gone so far around it only really made sense to do it while we're here...

Not sure what we're going to be doing over the next few weeks, but I think any plans are best left on the drawing board as the pandemic restrictions may soon interfere with any plans a person can make.

We live on our yacht, we don't have a house any place - so the three of us are going to keep going, one way or another...I think a quick break to catch up on some sleep and make a pile of small repairs is definitely in order.

But, in going North to avoid lockdown, we may have jumped from the frying pan directly into the fire...

What's next? That's an excellent question. We can't wait to find out either...


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