Albert Strange’s drawing of Grimsby Docks’s famous landmark – the Venetian Tower
Albert Strange writing about his North Sea cruise of 1895:
‘I went on rowing and got a little beyond Kilnsea before it was evident that no further progress was being made. So it was ‘down anchor’ and prepare for a night at sea, or at least to wait until midnight and go into the Humber by the ordinary channel. I sounded and found about four fathoms, which would leave me ample water at low tide, let go anchor, and started the stove. It was now about 6.30 p.m, a fine evening but the glass slowly falling and the surf beating heavily on the shore some 300yds. inside me.
‘After dinner I sat in the cockpit and smoked my pipe. Whilst so occupied I saw two or three people on the beach waving. Of course I could not reply, which seemed to distress them, for they waved still more vigorously. Then they tried to launch a small boat, which was promptly capsized in the surf. It seemed very kind of them to take all this trouble, and I thanked them, though I doubt if they heard me… ‘
Read more at the Old Gaffer’s Association’s Sailing By website.
Mal Nicholson and the Spider T crew will have more to chew on than most when they consider their summer’s adventures, having sailed a 1920s Humber sloop from Keadby to Arbroath and back.
The purpose of the boat’s trip was to attend Arbroath Sea Fest, and join in the marking of the 200th anniversary of the building of the Bell Rock Lighthouse, by Robert Stephenson. (I’m pleased to note a connection here – in building the Bell Rock Light, Stephenson was assisted by John Rennie, whose son Sir John Rennie was responsible for the New River Ancholme Drainage Scheme, which created the river that provides Spider T’s home berth.)
As you’d expect, their trip was marked by a series of minor mishaps and fascinating encounters, unforgettable landfalls, great thundering dawns and glorious sunsets. A series of posts here at intheboatshed.net recorded the northward trip, but you can read about the whole thing on a special page on the Humber Keel and Sloop Preservation Society’s website.
A series of local newspapers covered the story of the Spider T’s visits to ports along the way, including this one recording the moment when the boat and crew called in at Hartlepool.
PS – Dig the great photo on the HKSPS homepage showing a keel skipper working his boat out of harbour using a sweep, with his rudder hard over and a tender in tow. Now there’s a challenge, yotties!