Missing Link log 13 July 1999

Crew: Kim Hollamby, Jake Kavanagh.
From: Amble Marina, Warkworth Harbour, Northumberland.
To: St Peter’s Marina, Newcastle.
Port engine start hours: 454.5. Finish hours: 457.2. 2.7.
Stbd engine start hours: 454.2. Finish hours: 457.0. 2.8.
Log start: 5266.6nm. Log finish: 5298.6. Distance run: 32.0nm.

Navigation log (full commentary follows below)
Paid berthing and electricity three nights ‘59.85. Diesel 366lt ‘62.22.
1448: underway.
1456: outside hbr ent.
1500: wpt 1181 0.5nm from hbr ent brg 027M. 55 20.80N 001 33.80W. Wind SW F4-5. Vis: good.
1505: wpt 1182 0.8nm NE Coquet Is. 55 20.75N 001 31.00W.
1532: 55 11.15N 001 27.34W.
1600: wpt 1183 0.6nm from R Tyne entrance brg to enter 263M.
1602: on approach and cleared for entrance with Tyne Hbr Radio.
1607: SHM No2. Down to 6kn (spd limit).
1625: Whitehill Pt.
1707: Bell Pt.
1720: through St Peter’s Marina entrance.
1725: alongside.

Kim Hollamby reports:

After the longer journeys of last week, the itinerary for the next few days looked pretty easy in terms of mileage. Today, for instance, we confidently expected to be at St Peter’s Marina just half-a-mile downstream of Newcastle on the River Tyne a couple of hours after casting off from our berth at 1315. As if to prove my theory that the simplest passages can hold the biggest complications just around the corner, our schedule was just about to be thrown.

Attracted to the Amble Marina fuel berth by a price of 17p/lt, Jake and I watched 14lt gurgle into the port tank and then the pump packed up. The victim of an airlock after a recent delivery of diesel, it took a fair bit of persuasion to eventually get matters going again; even then the pump took its time about things.

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Despite the fact we had now lost quite a bit of time and the flood tide up the Tyne into the bargain, I was feeling sorry for the three Amble staff who were trying to fuel our boat. The magazine logos looming large above them on Missing Link’s flanks must have been a bit intimidating as they struggled to bleed a system that didn’t want to know. Our stay at the marina had been very pleasant and we would have no hesitation in returning.

Departing the harbour, we could now clearly see what had been cloaked in thick fog on our arrival. Some folk further up the coast had warned that Warkworth Harbour’s entrance was difficult but we found it easy provided conditions are favourable, the tide is right and you plot your approach or departure with just a little care.

Choosing the safest route of rounding Coquet Island to the north, we kept a careful watch through the drizzle for the several fishing boats in the area and their gear. A few were modern in design, but others were traditional cobles, their distinctive swept bows and sterns riding easily through the sloppy sea which was giving Missing Link and her incumbents the odd jolt.

Heading southwards it became clear that we were dramatically moving from the rural to the industrial. An hour later, entering between the North and South Piers at Tynemouth with their arms thrown wide as if to greet visiting vessels, there was a brief lapse to the vista of previous days with the sighting of the castle and priory towering above Freestone Point. But then we were into the busy commercial world of the Tyne. First the North Shields Fish Quay and its array of supporting buildings behind. Then cargo and shipbuilding docks on either side, a few of them derelict but many thankfully working in some capacity or another. Admiralty chart 1934 was handy, not so much for keeping us safe in a navigation sense (there is a dredged channel all the way to Newcastle) as for its numerous annotations which explained exactly what it was we were looking at.


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