Missing Link log 5 June 1999

Crew: Kim Hollamby & Malcolm Threadgould.
From: Liverpool Marina, Brunswick Dock, Liverpool.
To: Whitehaven Marina, Whitehaven Harbour, Cumbria. Port engine start hours: 359.9. Finish hours: 364.1. Hours run: 4.2.
Stbd engine start hours: 360.0. Finish hours: 364.2. Hours run: 4.2.
Log start: 3929.8nm. Log finish: 4025.6nm. Distance run: 95.8nm.

Navigation log (full commentary below)
Paid ‘48.79 berthing three nights inc electricity; 368lt diesel ‘85.01. Gas ‘8.35.
1230: round to Coburg Dock for fuel.
1345: into Liverpool Marina lock.
1400: out of lock, speed up to 29kn once in channel.
1410: Tower ECM.
1443: wpt 1051 W of Q2 lightfloat 53 31.50N 003 15.00W. Spd 27kn.
Wind: light SW. Vis: 30nm. Sea: calm.
1455 wpt 1052 0.5nm SW Jordans Spit WCM. 53 35.50N 003 20.00W.
1535: wpt 1053 1.6nm E DP3 rig. 53 49.00N 003 31.00W.
1642: wpt 1054 0.8nm W of Selker PHM. 54 16.00N 003 31.00W.
1722: wpt 1055 1.0nm W Saint Bees Hd. 54 31.00N 003 40.00W.
1728: wpt 1056 1.3nm W chimney N of Whitehaven. 54 33.30N 003 37.50W.
1731: wpt 1057 N of hbr entrance. 54 33.30N 003 35.78W.
1732: Whitehaven Hbr entrance.

Kim Hollamby reports:

The weather has been all over the show in the past few days.

We spent so long in the city yesterday that we failed to arrive back in time to fuel Missing Link. It was something we instantly regretted when we saw the forecast last night. This suggested we should have taken up Liverpool Marina’s offer of an 0500 lock this morning, rather than wait for the afternoon tide, given that winds were due to build all day and bring with them another batch of squally showers. But we only had half tanks, marginal for the 85nm or so to Whitehaven.

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It made it worse this morning when we awoke to find brilliant sunshine and little wind, then worse again when a little flurry of rain hit just as we were stripping off covers to go for diesel. On the bonus side Malcolm and I were tired from yesterday’s explorations and probably needed the sleep, rather than staying up half the night to get Missing Link ready and then getting up in the other half to go.

We needn’t have spent a couple of hours last night mulling over a limited range of alternatives though. The sun burst through again to burn the dampness off Missing Link’s decks and we were left with blue skies and the promise of calm seas. It was a good a send off as Liverpool Marina could have organised. We’ve enjoyed the comfortable surroundings here, its location within walking distance of the City and the friendly assistance of the staff, typified by Ronnie’s cheery wave from the lock control room towering above us as we squared Missing Link away for the Mersey beyond.

I pushed the throttles forward as soon as we reached the main channel, for we had a target of arriving at Whitehaven no later than HW 3, around 1900, in order to cross the outer harbour to the lock with a bit of water in hand. So the fascinating Mersey waterfront was soon passing us by; we could have lingered much longer to look at it. Chasing up the stern of the Woodchurch (see Grand Tour Day 49) and then giving her a wide berth as she turned for Seacombe Pier, we said our melancholy goodbyes, having grown somewhat attached to the area during our short visit.

Counting off the port-hand light floats and watching a flurry of commercial ships race up on the tide, I tried to imagine what it must have been like to sail off on a World War II Atlantic convoy, wondering if I would ever see these welcoming gateposts again. But I failed; our full colour surroundings and relatively flippant reason for heading out didn’t match the monochrome scratched films and serious intent of the people in them that I had seen in the Maritime Museum two days before.


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