Round Britain 2019 - Lowestoft to Whitby

May 13, 2019
2 minutes

What a difference a day makes!


As the sun rose on Thursday morning, it appeared that the weather had calmed and that our overnight passage to Whitby could go ahead. This was, for many of our crew, the first time an overnight sail had been attempted, however the skills and experience of our skippers meant that any nerves were quickly set aside and spirits were high as they left Lowestoft.

As the east coast passed by Ashanti and Clearlake II made steady progress throughout Thursday, although a northerly wind did mean motor-sailing for some portions, and soon they were in amongst the gas rigs and wind farms of the North Sea.

Making chilli to keep everyone fed and warm

Night sailing provides a whole new dynamic to time on board. Our crews split into three-hour watches and took it in turns to keep their colleagues on course as they slept below. With minimal light pollution forty miles off shore, and with the clouds slowly clearing, the majesty of the Milky Way unfolded above our vessels with a clarity so rarely possible in the UK; one of our watches on Ashanti even saw the space station passing overhead!

The ruins of Whitby Abbey

The following morning, the skies were a clear blue and the waters were calm, and after a much-needed breakfast (cooking at a thirty degree angle is a challenge for the uninitiated!), our crews continued to eat up the miles. The first glimpse of our destination was the ruins of Whitby Abbey, its glorious Gothic arches looming over our crews from the clifftop (no wonder this place was the inspiration for Dracula) and soon our two yachts were expertly piloted through the narrow entrance of the harbour, where they would wait for the tide to come in enough for them to pass through the swing bridge into the Marina.

A replica of HMS Endeavour
A very welcome fish supper

Both crews were tired and hungry after a 35 hour passage, and were soon tucking into the best fish and chips money can buy in one of the most beautiful port towns in the country, and alongside a replica of Captain Cook's HMS Endeavour as the sun set over the harbour.

If you wish to support our crews on their voyage, and help Macmillan Cancer Support continue their vital work with those affected by cancer, please follow this link to our justgiving page:

Thank you.

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