Lowestoft and nightsail to Whitby 12.5. - 16.5.
Ahoy, Suwena is sailing again! The sea voyage should never begin on Friday so the 12th of May we gained some luck by leaving on Monday and let’s get the summer cruise started.
On this sailing from Ipswich to Lowestoft we passed Suwena's southernmost point of this year. Fortunately it was sunny, thus the northerly direction did not feel so crazy at all. During the 57 nautical mile leg, the Nauticat Suwena reached 4000 miles reading in her log.
At the mouth of the river Orwell we had a wind on the beam and made the season's best with 7.8 knots through the water. We'll see where and when we will beat somewhere during this summer. Later we turned downwind and set the gennaker. At the end of the journey the wind died and we motored to Lowestoft where we arrived just before the midnight. Feelings were high before the bedtime, our cruise had started.
On Tuesday morning we noticed that the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club was welcoming us with the Finnish flag flying on the pole. When paying the harbour fee we learnt that the Finns are very rare in their marina and they had to work hard for finding the Finnish flag in the morning. Kudos to them!
Lowestoft, the easternmost point of the UK, is famous for its sandy beach that we also went to explore. We had been the previous day at sea and a little walk was in order. While in Germany the beaches were full of sitting benches that protect from the wind, here in Lowestoft the beach was lined by small beach sheds which are called for beach houses and they can be rented for a year at a time.
It was also a pleasant surprise to meet a Finn working in Lowestoft when we accidentally run into Pirita and her husband Peter. We just had a dinner and were calculating the tidal currents for the next day when we heard a brisk Finnish hello next to our table. It is always fun to meet people from own country and it feels like we have been knowing each other already for a long time.
On Wednesday the wind turned north and were still blowing in the evening. We were waiting for it to blow out so we left just at noon on Thursday. There was no way we wanted to have a north wind directly on our nose.
While preparing the yacht for the sea we had for the first time the UK Border Force visiting us onboard. They checked the boat papers and asked a lot of questions about our time in the UK and upcoming plans. For the first time the officials wanted to have a copy of the boat registration documents, unfortunately we had only originals. Anyhow, everything was in order and soon they were wishing us a fair winds on our way to Scotland.
Near Lowestoft the tidal currents are strong and we aimed to leave just when the current turned north. It was May and we sailed in a beautiful 22 degree sunshine with the current pushing us by additional three knots of speed.
The journey progressed smoothly and soon the day turned into night. In the horizon we could see the lights of the famous oil rigs of the North Sea. They looked like a string of pearls in the dark night. During the night we sailed mainly with the power of iron genny. We also raised the gennaker few times whenever there were any wind at all.
In the morning we calculated that we had gained 10 miles advantage from the tidal current and were about to arrive into Whitby a couple of hours too early. It was still low tide and there would not be enough water for Suwena. Thus it felt very funny when we bobbled without sails and no engine on the silky smooth sea. Despite of this we were travelling at almost three knots towards Whitby - unbelievable. Finally we started the engine as otherwise the current would have taken us further away to the sea. We arrived to Whitby just when there were three metres of water. We made her fast to the waiting pontoon of the local yacht club as the next bridge opening to Whitby marina was still two hours away.
On Friday afternoon at half past two after mooring her alongside the waiting pontoon we had travelled 27 hours and 153 nautical miles from Lowestoft. While waiting for the bridge to open we enjoyed a slice of cheesecake in a sunny cockpit. We really felt that we had earned that for sure.