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East Anglia in sight
Progress down the east coast may have appeared rather regular and untroubled. Certainly I haven't been feeling the pressure of time. But those goldilocks days of pleasant and worry free miles with head time for daydreaming have been elusive nonetheless. The north of England was sailed with rather strong offshore winds making for uncomfortable sailing. I ended up sailing in winds I'd rather have sat out, further offshore than is prudent, with the ever present concern about breakages. Wind acceleration around some land features was fairly brutal. I was very happy when that ended and some gentler days followed.
Those gentler days took me past Teeside and onto the Yorkshire coast. I had a day becalmed in Robin Hood's Bay (fresh mackerel donated by local fisherman, barbequed, delicious). Since then the feature of recent days has been swell. Not enormous waves but enough to make landings difficult on stretches of coast that offer very little protection. A couple of days ago I found myself becalmed, with evening fast approaching, high spring tides and a crunching shorebreak to negotiate. The only landing spot available was a few metres of beach at the bottom of a (scalable) cliff. I attempted a landing and backed off with 20m to go - with the light wind I just wasn't going to be able to get in quick enough to avoid a rinsing and likely breakages. Half an hour later a couple of knots of wind tempted me to try again and I made it in and dragged my kit to safety. I thought I'd done a pretty good job of getting in but the window on my sail had been tagged and was split from corner to corner. After reviewing options I climbed the cliff and hacked through the undergrowth to a caravan park, cleaned up the sail in a puddle, and arranged a rendezvous with my uncle and a roll of duct tape. The repair has been going two days now, and has got me to Skegness, where I am now tending to the peeling duct tape. There is also wear on the mast from where the camber inducers rub which is a concern. East Anglia is now literally in sight. There is a reasonable north swell running for these next few days which will continue to complicate landing options. I'm being as gentle as I can on my kit, and keeping fingers crossed and touching wood whenever the finish is mentioned.