Friday, 21 July 2017

Back on the water - Choppy water and transport poets TYNE

After some significant time where real life got in the way, at last back out on the water and what a great place to start off the beautiful Yorkshire coast out from a sunny Whitby. 

The plan to head up the coastline towards the hidden gem of the village of Staithes, a significant fishing port at the turn of the 20th Century and once home to a then unknown a young grocer's apprentice, Captain James Cook. 

Most of the journeys start with a packed bag and a train journey out of my home town on the Ayrshire coast on the West coast of Scotland and this was no different. The first leg of the journey took me to Middlesbrough to stay with a friend who took good care of me and a bed for the night before the early start to the coastal town of Whitby. As the train trundled across the Yorkshire moors I was struck by the beauty of the local geography.

The view from the Whitby bound train

On arrival I met up with my generous skipper Colin Shores, semi retired ex car-dealer now found working bliss through painting and decorating. Even though the sky was clear of cloud and the sun was already burning down, Colin advised me that I had picked the worst day in July for getting out onto the water. I was soon to learn a new meaning to the innocuous word"Northerly"  As we headed to the end of the pier to stare out to bobbing yellow buoy, it wasn't looking good.

As we headed back into the marina to talk to the harbour master I was beginning to think "Why today?" After looking out at the daytrippers out on the "pirate ship" in the rollercoaster sea , we decided to go for it and see what happens!

The calmness of Whitby marina on a beautiful July day.

The Sea Shores II in the deceptively calm Whitby harbour.

As we headed out into open water a steady rolling became rollercoaster to bucking bronco in places. Heading out to deeper water and turning North we pitched and rolled, a rough ride that told us one thing that the weather and sea conditions weren't giving up fighting against us. 

Colin, skipper and safe pair of hands.

Where did everything go?

It may seem a beautiful relaxed onshore, but it's important to remember that the sea can be a wild and dangerous place. Feeling that the sea conditions could put us at some risk if we continued to travel further up the coast, Colin expertly manoeuvred the boat back round to head back to the towards the safety of Whitby harbour. 

As we headed back towards Whitby we encountered the crazy people on the "Pirate pleasure ship" although I wonder in an open vessel the pleasure is quite the word!

After a well earned lunch we headed by land to the village of Staithes via road which beckoned so tantalisingly from the water, but may have been a risk too far to venture by sea.

The access for the general public is a car park at the top of the hill so even with summer visitors the streets of Staithes remain quiet and nostalgic charm which belie the the harshness of life that the residents must have endured during its fishing heyday.

Staithes has a particular facination as the home to a group of twenty to thirty artists known as the "Staithes Group" or the "Northern Impressionists." The group contained renowned artists such as Edward E. Anderson, Joseph R. Bagshawe, Thomas Barrett and James W. Booth.  Dame Laura Knight became the most famous member of the Staithes Group; she and her husband and fellow painter Harold Knight kept a studio in the village

Looking out to the headland of the bay that was clearly visible out to sea when we were bobbing about in the roller-coaster waters of the North Sea.

After a cup of coffee is was back on the long days journey to home in the West coast of Scotland. 

Whitby station inundated with what seemed hundreds of schoolchildren and retired day trippers I climbed aboard the train back to Middlesbrough in the first leg of my journey. What I hadn't expected that the conductor would be the famous Graham Palmer, the bard and poet of Northern Rail. Destinations introduced in rhyming couplets what could be a better way to end of the Yorkshire leg of the journey.

Sitting waiting for my next connection to Darlington to pick up my train Edinburgh and then on to my home town Troon. An eventful and memorable trip... onwards to the next Forecast area...