Well! Here we are on the penultimate day of what has been a successful voyage.
After the excitement of Arendal being part of the Tall Ships family surrounded by thousands of people of all nationalities and well-wishers, we then had some exhilarating sailing and four days at sea by ourselves, getting used to shipboard routine with the wind pushing us along and the sun shining on us. Unfortunately, the wind lessened and turned south, bringing an end to the good times and bringing out the engines, all the way into a Scottish port which, after a lot of speculation, turned out to be Dunbar. We passed Bass Rock mid-morning and dropped anchor with rides ashore in the DOTI boat starting almost straight away.
Very few crew members had visited the lovely town of Dunbar before, but having got a signal back, Google briefed us all and we had an interesting afternoon ashore on dry land! Someone remembered the Edinburgh Festival was in full swing and so several younger members of the crew took the short train ride to see the many street acts and soak up the atmosphere there till the last DOTI boat was set to return. Others sampled the delights of the two museums of Dunbar, some celebrating the heritage and fishing industry, and the rest learning of the life of the naturalist and conservationist John Muir who was born in the town. Needless to say the less cultured sampled the tea rooms and pubs but everyone had a good time before anchor watches commenced at 20:00 with a quiet night to follow.
Today started with the anchor being raised at 7.30 and a motor into the light wind, warmed by the sun, to cover the 60 or so miles past Lindisfarne, the Farne Islands and Holy Island towards Blyth. There were still plenty of sails needing a harbour stow with plenty of willing volunteers to go up and do it and a very fine job they did.
Many new friendships have been formed and there will be many sad goodbyes as we all head off if different directions tomorrow morning, but, on a personal note, having done my first Tall Ships Race to Norway in 1978 it was a wonderful nostalgia trip to be able to participate again and still enjoy it just as much now as I did then.
From Forward Starboard Watch
W/L Colin, Hilary, Sally, Gabe, Corellia and Ben
[Note from the shore – sadly the first two blogs were lost somewhere in the North Sea. We’re not sure what happened to them. Sorry TNS634 Crew!]