A glorious sunny but chilly morning greeted the seven knights as they assembled at Manor House. First to “drop anchor” was the Admiral accompanied by the Rear-Admiral. They were soon joined by the Captain and the Bosun. A further three unannounced vessels loomed over the horizon with Commodore Mike followed by Lieutenant Dave and Sub-Lieutenant Jenny.
The Admiral had found a new cargo loading destination south of the river and with favourable winds it was decided to head for the Old Tile Works near Barton-Upon-Humber. The fleet set off towards Walkington with reefed sails and wind broad on the starboard beam. Taking the back road we continued towards Little Weighton before turning for the first climb up Bluestone Bottoms. The chilly air and muscles not yet warmed up made the climb more difficult, but did not stop a half-hearted “wacky” race to the top between Admiral, Vice-Admiral and Captain.
After regrouping at the base of Comberdale Hill it was time for a photo opportunity as the fleet paraded past the Admiral. On reaching the junction at Westoby Lane, the Rear-Admiral took charge of the route planning and sent the Bosun onwards up hill before realising the error of her ways and had to send out a recall and grovelling apology before taking the previously advised route, advocated by the Admiral. Turning towards Riplingham and the wind now firmly on the starboard quarter, the pace began to pick up as we headed down wind and down hill into Welton. The warmth of the sun shining on the corner of Kidd Lane was welcome after the chill of the wind and shade of Lambwell Hill.
The next section of the journey saw the fleet passing busier roads than we’re used to, as we made our way through Welton, Melton and North Ferriby to reach the Humber Bridge. Crossing the bridge on the lee side was quite pleasant. There was little pedestrian traffic, however one pair straddling the road, required some loud bellowing from the Admiral’s foghorn to warn of our approach.
As we passed the café car park, the Admiral pointed out, with a hint glee in his voice, a line of cars parked over to the east, which he claimed were all people there to attend a “speed awareness” course. The warmth of the café was extremely welcome as were the refreshments which appeared quickly. During the cargo loading, the Commodore started to wave his digit around to show he was a “man of wood on a ship of steel”. Perhaps he should have known better, as the fleet seemed eager to get the cutlasses out and perform instant surgery to remove the offending splinter. Bottle of rum over here please!!
The journey home saw us returning from Hessle towards Tranby before taking a wrong turn sending the fleet through unfamiliar roads through West Ella before getting back on track at Swanland. On the way up the Riplingham road, Sub-Lieutenant Jenny started to experience mechanical difficulties, forcing her to use more sail than necessary thus making the climb rather more difficult. Taking the Rowley road we were soon at Little Weighton, where bosun Russel took his leave while the rest of the fleet returned to Walkington and back to Beverley.