Normally when food is mentioned in “despatches” the number of “trawlers” multiplies by a factor of two. On this occasion however we had some away on far flung “hunting grounds” plus a few others with “engine” problems preventing them taking advantage of the bountiful offerings at Hornsea Inshore Rescue.
Seven trawlers gathered at Market Cross to seek out the coastal waters of Hornsea. The good ship Michael was the last to make up the fleet numbers as he hurried in against the “main flow of traffic”. Breathlessly exclaiming that he had a problem with his headset while bouncing vigorously up and down on the handlebars to demonstrate. “I’m sure it’s not meant to do that?” he said as he surveyed the faces of the other “Captains” looking for confirmation. “It looks terminal to me” said one helpful voice. “Right, change of route, let’s head along Norwood and call into the ‘bike repair yard’ to check it out” suggested the Admiral.
Emerging from the repair shop a few minutes later somewhat reassured he informed the fleet that his “ship” was seaworthy but would need to book a “drydock” in the near future. The outbound passage then continued with a fair wind following as we made our way to Routh before taking the “Southern Channel” to Meaux and Arnold. Just as we were cruising along towards the “Channel Tunnel” at Arnold, Michael missed the turn and was about to sail off into the heavy traffic until he was “hailed” on the “loudspeaker” much to the amusement of the fleet. “I always forget that turn” he explained wriggling like an eel to “get off the hook”.
From Long Riston the fleet continued westwards with only a brief stop for some of the trawlers to “pump the bilges”. At Great Hatfield there was a brief confusion as some of the trawler skippers, concerned that we were running late, stopped to discuss the merits of taking the most direct route to Hornsea or stick to the original plan via Mappleton.
Deciding to stay with the plan, the fleet then felt the need to “up the pace” and ring down to the engine room for “Mair steam Doogie”. For some of us it was a case of “Captain, she cannae take any more” as the fleet scattered like the Spanish Armada in the “stormy” seas on the coast road into Hornsea. The sight of the Hornsea Inshore Rescue centre looming on the horizon was therefore a welcome relief.
The smiling faces of the “Rescue Team” provided a warm welcome along with the tea, coffee and biscuits. For our two seafarers, Pugwash and Seadog it was also a chance to reunite with our former colleague Sue, who along with her team have achieved an impressive setup. Following a video display highlighting the work of the HIRB we were given a demonstration of “suiting up” with Seadog “volunteering” to take part.
At the end of the demonstration we had a question and answer session after which we had a tour of the facility before sitting down to a wonderful “plate” of Fish and Chips. Fully sated, we then “waddled” round for look at the rescue boat, finishing with a visit to the shop /cafe. We all had a wonderful experience and came away with an enhanced respect for the work carried out by all the volunteers.
Our visit came to an end all too soon as we dragged our feet back on board our “trawlers”. The prospect of heading home, stuffed to the gills, into a head wind did not fill anyone with joy. However, as each trawler took it in turns to “tow” the others along, we still managed to get home in good time. For those who missed out this time round, there will be another opportunity at another date.