Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Whitby; Day 3.

After a wet night the day dawned bitterly cold but promising.  Winter has arrived!!  After another YHA Full English, we headed off to nearby Saltwick Bay for some photography of the wreck of the Rohilla and the Nab and also some fossil hunting.  The Rohilla was a naval hospital ship and  sailing south through the North Sea at around 4:00 a.m. on 30 October 1914 when she struck Whitby Rock, a reef at Saltwick south of Whitby. At the time there was a fierce gale and due to wartime blackout conditions no landmarks were visible. Although the ship was only 600 metres from shore, the treacherous conditions of the high seas and storm force winds made rescue difficult. Rockets with ropes attached were fired from the cliffs, but all missed. The Rohilla had no rockets of her own. Due to the weather conditions Whitby's lifeboat could not be launched from the harbour, so it was carried by hand over an eight-foot seawall and across rocks so that it could be launched from the beach nearest the ship. The five women aboard the ship were the first to be rescued. Seventeen survivors were taken during the lifeboat's first run, and another eighteen were rescued on its second; however, the lifeboat itself was too badly damaged to continue the rescue.  Six lifeboats carried out a rescue operation lasting fifty hours, saving many of the 229 people on board, but 85 lives were lost in the disaster.

From Saltwick Bay we drove along the coast to Staithes but by the time we had parked and set off down the hill into the village the weather had clouded over and it had begun to rain and then snow!!!  There was only one thing for it - the pub, but only for coffee!!! ;-(  Peter and myself enjoyed reminiscing over our first visit to Staithes with mum and dad in the late 50s when all the old ladies used to sit outside their cottages in traditional costume: long black dresses, aprons and shawls with bonnets on their head.  Not for the tourist; in those days that was the way of life.  Eventually the rain eased and the sky began to clear.  Hoping for some sun we decamped to the other side of the bay for some photography from Cowbar.  The right decision was made and we had some wonderful light for this famous viewpoint. 

 Returning to Whitby we had magnificent views with dramatic skies from Sandsend and then excellent light on the old town.

Soon it was time to return to the hostel for a snooze and then a beer before heading back down into the town for a meal.  Sadly our last evening.

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