Wednesday 20 November 2013

Whitby; Day 4.

Sadly our last day today.  Another wet night overnight but the morning dawned fine and bright.  As it was on our way home, we decided to return to Robin Hood's Bay to walk along the beach to below the alum works.  We did find channels cut into the wave cut platform that looked as though ships might have been beached here and a double line of post holes, perhaps part of a jetty.  We were unable to find the old tracks for the trucks that were used to transport the alum to the waiting ships, however.  Nonetheless, we enjoyed a wonderful walk along the beach in superb light.  A brilliant morning to top off a great few days.

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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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Monday 18 November 2013

Whitby; Day 2

Up bright and early this morning for a 'belly-busting' YHA breakfast.  Excellent!!!  Not much else needed until the evening meal.  Sadly the weather was not on our side first thing; in fact it was pouring with rain.  That being so we chose to drive out onto the moors to the Moors Centre at Danby.  Here there is excellent information on the life of the moors, both wildlife and human.  There is also an excellent art gallery with very good work on display and for sale. After a cup of tea in the tea shop the rain began to clear and we headed for Robin Hood's Bay.  Unfortunately the tide was right up, which prevented us getting far on the beach.  The plan had been to walk along the beach from Boggle Hole to the alum works by Ravenscar to look for signs of ancient industrial activity.  We only managed to get to Stoupe Beck Sands and then had to wander back along the cliff top.  Another time.  As we left Boggle, the sky began to clear and, cresting the hill to the main road, we were totally dazzled by the setting sun which made driving difficult in the extreme.  Once back up on the Scarborough road we hot footed it back to the abbey for some sunset photographs.  The abbey grounds were closed, though, so we had to make do with poking the cameras over the wall!!

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