Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Leg 6, Day 8; Greymare to Cullercoats

We woke this morning at Greymere Farm, having had the first good nights' sleep in a week, thanks to the fact that we were in wonderfully comfortable beds, rather than the floor of another RNLI station!


Georgie and Chris Leyland had laundered and dried our kit and clothes (which were now no longer offensively smelly, having been washed first time this week!), produced a fantastic breakfast for us, and gave us an incredibly generous donation, before sending us on our way south. We are both hugely grateful to them both for a fantastic stay and for all their generosity. It was wonderful catching up.

The forecast for the day was good, which was a huge relief following the previous day's soaking. We immediately made good progress through the beautiful rolling Northumberland countryside as we headed south.

Our first stop of the day was Seahouses- the station was perched on the edge of the town's harbour, busy with tourists heading on boat trips to the beautiful Farne Islands, or along the coast to see the seals. A quick photo and we were back on the road.

On we ploughed, through the rolling countryside, until we reached the small and very beautiful fishing village of Craster. As there were no crew were about, we took a quick photo and headed on.... 

Just as we were leaving Craster, disaster struck as my chain snapped. Thankfully, Rad had all the equipment required to fix it, and at last had the opportunity  to use it! Quarter of an hour later, and with a lot of muck and oil all over us, we were back on the road heading further south (in very cool shades!)

The third station of the day was the busy seasie town of Amble. We were welcomed by the RNLI shop staff who gave us tea, filled our bottles and gave us oil for our chains. A brief picnic lunch (kindly provided by Georgie Leyland) in the sun, while watching the fishing bats and some children swimming in the harbour, and we were underway again.

Gone are the days of two days' cycling between lifeboat stations, as was the case in parts of the North West of Scotland, with regular RNLI stations to visit again now each day. Not far down the coast we reached Biggin, where we were welcomed by the mechanic who was undertaking some important repairs to the boat. We had a good yarn with him while he worked away and understood that this was the oldest Lifeboat Station Building in Britain, having been established in 1851. Just outside were a fleet of old timber fishing boats, which were still active, focussing on Lobster Pots and Salmon Drift Nets.

As we cycled on through the countryside (much of which being 'off road' with yet more dubious route planning by Rad) we passed a small aircraft meet, and decided to stop off for lunch. There was an amazing collection of light aircraft on display, with people having travelled from right across the country in their planes. A burger from the bbq, and we were soon chatting with a few of the enthusiasts, who surprised us by the fact that these small (2-6 seater) planes could be bought for £5k - £60k - not much more than the cars that you see on the road. With a range of some 800 miles for many of them and speed of up to250mph, it was certainly very appealing, and gave us plenty to chat about as we cycled on...

The next RNLI station was Blyth- quite an interesting industrial town centre, which had embraced renewables, with turbines along the waterfront. No crew in site, so a quick photo and we were off again...


The final stop of the day was Cullercoats, where we were staying for the night. We were welcomed at the station by an RNLI beach lifeguard who was manning the rather busy beach outside the station, and gave us a cuppa. 

A short while later, Frank and his wife dropped in to show us around the station and settle us in for the night.  Rad also took it upon himself to do a spot of lifeguard duties....

Following a shower, blog writing and general sorting and washing of kit we headed down the road to an Italian for supper of Caneloni and Salad before bed.

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