Spider T reaches Arbroath
By: Chris Horan
TYING in the outer harbour of Arbroath imbued crew members of the Humber super sloop Spider T with a sense of delight, on Wednesday night, destination achieved, with ambassadorial calls at ports en route.
“It is great to arrive on schedule and be ready for the Arbroath Sea Fest, the main days of which are Saturday and Sunday,” said skipper and owner Mal Nicholson.
“This last leg of the voyage from Anstruther to Arbroath was slightly marred because the peak halyard was too long and could not be hoisted high enough to use the main sail effectively.
“It had been too windy in port to raise the sails but the stability of the vessel was being compromised slightly due to the baggy main sail.”
On a gaff rigged vessel like Spider T the main sail is stretched out between the boom and the gaff at the top of the sail, which is held from the main mast in a diagonally upward direction.
“You can only test the temporary sails once you get to sea. These issues will be addressed in Arbroath and adjusted accordingly.
“The decision not to go to Montrose was partly due to the fact we needed the shortest possible route with the rig in the condition it was.
“It is a difficult entry to Arbroath with the tide and you have to maintain a heading through the rocks at the entrance and at low tide when we entered it was most difficult but she was navigated in successfully although there was very little room for error.
She slightly grounded on the mud at the entrance to the harbour, another 10 minutes and we could not have got in it was that close.”
The vessel was tied up in the outer harbour and the crew were just in time to catch a meal in a nearby pub the Brew House where among the delights sampled were hearty steak pies and Clooty dumpling and custard.
On Thursday morning the vessel, which was built at Warren’s Shipyard in New Holland in 1926, was moved into the inner harbour ready for a spring clean in preparations for hundreds of visitors to come aboard on the Sea Fest weekend which is part of the 200th anniversary of the building of the nearby Bell Rock lighthouse.
The spring clean was less than helped when a drainage worker disposed of some of his material into he corner of the harbour splattering some of the mess over ropes and part of the decks of the Spider T, creating more work and a potential health risk for members of the crew.
Skipper Mal Nicholson, vented his anger and then went down below to cool off.
“It did not make for a good welcome and I was furious, I needed a cooling off period.”
However, the day was going to improve with the arrival of Mal’s wife Val and a number of other friends.
Mal once again thanked fuel sponsors CFS and Scunthorpe based Dhl (Uk) who provided some food for the voyage.
The Spider T finished as runner-up in the National Historic Ships Flagship of the year award and is acting as an ambassador for the organisation and is spreading the word about the delights of North Lincolnshire.
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