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  • Writer's pictureAsha

Sailors Feng Shui

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

Feng Shui means Wind and Water. According to the core principles of this ancient philosophy, you do want to focus on having constantly breeze of wind around you, so you can move forwards with ease, and you want to have constantly fresh pure water in your life so you are energised for the road ahead. Sounds to me like the essence of a life afloat! Wind and water are our world! We are constantly inspired to move forward and always finding new energy to do that. It is not always easy to move forward, as we visit so many beautiful and friendly towns, which quickly make us start growing roots, but we still cast off our lines full of enthusiasm to find new inspiring and uplifting places.

To leave Mark’s home waters we certainly had to uproot ourselves but it was time to continue our adventure. After a short visit in the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club to hide from a gale we left Lowestoft in the the fading light. I stood on the bow of Altor to take some footage of us leaving and was marvelling on how was it possible that after a gale during the day we had such calm seas in the evening. As I was lost in those thoughts I heard Mark calling me to come back to the cockpit ASAP. I did and it saved me from an unwelcomed surprised as outside the safe harbour walls the sea was in fact still rough. I didn’t escape getting wet though as when I put the harness on and went back out of the cockpit to retrieve the remaining fenders the waves washed over the side of the boat and over me. We were off!

Our hearts as always were set on sailing and we left on a very promising forecast who’s promises of good speed in the end had to be delivered by Perkins. We made a forty hour passage to Amble in Northumberland, leaving familiar waters, wind farms and gas fields behind. The town and marina proved to be a real gem. The marina is boarded on one side by a classy new development with far-reaching views and and lovely open spaces stretched along the river bank on the other. Amble is the sort of place that swallows you whole, in a really good way. Abundance of open spaces delivered some great kite flying venues so we took advantage every time there was enough wind. Flying kits it such an in-the-moment kind of thing, mesmerising, almost meditative. Pulling on the lines of the kite becomes a second nature as if the kite was an extension of the body. As soon as you look away distracted by a woofer reacting loudly to the unidentified flying object, the object comes down, sometimes with a bang. In search of wind and open spaces I carried the kites around in a backpack, so they towered above my head, which provoked a lot of reaction from dogs too!

Amble is a beautiful town with a spectacular sea front featuring Coquet Island with an old monastery converted into a lighthouse. The town quay is alive with restaurants and small shops, some selling souvenirs, which gives it a feel of a lovely little holiday destination. We made the local boutique ice-cream shop our daily indulgence to make sure nothing on the menu was left untasted. This could have gone on for a while as the menu displayed new flavours every day, so to avoid shrinking wardrobe we resorted to the sailor’s Feng Shui rules and left two hours before high tide to make it over the sill that holds the water in the marina, out of the wonderful town of Amble and headed north. We didn’t wait for the favourable winds to set off for our next destination as we decided for a near by stop.

We arrived at the Holy Island of Lindisfarne at dusk and dropped the anchor. The silhouette of a monastery towering over the island was prominent against the inky blue sky. The next day we landed on the island. It smelled of sea breeze and fresh cut grass. My first thought was that the place felt as if the time there was half the speed than anywhere else. The island emanated the chilled out vibe. Maybe it is a portal to the past times when the remnants of the ancient buildings visible all around where in their best condition and the local folks were trying without success to fend off the attacking Vikings. Maybe.

A tarmac path led up the hill to the monastery with well manicured laws on each side. We climbed up enjoying the view of the coast and observing seals hunting the abundant fish in the waters surrounding the island. The monastery is completely refurbished and looks over the sea in anticipation of rowing boats full of Vikings, or maybe tourists. However the place was closed to visitors and the only welcome we got was from sea birds nesting in its gutters.

We went back for a tour around the town only to discover pretty stone houses and cobbled streets, and to our absolute delight pubs that were now inviting customers inside so we were more than happy to sample some local delicious hot food in the Crown and Anchor Inn. What a treat indeed!

The forecasted wind announced that it was time to move and the following day we made another short hop to Berwick-upon-Tweed, our home for the next few days, a pretty town with rich history, great local bakery and lovely cafes. We are now moored with two other boats on a new pontoon in Tweed Dock hiding from another gale, happy that we didn’t chance the journey in these conditions to Peterhead.

For us home is where the boat is, and thanks to that we have the best of both worlds, which means we get to live in all those amazing places for a while, and keep going with wind and across waters in search of horizons new.

Dusk in beautiful Amble Marina

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Monastery on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Sailing to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Sailing to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Wooden jetty in Amble

Castle in Warkworth, a town twinned with Warkworth New Zealand - only a short walk from Amble.

The boardwalk in Amble

The boardwalk in Amble

Lighthouse on the Coquet Island

Flying kite along the river in Amble

Warkworth, a town twinned with Warkworth New Zealand - only a short walk from Amble.

Altor moored safely in the beautiful Amble Marina

Amble Marina

Sailing to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Coquet Island visible from the beach in Amble

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Enjoying the sunset over the Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Arriving in Berwick-upon-Tweed

Dropping anchor near the Holy Island of Lindisfarne

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