Harbour Master Sailing Challenge visits Whitehaven

Leaving Morcambe Bay with my new crew which included two local pilots David and Edward, we saw the scenery change dramatically. Sailing past famous industrial towns such as Barrow in Furness (Piel Castle) and Sellafield with their magnificent Lake District backdrop, we had hit the north. We received a true “northern” welcome from John, as we entered the huge Whitehaven Marina Sea Lock shouting down to us “welcome to Costa del Whitehaven – you are my 70th boat today!”. The friendliness of the marina extended to the whole town, basking in hot sun

Karl White is officially a Dock Master rather than HM as he is employed by Whitehaven Marina @whitehavenmarina rather than the Harbour Commissioners (too much details for all but my really keen followers!) but he does all the jobs of an HM with a cheerful staff of 16. The Sea Lock is open 365 days a year in all weathers and the port is known and respected as a safe haven refuge port for the Irish Sea. Karl keeps the marina meticulously clean with the help of a special floating collector net he built himself. Luckily for him then, that when he jumped in the harbour to rescue two dogs, the water was cold but not dirty!

History abounds in Whitehaven, mainly on the back of coal mining. With a staggering 70 coal pits sunk over 300 years, and 1,000 ships built in the town, it is no surprise that the harbour was England’s third largest port in the 18thC supplying 80% of all Ireland’s coal imports. Victorian characteristics of phenominal industrial projects (the harbour walls are very thick) and adventurous seafaring traders have left their mark on this town, however new industries have now taken their place in the form of the massive Sellafield Nuclear re-processing plant which employs an incredible 18,000 people.


A final thank you to Darren, @auroramarineengineering, for mending our bow thruster at very short notice. #whitehavenmarina
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About the Harbour Master Sailing Challenge: I am circumnavigating #GB in a #Nauticat attempting to visit every #harbour with a #harbourmaster #fundraising to #support @Seafarers_UK and their work in the #martime industry, supporting #seafarers and their #families.