September 2008, returned from costal venture to Scotland proving Spider’s ability to cope with sea conditions.

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Gale drama forces ship to Yarmouth

1. Contacted Haven museum with regard to a possible visit. www.havenmuseum.nl
Spider T

2. Advised by our contact at the Haven Museum Monica Lundstrom, that the best time for a visit would be the World Port Festival from the 4th to the 6th of September 2009.

3. My decision was made to go to Rotterdam and notified the crew, the museum and National Historic Ships.

4. November, work begins to prepare the Spider for a sea voyage.

5. Members of the crew worked on various projects to put the Spider in the best possible condition prior to her voyage such as a new stern rail, bow safety rail, more electronic navigation aids, GSM radiophone, carling hatches & hatch covers and much more.

6. The outbound voyage departed at 14.30 from Keadby Lock, travelling up the River Trent, to Trent-Falls onto the River Humber, and finally out into coastal waters travelling south to Grimsby arriving at 19.30 on Saturday the 15th August.

7. Spider T suffered a broken steel cable on the rigging in a squall on the River Humber on Saturday 15th August.

8. We enjoyed the night at the Grimsby sailing clubhouse, crab racing and drinking beer.

9. We departed again Sunday 16th August at 15.00 after a lock gate malfunction caused delays. The sailing conditions were great, later watching a fantastic sunset as we sailed into the night towards Lowestoft arriving at 09.00.

10. Monday 17th August, much earlier than expected we re-fuelled and topped up the water tanks, left Lowestoft at 15.00 towards Rotterdam in superb conditions, but could have done with more of a breeze.

11. We sailed into the sunset again with a beautiful evening sky, when we served a meal on board worthy of a good restaurant.

12. We used a 4-hour shift system for our 8-man crew, 4 on, and 4 off. The system saved fatigue especially in the hours of darkness.

13. Daybreak and 30 nautical miles from the Netherlands was quite spectacular and was one of those moments of pure magic.
Spider T Sunset

14. 30 miles away from the Dutch coast we lost the weathervane and flag halyard sheave, now at the bottom of the North Sea.

15. On entering Maas Approaches under instruction from the port authority we were the focus of much attention, the pilot ship launched an inflatable RIB to take pictures of the Spider T. & crew at a good speed with full sail.
Pilot and crew

16. On entering the River Maas we were greeted by an oilrig being manoeuvred right across our path by a flotilla of tugboats and patrol vessels. Again I was given specific instructions by the port authority, which was followed rigidly, and the whole process went without a hitch.

16. On entering the river Maas we were greeted by an oilrig being manoeuvred right across our path by a flotilla of tugboats and patrol vessels. Again I was given specific instructions by the port authority, which was followed rigidly, and the whole process went without a hitch.
Pilot and crew

17. Every stage of the river Maas is monitored by radar and designated VHF radio channels as you pass from one sector of this busy river to another. Each sector has it’s own radio channel & radar scanner.

18. Spider T. sailed up the river Maas to the Erasmus Bridge where the sails were lowered for the bridge that opened to our final destination the Leuverhaven and the Haven Museum.
Pilot and crew

19. The outbound journey was completed within 47 hours.

20. Arrival at the museum harbour escorted by a museum vessel piloted by Henk, the Harbourmaster, was a great feeling of achievement and to Henks credit, everything was ready for our arrival, even at such a late hour.

21. Our display area was fantastic, a better mooring than I expected by far, we were positioned at the centre of activity with 240v power and water supply with our own keys to the museum harbour, the red carpet treatment.
Pilot and crew

22. The next morning after a good meal and a few beers and some much needed sleep Monica came to visit and made us welcome and gave us as much help as possible followed by a tour of Rotterdam by water in the museums launch and introductions to key members of staff.

23. The museum staff were very helpful and friendly, assisting with various problems that needed to be addressed such as mechanical issues, manufacturing assistance and also printing, translation and photocopying of information sheets.

24. All new gear had to be manufactured to replace the weathervane and flag halyard lost on the outbound trip I enjoyed working with the Museum staff making the parts . I subsequently fitted the replacement by being lifted by an enormous crane towering 150ft above and lowering me down onto the top of the 65ft mast.
Pilot and crew

25. Martyn Heighton, Head of National Historic Ships Greenwich London, flew over to Rotterdam to launch Spider T. into the event.

26. Myself, owner/skipper of the Spider and Martyn Heighton head of National Historic Ships, raised the new flag for National Historic Ships for the first time on the Spider T. on Friday 4th September.
Pilot and crew

27. A seminar was held on board Spider on Friday 4th September between Dutch and British officials connected with the historic ship movement. The people present included museum directors historic ship operator’s event organizers etc. and representatives from National Historic Ships from the U.K. A brief introduction was given by Mal Nicholson about the ship Spider T and her voyage over the North Sea to the Haven Museum Rotterdam. Points under discussion were: -

A short report on National Historic Ships by Martyn Heighton.

Operational Maritime Heritage and Legislation/Regulation in UK and NL

 Safety  Environment / Pollution.

Protection of Ships : the future : how to secure our maritime legacy?

 Aging owners  Never ending conservation  Formal status

28. Various invitations were offered to myself and the Spider T by officials from the events, for example Dordrecht in Steam, Returning To Rotterdam, and sailing to Brest for an event were just some of the options

29. Various gifts were received including books signed by famous seafarers, pictures, photographs, bags of food & drink including beer and wine, 2010 calendars and so much more.

30. Over the festival weekend we welcomed thousands of visitors and many of them signed the Spider T. visitors book. Some had travelled from far away countries such as Australia, Canada, China and Germany just to name a few.


• The Haven Museum is a working museum that has it’s own engineering shops with wood working facility, electrical department, blacksmith shop with all the relevant staff with all the experience skills to match to maintain the vessels, cranes, trains and equipment.

• Spider T. was one of a minority of Humber sailing vessels capable of going seaward.

• The Spider T. teamed up with the Grand Turk whilst in Yarmouth. The crew of the Turk came on board the Spider to watch Mutiny on the Bounty with Charles Laughton, and the crew of the Spider were cordially invited aboard the Grand Turk for supper.

• The return Trip from Rotterdam to our homeport had to be aborted due to bad weather, see Yarmouth Mercury excerpt on the next page.

• Whilst moored at Maasluis we met Bob and Ralph Brown who moored their small craft just in front of the Spider T in the middle of the night on their final stage of an incredible crossing from Tampa Florida. We showed them hospitality and true feeling for their bravery and determination, invited them aboard for hot drinks etc. followed by Dutch T.V. coverage of the event. The Brown brothers their vessel and the Spider t were featured


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