Ernest Dade landed at Filey in October 1883. He wanted to get to Scarborough so went aboard another yawl which was ready to go. The skipper was a tall good looking man of sixty with no teeth. Also with him as crew members were his three sons. Dade continues:
"The skipper wore the usual blue guernsey with a barked jumper over; he had long thick knitted stockings called boot stockings, his fine leather boots gave him the appearance of a cavalier of Charles I's time. Being over 6 feet 3 inches he looked a fine commanding figure.""
The skipper had a high falsetto voice which had been broken with shouting through hail showers and gales of wind, but he used it very little. He pointed to the capstan and four boys ran round it like squirrels; the stay forsail was run up and the anchor came over the bows, and we were underway. We had to make two or three tacks to clear the Brigg end and we went perilously near to my mind, nothing like up to the bell buoy.
We were soon in Scarborough Bay and very properly kept well to the west, right up to the broken water. Then for the first time the skipper spoke: "Stand by for a gybe," and without a movement of the tiller the mainsail went over with an awful bang, sparks coming out of the heavy shackles and blocks as the sheet went over the horse. But the mizen did not go over. All hands were trying to get in the sheet but we couldn't get an inch and the sail wouldn't allow the yawl to come round.
We seemed to be going straight to the beach. I remember well the enormous sea that was lifting us, but just didn't break; it seemed to raise us so high that I could see right down on to the shore which was over half a mile away over a mass of waves and broken water. I saw the lifeboat ready and the people running along the sea wall.
Then the sea broke under us with a thundering crash. Then the skipper did exactly the right thing; he shouted: "let go the mizen peak." The peak came down with a run and we got the sheet in, and the sail came over on the right tack and pointing straight for the harbour, but we were amongst the broken water. The next order was: "set up the peak and haul aft the sheet."
This was soon done. I saw the skipper nudge his son and point to me with his elbow; Whether I was making superhuman efforts on the mizen sheet, or showed by my face what I was really feeling, I don't know, there wasn't time to think. A high grey green mass with a broken top was coming down on us, and looked as dangerous as a mad bull with his head down. I heard the skipper's voice again, high and strong above all the racket of wind and sea: "Look out for yourselves."
Most of the crew jumped for the horse and held on there. Again the skipper's voice rang out: "Get away from that coble," and two boys jumped out and darted down below. The sea took us fairly on the broadside and swept the deck.
Then I saw the wisdom of taking off the bonnet, otherwise it would have burst into the sail and knocked the yawl flat, stopped her way, and we would have been ashore. It passed under the sail but it carried the coble overboard. It did not stop the way of the yawl. The next sea didn't break and in a few minutes we were under the shelter of the piers. "