During April and May, 27 ships arrived and 25 departed the port which was slightly fewer than in the two previous months.

Scandinavian timber remains the principal import. Seven vessels discharged cargoes but six had part unloaded at other British ports save the Lady Ariane which arrived with a full cargo from Varberg in western Sweden.

Two vessels carried aggregate for the building industry to Lynn on regular runs from Alveiro in Portugal and Randers in Denmark.

Another regular, if modest, import is wheat from Bonnieres in France but a second cargo came from Vierow on the German Baltic.

Also from Kaliningrad in  the Baltic the Yvonne carried a cargo of maize to Lynn. This Russian naval base was founded by the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century as Konigsberg which was a member of the Hanseatic League.

A cargo of maize and soya (in different holds) was transported by the Anmiro from Blaye near the French port of Bordeaux from where Lynn imported so much wine in the past.

One cargo of beans was carried to The Wash by the Islay Trader from Rye in Sussex.  This coaster shipped 1,652 tonnes to Lynn in one day with a small crew and two engines not much bigger than lorry engines.

Thus it took off the main roads more than 60 lorry loads which has its environmental advantages.

Two vessels arrived at Lynn in April from Amsterdam with potash (fertiliser) and sailed back to the Netherlands in ballast.

Of the 25 ships departing the port in April and May for British and continental ports, 16 were in ballast.

Ballast today is sea water pumped into a vessel’s tanks unlike the bricks and rocks once used and seen in Lynn’s historic buildings.

No less than 18,000 tonnes of barley were exported from Lynn in April. The major significance of cereals for the port is evident in its silos and the erection of a new grain store by Associated British Ports (ABP). Four of the seven cargoes of barley despatched from the Ouse this spring went to Ireland.

Rotterdam and Dordrecht in the Netherlands were two more destinations for the Derk and Fokko Ukena. Another ship took malting barley to Buckie in Scotland for the whisky distilleries.

There was also a cargo of rapeseed (for biodiesel or cooking oil) taken by the Mare to Rotterdam and a load of scrap was carried by the Ostenau to Bilbao in Spain.

The dredger Cherry Sand sailed to the ABP Port of Lowestoft to undertake operations there after its recent work to remove the build-up of silt in Lynn docks.

The internet allows us to track shipping to and from The Wash ports, but watching vessels accessing and leaving Lynn docks at high water from the Ouse banks repays attention.

King’s Lynn Conservancy Board employs pilots to safely steer vessels in and out of the port as well as maintaining navigational aids in the Wash.

Its new website is now up and running. See