Staithes is a small fishing community about nine miles north west along the coast from Whitby.
Seen here is the harbour with Cowbar Nab in the background. In Sutcliffe's time the harbour was almost unprotected but now there are stone jetties to break the full force of the sea.
The fishing boats waiting to put to sea were more generally know as cobles but locally they were called 'ploshers'. Some of the boats are Northumberland built whilst those with the more up-curved forepeaks would originate in Whitby.