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Just two days available, but a great trip to a from Charlestown. No wind and bright sunshine going. So we were able to hug the coast in a waveless calm. Rowed ashore to see Charlestown. Very commercialised with pubs and restaurants galore. A couple of run-down old boats and pay to go on the inner dockside. Anyway, it warrants a visit, especially be sea.
A very peaceful night at anchor off the harbour and anchor aweigh at about 07.30. Another millpond, but overcast. Motoring at about 4 knots close to the coastline. Off Looe, 8 knots of wind has filled in from the north-west. Bliss – a bit of sun, no waves to talk of, a gently offshore wind from behind and a gentle sail back towards Plymouth Oh – and absolutely no traffic or crowds. Hey ho.
Sunny all day and, in the main, a good wind on the starboard quarter which gave us some good sailing. Wind died off for a while and gave us the chance to motor into Gorran Haven and PortMellon – both fabulous looking places – especially to drop anchor in suitable conditions.
Now back in our berth at Mayflower and enjoying our evening on board (the 12th anniversary of our first meeting at the sailing club at Cheddar)
Then, tomorrow, we clean the boat down and off back home. Can’t wait to see family and friends again – not to mention picking up a golf club, cycling up the gorge and some trips on the Pan.
We achieved our aims of seeing Staffa, travelling the Caledonian Canal and visiting the Orkneys and the Outer Hebrides. Unfortunately, as is typical in Scotland, poor weather prevented extensive cruises to see South Uist and anchor off Staffa so as to go ashore.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my blog and G’s Take. France next year.
A great, but long, sail which got us all the way back to St Mawes, where we are now anchored. The only shocker was the 18 kts on the nose just off the Lizard when the forecast was no more that 8. Lumpy!!
Our options were St Mawes, Fowey or Plymouth, but decided to ‘cut it short’ and have a nice relaxing final ‘away’ night on board.
Carried on past Fishguard and all looked good, but, by the time we reached Ramsey Sound and the sun had set, it was misty and damp. Yuk. Visibility was so poor that we avoided Jack Sound! Anyway, soon after midnight, we dropped anchor and headed for some shut-eye.
Today had been a beautiful day and we set off at midday for Lands End.
Great sail, beautiful sunset and a half moon on a cloudless night. Currently dawning and just off Newquay in a light easterly. Cruising at its best. Oh, and lots of dolphins
Friday proved to continue with the 20+ kt winds. Caught the train and visited the Titanic Experience (what was Belfast before). Well worth the visit. Lots of history re shipbuilding etc. Silent on cause of catastrophe!!
Woke early on Saturday to little wind. Left asap. Day started well and finished well, but the 10 hours in between were excruciating with 23 kt winds which were not forecast, with waves and rain to match. Forgettable!! At least we were 90 miles further south. Arrived in the dark.
Sunday was windy and ‘on the nose’ so stayed put. Beautiful sunny day. With shorts on, we walked to and scrambled up the nearby ‘peak’ (Copa). Great walk which included a close-up of South Stack.
Monday has been a great day. Left Holyhead at about 06:00 and caught the tide around the two stacks. Sailed, motored & motorsailed in no more than about 10 kts. It’s been sunny. Currently, near Fishguard and, as the tide is about to turn in our favour, have decided to carry on to Dale. It’s getting warmer with lighter winds. Such pleasure. We might keep the boat after all.
Once again, I am having difficulty in publishing my blog. The last one was completely lost, but, fortunately, I captured the screen in bits!! You will need to re-load until you eventually see “The End”.
Monday was sublime. No wind all day, so we were able to motorsail and get close to Rum, the Eigg and finally Muck. Such beautiful unspoilt islands. (first upload!!)
Then made our way to Oban marina with just the occasional sail, having rung ahead to ensure that fuel was available. (Second upload)
Tuesday dawned with big winds — and rain. Yuk. Fuelled up in the rain (unpleasant) and had an exciting sail to Port Ellen on Islay, on a reach and with the tide (big), touching 13 knots over the ground on occasion. Lots of eddies whcih twisted the boat about quite significantly. With gusts exceeding 20 knots, the waves got bigger as we gradually lost the protection of Kintyre. With freshening winds, we were pleased to be secure at Islay.
Forecast not good. So, we have sat out Wednesday and intend to do so tomorrow when 35 knot gusts are forecast (although backing to the North)
The Fish Effect? Oh yes. We have not moved today because high winds were forecast. However, it is now gone 21:00 and there has been no more than about 5kts for at least two hours. Grrr (4th update)
Thursday: Woke at about 05:00 to a continuing very light winds, but now from the north. Reasoned that the easterly swell would have died (proved correct), that the northerly swell would not yet have established itself (proved correct), that the timing for the tides was pretty good (proved correct), that the forecast gusts of over 30 knots might not occur (proved incorrect) and that the rain might not be too bad (proved incorrect), so sneaked away from Port Ellen at about 05:15 and headed for the North Channel.
Started off very pleasantly, but gradually became less so. Arrived at Bangor having covered the 62 nam in about 10 hours with not a lot of sail up!! Entered the harbour (downwind) and berthed in about 28 knots!! Nervy! Helpfully, three chaps from the marina took our warps in a berth which faced the wind and was close to the end and simple to approach. It was still raining continuously. Had a short kip. Unfortunately, the rain meant that, for most of the trip, visibility was poor and sightseeing restricted.
It is now howling and, unsurprisingly, we have eaten well and are snug on E3. Tomorrow, we intend to visit Belfast as these high winds are in for another day. (6th update)
The End (My, that was an effort)
But not too far!
Delayed start because of need to top up the hire car’s tank and the garage didn’t open until 09:00!! Eventually left at 09:45 and headed for Eileen Donan castle.
Got close enough to ‘tick the box’ and then turned and ebbed our way to and through Kyle Rhea at up to 11 knots.
Cut the journey short at Mallaig to get fuel. What a joke! It’s actually for the fishing fleet which takes priority. 100 litres, sir??? Oh, you’ll have to use cans. What? On a Sunday? Good heavens no! Earliest will be 09:00 on Monday! Thank you for nothing! Good showers though (although cubicle designed by an emaciated person of challenging height!!
Calm day tomorrow, but heavy easterly the day after