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)