Gina’s Take on our 2017 Cruise

Gina’s Take 9 – 2017 – Leaving little paradise

What a peaceful & relaxing night we had, supper in the cockpit, watching the most beautiful sunset go down over the water, the wind gradually died, leaving just a gentle breeze!  Looking directly west of us over our stern, we could see the islands of Muck, Eigg & Rum with the towering mountains of Skye behind. They were shrouded in cloud & too far away for me to really capture them on camera, but visually they were a spectacular sight!

The seals had stated to move off the rock as the little rise in tide came in & were playing in the bay!  Try as hard as I could, it was almost impossible to capture this on camera! I had my extra long lenses, but they were so quick!

However I did capture some beautiful shots of the sunset. Oh I love my camera & cannot wait to learn even more about it.

After a leisurely cooked breakfast, in our little piece of paradise, seals returning to their sunspot, it was time to leave.  We joked about the little ruined cottage on the shoreline, how we could buy it & renovate it!! Most beautiful spot, if a little remote!

Our anchorage had held brilliantly, why? Well on pulling it up, masses of kelp came too!  Heading out to sea again, sad to leave, we were going to have a day of exploring. In 2015, we missed places out, either due to weather or time! So this trip we were determined to visit them.

Rounding the headland of Mull we sailed down the Sound of Mull, with  Ardnamurchan on our port side. Amazing coastline with huge hills rising from the waters edge, looked like green velvet fields with craggy outcrops of granite as they rise up. We were heading for Loch Sunart, an enormous Loch some 10 miles long! It twist & turns, round little Islands, with each turn or twist revealing another breathtaking view!  I have taken so many photos, thank goodness for digital cameras!

We could definitely see ourselves living here!  I think I have run out of words, expressions or superlatives to describe this amazing country. So unspoilt, so green, so breathtakingly beautiful.

One is moved by the vastness of it all!

Gently sailing or motoring down the Loch I make us lunch, ( why do we get so hungry??)

Almost at the end we heard back to explore just one more place, Loch na Droma Buidhe or Loch Drumbuie! You enter through a very narrow Chanel, large rock faces on either side, once through it opens up to a beautiful round bowl shape bay, only 4 yachts at anchor today but apparently it is jammed packed in the summer months !

Photo below, us leaving the Loch Drumbuie, quite narrow with underwater hazards!

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Not my photo but the Loch at sunset

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Across the bay was Tobermory, we visited here before, such a pretty town. All the houses along the waterfront are brightly painted in different colours, the sun was shining & it looked very inviting.  Only a small marina here, but such a beautiful spot! Really strange, hardly any seagulls but lots of other lovely birdsong & the stealth like heron fishing behind us in the banks.

We now set about trying to find our way home, leaving the boat somewhere safe, catching a train to Glasgow & then on to the air port to fly home! So simple but oh so complicated !

Firstly, trying to find a place for Tiftie for a week, either they were already full, or won’t allow you to leave the boat unattended! I rang several places, same answer or no answer.  Obviously we could not book in advance as we did not know how far we would have travelled!

Anyway Oban marina came to our rescue, under new ownership & really helpful. They had a visitor berth for us & then had visitor moorings for the time we required! Brilliant, sorted.

We had a really good brunch & made ready to leave, the heavens opened up, it poured down so much, you could hardly see past the end of the harbour! Yuck!

But eventually we had to leave rain or no rain & set off to Oban.  It brightened up & we even managed to sail, love to turn the engine off! Peace!

Bye for now GK&T

Gina’s Take 8 – 2017 – Little Paradise

Leaving Loch Tarbert at 5.30 as Ken felt unhappy about the anchor digging in, the wind was filling in & we were in quite shallow water!

I took the helm & with Kens help guided Tiftie out into the open water. It was difficult as one had to navigate the twists & turns of the Loch, but the only way for me to really learn, by ‘hands on’!

It was not a great start, really cold, lumpy sea state & not much wind to drive her through the waves! I was a little grumpy, as I had hoped we would have a relaxed breakfast, before setting off!

We headed over to Colonsay, but with wind & tide, anchoring was not a good plan. Rounding the headland of Colonsay, we experienced our 1st taste of the Atlantic swell, really large waves rolling in but more wind & she drove through them comfortably, large troughs & highs, sometimes losing your horizon.

Mull & Iona were our next places to sail by. Mull is an enormous island next to the petite island of Iona. The sound was quite calm & we had a beautiful sail, passing Iona Abbey, which was a very substantial building!
Through the sound & Staffa Island was in view, famous for Fingals cave, & Mendalsons music. It looked so small in the distance with the tall hills & mountains of Mull as it’s back drop.  Also way off in the distance we could make out the Treshnish Islands, most peculiar in shape & size. Large flat plat tows either side of sharp tall mounds.

Gradually we could see Fingals cave more clearly. There is an anchorage for yachts & you can go ashore & walk along the waters edge & enter the cave.  Not many would fancy it today as constant waves were breaking on the rocks by the path.  Really not suitable for us either to anchor.  Ken took us in as close as possible so we could get some stunning photos. We motored round the island & to our delight, a large group of puffins were on the water, some diving for fish & eels, others just breaking the water with beaks full.  I was thrilled to get some photos!

On we went, sails back up, towards the top west headland of Mull, to our port side & off our bows were the islands of Coll, Muck, Eigg & Rum.

We were headed for a very quiet & small Loch, called Loch a’ Chumhainn!

There was an anchorage towards to middle of the loch, with a large out crop of rock to our starboard side!  Anchor dropped & holding I noticed some movement on the rock, lots of movement, there were lots of seals, all hauled out on the rocks & kelp, basking in the sun, all different shapes & sizes & colours. Calling & squabbling with each other.  Oyster catchers dashing here & there on the wing, noisily calling in flight.  The wind settled & it was just beautiful. We had found a little paradise!

Bye for now GK&T

Gina’s Take 7 – 2017 – Leaving West Loch Tarbert, Jura

Leaving Loch Tarbert at 5.30 as Ken felt unhappy about the anchor digging in, the wind was filling in & we were in quite shallow water!

I took the helm & with kens help guided Tiftie out into the open water. It was difficult as one had to navigate the twists & turns of the Loch, but the only way for me to really learn, by ‘hands on’!

It was not a great start, really cold, lumpy sea state & not much wind to drive her through the waves! I was a little grumpy, as I had hoped we would have a relaxed breakfast, before setting off!

We headed over to Colonsay, but with wind & tide, anchoring was not a good plan. Rounding the headland of Colonsay, we experienced our 1st taste of the Atlantic swell, really large waves rolling in but more wind & she drove through them comfortably, large troughs & highs, sometimes losing your horizon.

Mull & Iona were our next places to sail by. Mull is an enormous island next to the petite island of Iona. The sound was quite calm & we had a beautiful sail, passing Iona Abbey, which was a very substantial building!
Through the sound & Staffa Island was in view, famous for Fingals cave, & Mendalsons music.  It looked so small in the distance with the tall hills & mountains the Mull as it’s back drop.  Also way off in the distance we could make out the Treshnish Islands, most peculiar in shape & size. Large flat plat tows either side of sharp tall mounds.

Gradually we could see Fingals cave more clearly. There is an anchorage for yachts & you can go ashore & walk along the waters edge & enter the cave.  Not many would fancy it today as constant waves were breaking on the rocks by the path.  Really not suitable for us either to anchor.  Ken took us in as close as possible so we could get some stunning photos. We motored round the island & to our delight, a large group of puffins we’re on the water, some diving for fish & eels, others just breaking the water with beaks full.  I was thrilled to get some photos!

On we went, sails back up, towards the top west headland of Mull, to our port side & off our bows were the islands of Coll, Muck, Eigg & Rum.

We were headed for a very quiet & small Loch, called Loch a’ Chumhainn! There was an anchorage towards to middle of the loch, with a large out crop of rock to our starboard side!  Anchor dropped & holding I noticed some movement on the rock, lots of movement, there were lots of seals, all hauled out on the rocks & kelp, basking in the sun, all different shapes & sizes & colours. Calling & squabbling with each other.  Oyster catchers dashing here & there on the wing, noisily calling in flight.  The wind settled & it was just beautiful.

Bye for now GK&T

Gina Take 6 – 2017 – Goodbye Ballycastle, hello Scotland

Tuesday 16th May – our 8th wedding anniversary! 

We had abandoned the idea of Belfast, decided we will come back & tour Ireland in the camper van! May even come back later this year! ( 4hrs or more to get there & back on the bus/train!! was enough to put us off! )

Last night the wind kept blowing & blowing, rain lashing down on Tiftie, I could not sleep, couldn’t get comfy, just tossed & turned!

Eventually dawn broke & it was a good time to have tea!  We exchange cards, so why is this so significant, well on  previous trips, Ken has always remembered the day, but forgets the card! He always reads my card to him,  back to me, changing the text here & there. Always makes me smile, but came up trumps this year with a beautiful card.

We had a lovely cooked breakfast in the sunshine with bucks-fizz! Lovely start to the day !

This beauty arrived in the early hrs. She was also here 2 years ago! From Holland .
There was a good weather window opportunity & we were going to take it!  Refuelled, we set off for Islay, Port Ellen.

Visibility & wind conditions were perfect. We had amazing views all round, the coast of Scotland to our right, Mull of Kintyre, Ratlin Island just off our port side.  Ahead we could make out the islands of Islay & Dura, with her big mountains, dominating the horizon !

Ratlin island is a bird sanctuary & you immediately notice so much more bird life. On the water & the wing. Large groups of Ganets, flying in formation, just skimming the water & all taking their flight from the lead bird. Really fascinating to watch & observe how they bank & curl through the air. Little Terns, diving for fish. Yet again we were the only vessel out here.

Occasionally in our stern wake, dolphins rose & played, but not for long, too busying catching fish!

We had a brilliant sail to Islay & Ken had a lovely surprise for me. He had called ahead & booked a table at ‘Sea Salt’ a little restaurant in town!

We had a lovely meal & it felt really nice to ‘dress up’ ! Also rather nice not to have to cook, but we have had some great meals aboard.

Woke to blue sky & sunshine, had a quick walk & bought produce from the local shops. All very friendly & welcoming.

Islay is of course famous for its 8 distilleries, soon to become 9! They have been producing whiskey here for 200 years, but it’s s huge business now.
The village of Ellen, was named after the Laird, Walter Frederick Campbell’s  wife, Ellinor.
The square Lighthouse is rather interesting but has a sad history as he built it to commemorate her death from a strange illness in 1832!
It still stands proudly today, guiding you safely into port!

The port went from illicit smuggling & distilling to a legal distillery, 3public houses & licensed retail shops, as  the steam packets starting coming from Glassgow or West Loch Tarbert.

Now leaving the Islay & sailing up its east coastline, which has numerous outlying craggy rocks, all topped with seabirds & other long lines of rocks, like gnarled fingers stretching out from the shore line in to the water!
Looking towards shore you see the lovely rolling hills of Islay gradually rising up towards the mountains, where perfect to collect all that precious water, that comes tumbling down to make the whiskey!!

We are heading to Dura, to anchor in West Loch Tarbert ! We will be sailing up the Dura sound, which is renowned for its strong currents & tides! No joking either as we are just off the sound, the weather changes, wind fills in, up to 27kts & rain too.

As quick as it arrived it stops !
We have a lovely passage up the Sound, passing more distilleries along the way. On Islay more dense woodland compared to Dura’s very barren landscape, the occasional cottage, isolated from anywhere & anybody. The huge mountains ‘Paps of Dura’ rise up, shrouded in the misty rain, looking grey and uninviting!

Eventually we enter Loch Tarbert, its 7 miles long & for once we are not alone, two other yachts are heading in too.

The occasional seal pops his head up, along with Shags & little Terns. One immediately feels relaxed.  Having negotiated the hazardous rocks we zigged & zagged to our anchorage.
Now at anchor, it’s hard to describe in a few worlds but it’s just perfect! Wine poured & supper cooking, there is peace all around. No tide or wind, just the call of birds & even a cuckoo. We sit, relax & read !! Pure bliss.

Bye for now G&T xx

Gina’s Take 5 – 2017 – Storms they be a’coming (G doesn’t use the Beaufort Scale – Ed)

Sunday 14th May – woke to rather beautiful blue sky & a gentle breeze!! Quite relaxing after yesterday’s fiasco!

We did not need to set out until after midday, which gave us time to have a wander ashore.  Fantastic facilities at this marina too, showers spotless & wonderfully hot water!

Bangor is has a very pretty water front & the land surrounding the marina is beautifully kept.  Sunken gardens & numerous water features, paths winding through here & there. Leading to a lido, where there were quite a few radio controlled, miniature boats & one rather attractive yacht. There was also a miniature railway, running through the gardens. Lots for family entertainment.  Ken had picked up a ‘Historical Guide’ of the town, which we enjoyed very much.

After a quick stop to buy wine, & champs ( it’s our wedding anniversary on Tuesday !) plus some other fresh bits & bobs, it was time to make tracks for our next destination, Glenarm, Only 22nm miles, but with the forecasts not looking good we needed to press on.

Back out in open water, we had a great sail, 9kts over the ground, Tiftie was flying. Visibility was brilliant too, so we had wonderful views of the coastline.
Ireland really is a beautiful country, and the views never stop pleasing you. Sometimes gentle rolling hills drift down to the waters edge or cathedral like cliffs, tower above the waters edge, where seabirds cover the nooks & crannies!
Velvet green patchwork fields with yellow gorse adding to the glory.

We passed the very pretty seaside village of Whitehead, all the Cottages & houses painted in different colours & Blackhead Lighthouse, sitting rather majestically on the cliff top. Not far from here we passed one stretch of coast line, which went from gentle rolling hills to dramatic cliffs & caves at water level. I noticed first a group of canonists, who had gone ashore, then there was a walkway leading to a bridge, then another & another, each linked with rock walks, all the way along the edge of the cliffs, above high water level. It was near Larne! It’s call ‘The Gobbins’ https://www.discovernorthernireland.com/The-Gobbins-Islandmagee-Larne-P48901

Definitely worth looking up!
I love lighthouses & their history, so I was particularly interested in two lighthouses, perched on huge rocks, fascinating history tinged with sadness ! Look up the link below.
We were by now having such a great sail & covering such good ground in great time, we decided to carry on the extra 20nm, to Ballycastle, we had stayed there in 2015, sheltered from bad weather back then.
So on we pressed & arrived around 7pm, the harbour master had allocated us a berth.
It was really calm & hard to believe the forecast 8 or 9 was coming!!  However gradually during the evening the winds starting picking up, raining & Tiftie pulling on her lines. Always a satisfying sound, the ‘grauncing’, you know you are still tied on!!
Balleycastle has a beautiful bay with a long sweeping curve of beach! Crowned by this headland, as seen below!  (Photo taken from web.  Ed)

image1.jpegBye for now G&T xx

Gina’s Take 4 – 2017 – Didn’t we have a lovely day, the day we went to Bangor

Leaving wet & rather smelly Ardglass behind, we slipped our lines & headed back out through the narrow channel to the sea.

It was again cold & grey & threatening more rain!  We were on our way up the coast to Bangor. The wind was right behind us, tide was with us & visibility was now perfect! Even the sun was trying to come out, but still very cold.

With just the large genoa ( the fore sale) we were sailing along beautifully, averaging 6-8kts over ground & with gusts up to 26kts, Tiftie was flying.  For once we had a perfect view of the rather picturesque shore line the whole way.
Lovely bays & villages hugging the shore line with gentle hills rising in the background.  Some areas reminded me of our French trip last year, where the little French villages came down almost to the waters edge!

A great days sailing, Bangor was only 1/2 a mile away, time to get the sails down, what could possibly go wrong???

Well, me letting go the wrong line too early on the main sail, didn’t help. Especially as the wind was now gusting even stronger.  We have ‘In Mast Reefing’ which means the whole sale winds up, inside the mast! But just sometimes it can go horribly wrong. If not careful it gets jammed, always in difficult conditions & always when we are somewhat tired!!

We decided to anchor in the bay, head her into wind & pull out the sail to straighten it up!
Jammed & not bugging plus the anchor would not hold. We headed in to the marina, looking ratter sorry for ourselves, sails not furled away properly & flapping! The wind kept gusting & to top it off a difficult berth to manoeuvre into !

Gina’s Take 3 – 2017 – 426 nm and Counting

Today is our 8th day aboard, some 426nm later, feels so much longer but we left Plymouth last Saturday morning, having arrived the night before!

Leaving Fishguard around 5am, our backdrop yet another beautiful sunrise, & setting out to sail the Irish Sea, heading for Greystones, a 3yr old marina north of Wicklow.

The last time I visited Southern Ireland I was 10! I remember a wonderful holiday spent with my parents & sister, 4 weeks touring in our Bailey caravan with dads Cirsair 2000E. Metallic blue & black roof!! All of the West, South & East coasts of Ireland & lots in between!

One hears tales of awful crossings to Ireland, but today was a perfect day, soon warming up, so that all we needed were t-shirts & shorts. But hardly any wind, so hrs of motoring & motor sailing with occasional parts of just sail. We needed fuel & it was promised at Greystones !

In all the 15 odd hrs of our passage we hardly saw another vessel !! It’s like we have travelled into another world, so peaceful & the sea as flat as a millpond! Books to be read, lunch to be eaten, small glass of wine & all the time in the world to just, ponder !!!
Our horizons, some 10 miles away, eerily shrouded in sea mist, that you never get any closer to! As we were approaching our destination we were able to make out the headland, made doubly hard as the sun was sinking directly in our path!  Added to this, it was Wednesday evening, when most clubs have a race night.  Greystones was no different, racing was taking place, right outside the entrance to the very tight & small harbour! All you need after a long day, & to add more insult to injury, we  suddenly had 10kts of wind, now rather chilly!

Having called ahead, we knew we had a berth & Alan, the very happy & cheerful harbourmaster, helped us with a birth. Quite tight, not much room for error.

Rather tired, but happy, this was our 1st step ashore in 5 days! A nice hot shower & meal saw us off early to bed. ( no silly o’clock wake up tomorrow morning) !! Whoop whoop!

In the morning we asked where we could get fuel!! “Oh it comes by tanker” came  the reply! ” it has to be ordered”!! Oh we thought, Bugger!!!
But Alan said, we were in luck, as the tanker was due today & would be in around 10-10.30!
Alan had a funeral 1st, but assured us we would get some fuel!  10.30 came & past!  Eventually Alan & the tanker arrived about 1hr later, it had broken down ! Only problem the pipe would not reach out berth, so off we go again, move Tiftie to fuel up & then move her back again!
Eventually we were free to explore the village & walk the coastal path some 4 km to Bray, then catching train back to Greystones! It hugged the coast line & went through long tunnels!
Greystones was a real mixture, ladies dress & shoe shops similar to Wedmore or Clifton, lots of places to eat. Both extremely expensive !! £250 for a jumper!!! (I didn’t buy anything!)
We then walked around the back of the town along the seafront, it was run down, huge hotels, that in their day would have been the pride of the town, now sadly boarded up, left to rot & decay, reminds us of Weston supper mare in parts, all past their best sell by dates!

Arriving in Bray, which has a long, long walkway along the seafront, again we noticed the sad run down hotels & houses! Plus quite a few down & outs! Some strolling along the sea front, completely stoned, off their heads! Not a welcome to holiday makers!

Back on board we settled in for the evening. Nice meal, glass of wine, or two, watched a DVD. The Girl on the Train! Disappointing, I had read the book, so much better!

Up early again, a really peaceful & quiet exit from the marina, it was a dull, grey & wet, more like winter! Long johns, thick socks, warm boots, hats & neck warmers,  were the order of the day. Hot coffees & drinks to keep us warm!

We had decided to sail to Ireland so that we could explore the coast line, be enthralled with rapture over the scenery!! Ha! Mother Nature was having none of it! We sailed from Greystones to Ardglass & saw nothing for most of the 74nm! Sea, sea & more sea. Even though the shore was less than 2miles away.
Eventually after another rather rough passage, choppy sea state, Ardglass was getting closer!

The 1st thing we saw out of the mist was the Lighthouse, usually such a welcome sight! But no light to guide us in today!

We spied, as we got closer a golf course! (Well what do you expect, it’s in my blood!) it was a miserable cold evening, but there they were, on the cliff top teeing off!
The little marina at Ardglass was very useful, as it is not far off the beaten track & well protected. We arrived at low tide, and there was a very narrow channel one had to follow. No one had answered our radio call & it was half empty anyway. So we took the 1st available berth.  The state of the jettys were Disgusting !  With a capital D! The little marina was next to the fishing harbour, still very much in use. Of course you get gulls, loads of sea gulls & the jetty was just covered in seagull poo!! It stank, to the point where I refused to get off the boat. I would shower on board tonight!!
When we turned in for the night, I looked out, every conceivable part of the jetty was covered by squabbling gulls! Yuck 🤢
Next day they had all gone, but left behind was the smelly, fishy mess of waste scraps & more poo!

Get me out of here quick!!!

Bye for now G&T xx

Gina’s Take 2 – 2017 –  Leaving Hartland Point

Having travelled up the Cornish & Devon coastline, upon reaching the light house at Hartland Point, it was time to turn west, towards Lundy island.
In the mist, some way off, one could just make out the shape of the island.  Neither Ken or I had ever visited it before & we had planed to spend the night here, at anchor.  But due to a change in wind direction & sea state, our plans changed. We would instead sail past & carry on towards Dale.

We enjoyed a great sail over to Lundy & the wind really picked up. We knew that there could be ‘over falls’, theses can be quite large waves, depending on the state of the tide!  I’m lucky, because Ken always plans so far ahead, so that usually we never have to deal with really difficult passages. Unless of course the weather changes( totally out of our hands & making)
Anyway, there were overfalls & they seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see. The water charging down the Bristol Channel, hitting the island & then splitting, to pass each side of her.
It was a shame not to be able to go shore but we can always come back!!
Onwards we sailed towards Dale in Pembrokeshire, apart from a couple of other boats, we were the only ones out there. Mile after mile of sea, at one stage we had a perfect circumstance if the earth. It turned out to be a lovely afternoon & gradually the Welsh coast line came into view.
One may ask, what we do onboard, well there are always jobs to  be done, cleaning. Making coffee or lunch! And of course reading. It’s the one time I actually sit down & read!!
I had spent some time putting our new fender covers on, Tiftie looks very smart! Trouble is I don’t want to use them now!!

Eventually, we have Dale in our sights. I love this place, it’s just peaceful & tranquil! We did actually look at a house here, but it’s too far away from family & friends, a little too isolated! But perfect for our anchorage.
We were gifted by a beautiful sunset & woke to a lovely sunrise.
Up early again, to catch the tide! Sounds very familiar this? But we needed to negotiate Jacks Sound & Ramsey Sound, we have passed through them before & both have fast flowing tidal systems, which you need to get right!
Jacks sound is quite tight, lots of underwater hazards & quite large ‘Eddies’ ( whirl pool type water)!
Ken motor sailed through this one, quite exciting & then across the bay to Ramsey Sound. They have a set of rocks on the Ramsey Island side called ‘The Bitches’ ! Aptly  named as they are very nasty!
Sailing through this one, its wider & Ken assures me, not a problem!

We were headed for Fishguard!
Now as we have been at anchor the last few nights, one would think I was relaxed with anchoring!!! Not quite, some may remember our ‘Fishguard incident ‘ of two years ago! I had woken around 3am as the boat did not feel ‘right’.  It definitely was not right, but very wrong indeed! We had dragged over half the harbour, ended up by a rather large yellow marker with an equally large yellow cross on top!!! No Anchoring Here!!
Luckily for us, our anchor came up easily & we had not fowled or hit anything!
So, upon sailing into Fishguard this time, we both glanced over towards the yellow marker & determined we would not be ending up there again!

With our anchorage very secure this time, it was lunch time. Glass of wine time & relaxation time, as I slept in the sunshine in the cockpit all afternoon!

Good nights sleep & another really early start, 5am we were off again, heading across the Irish Sea!!

Bye for now G&T xx

Gina’s Take 1 – 2017

Friday 5th May 2017!
Well, here I am again, my third year on Tiftie! Always love being on board but always find leaving home hard! This year more so!
However, we have decided to break it up a little this year, & are due back for a few days at the end of May! We will leave Tiftie somewhere safe & either fly, train or hire a car to come back!
So, we are setting off for Scotland & beyond!  Leaving Spring Cottage on a lovely warm afternoon with light winds, we arrived in Plymouth to a very different day!  I would love to tell you all, it’s glorious sunshine & fair winds! But unfortunately, the winds reached 30kts, but we were soon tucked up in our bunks & still tied onto the jetty.

Saturday 6th May
Up early & filled with fuel, forward we go, heading towards Penzance for today, where we plan to anchor off the Mount, then move on towards Lundy Island on Sunday.
It was not an easy passage, a following sea, wind & rain, made it quite trying!! As always, & for no reason I can pinpoint, I feel so ill on that first day! I had thought, I had cracked it this year, as we have already been to the Scillies for Easter, a long 16hr night sail there too. But no, it loomed its head & so in the end I took to my bunk!

2hrs later, I surfaced & felt much better!

We Anchored off The Mount,  watched over by castle, lights twinkling in the evening light.  Waters all calm & just a gentle swell now, to rock us to sleep!
Because there was very little wind, we end up stern towards the ocean, which means a lot of slapping on the hull!! After a while, it’s very hard to lie in your berth & relax! Who needs an alarm, just have ‘Bottom Slapping’ instead!

What a difference a day makes!!! Waking to beautiful blue sky & warm sunshine, the castle was now bathed in early morning light.
Lifted anchor & motored over to Newlyn, we needed more fresh water.  Newlyn is a picturesque little harbour, small but very welcoming, as most of these Cornish harbours are. Rows of cottages, gradually rising upwards away from the harbour, on the natural contours of the land.

Onward, passing Mousehole  & the Minack theatre, really want to visit that one day & watch a play! Towards lands end & the Long Ships Lighthouse.  As we were hugging the coast, we passed inside the Lighthouse, navigating the hazards, I have a brilliant skipper.  Not long after passing through, Ken had mentioned that another sailor was attempting a single handed passage from Lands end to John O’Groats ( totally bonkers in a small open dinghy!!) lo & behold, he was just starting. We motored over to wish him luck & a safe passage! Rather him than me!! But he is doing it for a good cause.

We had hoped to stay in Padstow, but the timing & tides didn’t fit in, so as it was a calm evening, we  were able to anchor off Polzeath, usually famous for surfers, thankfully no surfing tonight! Just paddle boarders, enjoying the evening.

All these bays are so beautiful & so wonderful to see the view from the water! Another good nights sleep, but another early start, due to more ‘Bottom Slapping’!  Plus we needed to catch the tide, no point trying to ‘Plug’ the tides. (In the words of my skipper!)

We were able to motor sail, not enough wind to turn off the engine, such a shame. It’s such an amazing difference, going from the frenzy of the noisy engine, to the calming sound of just wind in your sails! She is a sail boat after all !

We had the most wonderful trip up the coast line, having left Polzeath at first light, the sun just seeping over the horizon, we sailed along watching as the villages along the way, began to appear out of the early morning mist.

Mother Nature at its best, lots of activity, large groups of birds were gathering ahead, on the water & on the wing, then ganets diving into the water, almost in formation & a pod of dolphins breaking the surface, obviously lots of fish about!

Port Isaac, shrouded in mist, then Tintagel bathed in the rising sun, really magical. Bude & Hartland Point. Quite a dramatic coast line, large craggy cliffs fall steeply into the sea, gnarled faces with twists & turns! Cavernous caves, carved out by Mother Nature.

Reaching Hartland Point Lighthouse. We said goodbye to the Devon coastline & sailed towards Lundy Island !

Bye for now G&T !
Xx
Sent from my iPhone



IMG_2815b
The Mewstone as seen from the Yealm (a short trip on the day Tiftie was put back in the water

Not sure if G will add anything, but we nipped around to the Yealm on the day that Tiftie was launched (10th April) and we cruised around the Scillies over the Easter weekend (13th to 17th April).