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More service stations needed

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Unlike popping up the M5, when cruising, there are very few service stations (aka marinas). So, today, we have sailed for 14 hours, 10 with the engine running, just to get to a decent shelter. We are now anchored in Lady Bay, 74 nm from Douglas, a mile inside Loch Ryan. We started at 05:00 and anchored at 19:15. We are now tired and Gina is about to do a gourmet beans on whatever. (Incidentally, someone pointed out to my son that I had spelt  “gourmet” incorrectly yesterday.  I know someone told him because he thinks it’s spelt “gawmay”.)  Tomorrow, we set off for Largs, a mere 45 nm away. Amazing to think that, last time, we sailed Largs to Holyhead in one go.

One hour later – eaten, showered and marvelling at the tranquility of this spot. (During our meal, G showed her tiredness by complaining that the bread tasted of garlic. I pointed out, gently, that it was garlic bread!!)

I forgot to say that our day started at 00:45 when, because of tidal restrictions, we moved Tiftie from the inner to the outer harbour and moored at the pontoon. We then couldn’t sleep because of waves slapping under the hull. Hence our 05:00 start. As it turned out, just as well, otherwise we would still be trying to get here.

Tourist bit over

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Today, we bussed to Peel (very nice) where we bought scallops, then bussed to Ramsey (missable) where we bought black pudding, then bussed back to Douglas where G will soon rustle up a gormet meal. All a great mini-holiday. Tomorrow, we’re away North by sea. We didn’t do the trike TT in the end. We’ll be back for that. The bus route did go along at least half of the TT course which was interesting.

Conservation with knobs on

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Amazing. The steam train South, the electric tram North, the electric tram up Snaefell and the horse-drawn tram along Douglas seafront all use the original rolling stock from about 1895. We’ve now been on them all. The only problem yesterday was that the carriages are either open or as good as and, on a windy day with temperatures hovering around 11C, we were cold.

The weather Is about to change with the wind backing and moderating. Thus, we will be away at about 09:00 tomorrow, ie about 4 hours before HW.  Unfortunately, the inner harbour can only be exited 2 hours either side of HW and, so, we need to exit at 00:15 in the morning and wait for the tide on a pontoon in the outer harbour. It will be good to under way again. (People are beginning to arrive for the TT)

No head-bangers us

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The strong North-westerly is here, although Douglas is to lee, and we are staying put, as predicted. Neither of us have visited the IoM before, so yesterday, having bought a couple of Rovers, we took the steam train South to Port Erin. Very enjoyable. Today, we’re off North on the electric train to Laxey, Snaefell & Ramsey. We start off on the horse-drawn tram. Tomorrow, we may lap the TT course on the trike, but it’s £120 so we might return on the Pan, via the ferry, later in the year. Who knows? Incidentally, because we have been advised that Manx Telecom have a “license to print money, both mobiles are on Aircraft mode.

Anniversary present

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imageThey say, to keep your wife happy, that you should think of exciting experiences for her. Well, on our wedding anniversary, here is the experience which, with spectacular imagination, I presented to her. She was soooo pleased!

Obviously abroad

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Within about 10 miles of IoM, EE sent a text to say that using the iPhone would be expensive without buying a SIM card from Manx Telecom. Hence, being a bit tight-fisted, we have been mute since arriving. I am now in the yacht club using their wifi!!

Great sail here yesterday with 20 to 25 knots on the port quarter. (NB LLs “port quarter” is the back left-hand side!) Pontoon Holyhead to pontoon Douglas in just under 8 hours (Peel, preferred, but closed for dredging). Got into the inner harbour and berthed by about 23.00 (tidal).

Forecast not good for next couple of days with strong winds from the NW, ie on the nose. So, staying put until wind backs into west. This morning started with rain, but now fair and we’ll soon be off to explore. Almost certainly have a chauffeured trike ride around TT course. TTFN

Off we go

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We expect to leave Holyhead at about 07;30 in a fairly fresh breeze which will back from West to South-west.  Should be a fairly quick passage to IoM.

Cleared the breakwater at 08.00 and unfurled some sail straight away in 20 kts wind from SW. Now 23 kts with full sail at 7.5 kts. And a bit of sunshine. Just about to have breakfast. Thank you, David & Chris for two lovely evenings ashore.