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A Beaut to see Bute

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Woken up to a cloudless day, no wind and flat sea.  Perfect!  Before we go, we’ll fill up with diesel because here, at Largs, the  diesel pontoon is easy to get to, which is more than you can say for either Mayflower (“mind the shallows”) and Holyhead (“mind the rocks”).  Not at all sure where we will stay tonight because we are now into the wandering part, Phase 2, of our trip with just one or two definite destinations, but no date on which to reach them.  Such a contrast to the voyage up where there ar so few places to stop.  Around here, sailors are spoilt for choice.

I’ve just updated G’s page (for those who feel that they get a more honest view of this ‘holiday’!)


Never a dull moment, Oh no!!

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This morning, at anchor, in tranquil conditions with all the breakfast stuff out, a ferry snuck by and it’s wash, unexpected, sent everything flying!! Apparently, G thinks a little bit of dirt in my cereal won’t hurt me.

Then, up anchor and away. Nice reaching wind, set sail and off with the engine. For about 10 minutes when the wind dies!! Engine back on. Meanwhile chartplotter refuses to work AND we run straight into mist with limited visibility!  Just when we needed the AIS😡😱 Back to the old way of doing navigation. Find telephone numbers and contact electronics people and Raymarine. Then, it decides to work again, but all the set-up data is lost. Takes me about an hour to reset everything, including switching the AIS back on!!!! (Beep Bo!)  I’m now an expert in something else that I can bore the pants off people with😀

Thereafter, the chartplotter worked without a problem all day. We decided to pass through Lamlash Harbour which takes you past Holy Island which is about at 1000 ft high.  It is so high that it funnels the wind into the channel and we had a gust of 29 kts. Extraordinary.  On the way, we passed Ailsa Craig which appeared to have erupted.  We are now safely tied up in Largs Marina – no anchor watch tonight!! Tomorrow, we go around Bute.  IMG_1235

Fun with anchors

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When you’re having lots of fun, it’s difficult not to talk about it, even though your friends will be  envious and hate you for it. I’m writing this at 02.36 because the anchor alarm went off and I’m up having checked that all is OK. (We dragged in Fishguard!!😳)

We’re absolutely fine and the anchor has not dragged. The problem has been that I set the alarm distance at 0.02 nm and I’ve got 40 m of chain out and the wind has veered from SE when we laid the anchor to W now. Those who love G will be pleased to know that she’s fast asleep.

If any anoraks are up and checking where we are, we’re at 50* 00.74’N, 05* 04.768W. I’m off to bed, so give me a call if we move more than 0.02,nm. Cheers!!

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.