April 2012

Easter Sunday

tresco

Just a quick note to say we are now in the Scillies on the island of Tresco.  We left Falmouth on Friday 6th April and arrived at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon having anchored overnight in Coverack Cove. More when I have time!

Tuesday 10th

tresco

Currently ashore on Tresco just having had lunch at the New Inn – not cheap and that’s what a monopoly does for you. Nevertheless the beer is good – Skinners and St Austell Tribute. Aus and Sue have jumped ship having decided to catch the   Scillonian back to “civilisation” this afternoon.  Hope the sea isn’t too rough!We have been anchored in New Grimsby Sound for 48 hours.  This is the first use of our new anchor, a 45lb Manson Supreme.  The weather has been challenging and the tidal rip significant, maybe 3 kts at times.  Through all that, the anchor has held fast and may be the best £320 we have spent.  Looks like we will be here until Friday morning as the weather forecast isn’t promising.  Once we leave we are heading for Southern Ireland, possibly straight to Dublin.

Sunday 15th

Waterford, Eire

We left the Scilly Isles about 1030 on Friday morning and sailed north in a NW F4.  All went well during the afternoon and into the evening.  The night passedwithout incident and little in the way of other traffic.  Having shaken Sheryl at 0600 I turned in for a few hours sleep.  Unfortunately about two hours later the weather took a decided turn for the worst and by about 1000 it was blowing a full ale from the NE.  We had taken in both reefs on the main and all of the genoa but still made heavy weather of it.  With the wind from the direction we wanted to go we spent virtually all day motor sailing.  Our original destination of Kilmore Quay was abandoned in favour of the Suir estuary and Waterford.  After a fairly torrid day we made the shelter of the river mouth about 1730.  It’s a long way up the river to the town and we eventually tied up cold and hungry at 2100.

Monday 16th

We have decided to stay put for three nights here. At 55€ for that time it’s pretty reasonable and we are parked right in the town centre.  Having at last cracked the intricacies of the access to the pontoons (it involves the use of a mobile phone) we can now come and go as we please. Previously I had to leave Sheryl on board and call her to let me back in!  I have pretty well finished he laundry and we are almost ready for sea again.  However, the weather forecast is for a lot of rain over the next 36 hours or so and we may well stay here for a while longer – perhaps anchor downriver somewhere and wait for it to pass. Current plans are to be in Liverpool for weekend of 27 April.

Whilst in Waterford we obviously had to sample some of Ireland’s most famous product…..

Saturday 21st

dublin

So what happened to the last few days?  We left Waterford on Thursday morning bright and early to catch the ebb tide down the River Suir (pronounced sure).  The plan was to anchor near Rosslare harbour for the night which, amazingly, is exactly what we did.  After a reasonable nights sleep it was North to Wicklow for Friday night and again the plan worked.  We had a really good days sailing and with the tide behind us did the first 35Nm in 5 hours.  The last bit was somewhat slower with a contrary tide and a fading wind.  Nevertheless we were alongside the East pier wall at Wicklow by 1500.  After that ashore for a pint of the black stuff!  Wicklow is a charming little town with what appears to be a 100% intact high street and no sign of a large supermarket.

This morning we set off at 0600 with the intention of heading for Holyhead, Anglesey.  However, having had the plan work for the last two days things were bound to go wrong.  About 10 miles out with a freshening wind and a weather broadcast from the coastguard forecasting a F7 we decided on Plan B – Dublin.  The wind was from the NW and with the tide behind us we made the 30Nm north in good time and arrived alongside at Poolbeg marina on the river Liffey at about 1430.  Arriving in a strange town by sea is really quite different than by air as you slowly form an impression as you travel further into the harbour complex.  It is, of course, how many long distance travellers arrived anywhere new before the days of the aeroplane.  There is also the possibility of parking your house in the city centre although we couldn’t do this today as one of the opening bridges over the Liffey is broken.

Having spent some time in Waterford setting up my PC on board (an Apple Mini Mac if you must know) I have at last got on board connectivity via WiFi and am typing this sat at Emma Loiuise’s nav table.  Recent posts have been made using the iPad.  Tonight Sheryl and I intend to sample the delights of the Temple Bar as this is our first visit to Dublin and it would be madness not to!  In deference to our children’s feelings I probably won’t post a report of the night’s happenings!

Sunday 22nd

Poolbeg Yacht Club, Dublin

Had a great night out in Dublin and didn’t feel too much worse for wear this morning!  Thanks to our friend Al McSherry (yes that’s an Irish name) we were directed to an excellent pub, The Porter House. Its a brew pub not far from Temple Bar and had some really good, Irish beers and not a pint of Guiness in sight!  We caught the tram into town and at €3.50 return per head it was pretty good value.

This morning I have been foraging and found a Tesco Express.  We are now ok for 2-3 days.  As I write Sheryl is busy repairing the Genoa.

Whilst sailing yesterday about six feet of stitching on the genoa leach came undone.  It could really do with a sailmaker’s attention but its Sunday and we want to leave first thing tomorrow for Holyhead.

This is the view up river from our mooring at the Poolbeg Yacht Club marina….

Monday 23rd

holyhead

We left Dublin about 0630 and set off for Holyhead.  The crossing was uneventful and judicious use of the engine when the wind was unfavourable allowed us to average 6kts.  Unfortunately poor passage planning on my part meant we arrived down tide of Holy Island and spent a frustrating couple of hours doing the last few miles.

Holyhead harbour is vast and boasts the longest breakwater in Europe.  After the act of Union with Ireland, Thomas Telford was commissioned to build the A5 as the major link between London and the closest ferry port to Ireland.  The project also involved the construction of a safe harbour at the Northern end of the road and hence the breakwater.  Apparently the Victorians moved some seven million tons of Holyhead mountain into the sea over a period of 28 years.

Wednesday 24th

holyhead

Following a sunny day at leisure in Holyhead we braced ourselves for an easterly gale.  The marina manager warned us to put beam ropes to the opposite finger which we duly did and were grateful for the advice.  By 0800 there was a full gale blowing and the harbour offers little shelter from wind from the east.  In fact its isn’t a pleasant place to be at all!  We frequently had gusts over 50 kts and I felt somewhat seasick as we sheltered in the saloon.

This is what it looked like…

Thursday 25th

Holyhead

We are currently gale bound in Holyhead and the plan to be in Liverpool at the weekend is looking decidedly shaky.

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