A video and photographic log of sailing.
Now building a Class Globe 5.80
From dreaming of sailing, to dream sailing. I have built boats, sailed boats and read about boats. My other passion is photography. There are possibly too many sailing & photography blogs already, so one more can't hurt… Now I'm building a Class Globe 5.80.
The famous DunLaoghaire to Dingle Race started on 14th June 2017 and we were in it. Thomas, Gerry and myself, onboard Thisbe. We left Poolbeg Marina to meet the assembling fleet off DunLaoghaire.
1 minute before 7 pm, it was like a scene from Ben Hur, every boat charging for the line.
We had a good start, by our standards !
A few expletives were uttered, but we were off to Dingle. 270 nautical miles ahead and the forecast was good.
We tacked all evening and through the night. The wind picked up to F6, from the South and right on the nose. Our planned watch system went out the window and after first light next morning, we were off Greystones. Making South was better on starboard tacks, the port tacks less so. We heard a boat retiring, then a few urgent calls of various sorts. On a long starboard tack, Gerry looked up and shouted, " A little problem Jim !" The forward port stay was swinging in the wind. Vibration had loosened the pin and we could not tack without fear of loosing the mast.
Head torch on and getting wet with every second wave, I managed to replace it, in between spitting stuff overboard !
By late morning, we had covered 39 miles, with a lot more miles to go and the 7 am forecast gave a southerly F6 for the next 24 hours, then shifting SouthWest ! Just what we did not want to hear.
Decision time. With a cutoff in Dingle of Saturday evening, it didn't look good, so we took the tough decision of retiring and headed back up to Arklow. We tied up, ate and slept.
What an anti-climax, Thursday morning and we were out of the race.
Another boat came in behind us and reports of breakages and retirements soothed our guilt. It's amazing what food, sunshine and a steady boat can do for morale. We had weekend passes from our wives, so how could we just go back home ?
A plan was hatched. We decided to head East, to Wales. The wind was perfect, loads of food aboard and we were hungry for some little adventure. We departed Arklow at 2 am the next morning and within an hour we passed the turbines on the Arklow bank.
As we passed over the bank, I watched the depth sounder. It was odd to see only 3.5 m under our hull, with open sea all around.
We had to reach Carnarvon by 3 pm to get over the sill.
We made it just in time, helped along by a good swell and a small pod of dolphins.
As we got closer, we saw a few Hellcats practising just outside, ripping around in front of us. It gradually dawned on us something was on and Carnarvon was full of boats.
It was my first time here and the castle looked impressive from the sea. Imagine seeing this with Naval vessels in the way.
Thisbe was tucked up in berth in Wales and the town was celebrating Welsh Military Day.
It was then we discovered we had ran out of cooking gas, so a friendly native berthed nearby lent us his full bottle. Steve and his wife then invited us to their club later for a drink.
A little Irish never went astray !
Cool looking Royal Navy boats were open for tours, which of course we did !
A young naval crew going from port to port as Summer training.
The marina full for the weekend and we hadn't even booked a spot. Beautiful weather.
Everywhere there were Naval, Army and other military displays.
Marching bands had the perfect acoustics to put on a show, in the centre of the medieval fortress of Carnarvon Castle.
The place was full of people, visiting military, locals and tourists.
And we took off exploring all over, through walls and corridors.
Doesn't everyone want to hide in a castle ?
A view of the River Seiont, with loads of boats on drying moorings.
The museum was impressive and one little detail took my fancy, a ration biscuit from India. Time for food and we headed to take up out invitation at The Royal Welsh Yacht Club.
Steve, his wife and Dee introduced us around, while we walked into a pub quiz.
Then they toured us through the club which is actually in the medieval town walls of Caernarfon.
A secret tunnel leading up to a lookout, through the castle walls from the bar of the yacht club.
My first time sailing over a sill, so that's what you have to avoid by coming in or out without enough water under your keel.
Brothers in law in arms and then there's Gerry !
On the Saturday, it's time to tackle the Menai Strait. I think I look great !
The Meani Bridge and we're watching our navigation.
Plenty of room to spare, but it doesn't look like it.
The pilot guide mentioned looking out for a white pyramid through the right hand eye of the bridge
Very impressive from this angle.
A "Lenny" over the welsh hills, beloved of gliders. Otherwise known as Cirrocumulus Lenticularis.
Fife One design boats racing on the Menai Strait.
We heard a callout for the RNLI and they shot past on their way over to near Conway.
Heading out to more open sea.
Putting my new PVC to good use, nothing like it for total waterproofing.
Thomas was helming as we passed over the top of Anglsey. We hit 9 knots on a reach, Thisbe was flying. We had heard of an interesting lagoon at Skerries, North East of Holyhead, so it seemed like a good spot to look around.
Things turned a little dirtier late on as we battled to make Skerries.
My first time to see a nuclear power plant.
Approaching Skerries from the East, blowing hard, we dropped sail and motored up bit by bit. Now where is the entrance ?
A tight entrance, turn right and we found ourselves in a calm lagoon. The rough sea was outside a wall of rock and inside was a millpond, with a big mooring ring beckoning us to tie up.
Time to look around our new found landscape.
Tern eggs were everywhere, so it was obvious we were an intrusion, so we kept it to a minimum.
The price of intruding on a tern colony during breeding season ! Thomas got a perfect shot to the head from an irate mother.
Evening light on a beautiful spot.
A calmer evening both inside and outside our little sanctuary.
I cannot walk away from a sunset shot.
This must be what Galapagos must be like, Darwin would love it.
Not a textbook tying up but it did the job.
Looking back at a place to which we will have to return.
Heading home to Poolbeg on a beautiful Sunday morning, having salvaged a great weekend from a disastrous race.