A Travellerspoint blog

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Oban to Belfast

This turned into quite an epic as we set out only expecting to make it past Jura to Islay, but storm warnings were coming through (again) so we decided to come through the Straights of Islay (which, with the tide behind us we did in record speed), head across to the Mull of Kintyre and then straight down to Belfast. Although the wind began to fall the sea state was pretty rough. The best fun was trying to serve dinner whilst the boat was rolling like a pig and the cooker, which is on gimbals, couldn't quite keep up with the roll of the boat. I managed to get the pasta bake out of the oven and put it on top, whereupon it tried to jump up and disappear down the back of cooker. I just managed to retrieve it and served out for those still wanting to eat and put it back in the oven. However, Mark the skipper came down a few minutes later, got it out again and dropped it all over the floor. You can imagine the chaos of having a rolling pitching floor covered in pasta sauce, it reminded me of a programme that used to be on TV, It's A Knockout I think it was called.
The best bit of the day by far was sailing down the coast of Jura, absolutely stunning, this is without doubt the most dramatic scenery we have seen so far.

Posted by Wilson Mark T 14:03 Comments (0)

Giant's Causeway

Hilary inspecting the piling for the new Visitor's Centre


Posted by Wilson Mark T 13:40 Comments (0)

Belfast to Isle of Man

A very stormy passage in seas that were officially described as "rough", but this is for proper ships - for a yacht they were really big. We tried sailing with a scrap of headsail and mainsail but tacking was tricky, not too say dangerous as it put you beam on to the waves for an instant. Therefore we put the sails away completely, which was a wrestling match in it's self, and motored on. Unfortunately we couldn't maintain our intended course as that would have meant slamming into the waves head on. We made the safest course we could more or less diagonal on to the waves and changed our plans to end up at a port called Peel, which is halfway up the West coast of the island. Arriving in the dark in a storm in shallow water with fishing pot buoys all around that we could only see a few of was hair raising. When we looked in the morning, which was a lovely, clear and sunny we could hardly believe we had made it through without getting a line round the propeller.
As it happened we were doubly lucky because Peel is a lovely place with a perfect castle overlooking the port, a clean sandy beach and streets full of shops that had not been fitted with modern shop fronts but looked pretty much as they probably did in the 1950s. The Isle of Man reminded me a bit of Switzerland, no mountains of course but the same sense of public money still being spent, everything working as it should and a general sense of prosperity and small c conservatism.

Posted by Wilson Mark T 06:22 Comments (0)

Isle of Man to Liverpool

A night passage, not particularly interesting though we did pass right through the gas field, with some enormous rigs. Luckily the sea state and he wind had died down for this one and nobody was sick. The passage into Liverpool is interesting mainly for the very strong tides which make going up or down the river a matter of careful timing. We got into a rather grotty Marina anyway and have stayed in Liverpool the last couple of days. Liverpool city is lovely now, we had perfect weather for it, but I must admit I wasn't keen on coming in here as it is rather out of the way and we are running out of time as regards the Scilly Isles which I was hoping we would spend a few days in. Perfect weather though which makes a lovely change.

Posted by Wilson Mark T 06:34 Comments (0)

Peel - Isle of Man


Posted by Wilson Mark T 06:56 Comments (0)

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