Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Baltimore - Peel

As Karen kindly informed you all, we arrived in Peel on the Isle of Man this morning after a 2 and a half day journey up from Baltimore. We left on Sunday evening, as soon as the gale had passed and had a beautiful few hours of gentle sailing before the wind conked out altogether and we had to motor. It was light winds or motoring all the way along the south coast and around the corner. We had a bit of a job rounding the Tuskar rock, actually, as the wind died when we were nearly there and there was 3 knots of tide running against us.
Once we rounded the bend, the tide turned and we moved quickly up to the north. As the day wore on, the wind gradually returned and then increased until, by late afternoon, we were having some great sailing under what we call our 'Trade winds rig'. That's the full main out on one side with the jib poled out on the other.
By nightfall, the wind was up to the point where it commenced our third gale of the trip so far. By now we were down to double-reefed main and storm jib, and so it continued through the night.
The passage from that point was incredibly fast. We had a little tide in our favour and that, with the gale of wind behind us, pushed up our average speed over ground to around 7.5 knots!
There was also a lot of shipping to deal with, particularly between Dublin and Holyhead. The most interesting encounter was when I spotted a warship cruising along beside us. I hailed them on the VHF, to make sure they knew we were there, and had a little chat with the radio officer on board HMS Grimsby. Good fun.
We were happy to arrive here this morning and tuck into the shelter behind the breakwater. The inner harbour is tidal, so we rafted up against a fishing vessel on the outer wall, went for showers and lunch, returned to the boat for a snooze and then moved into the inner harbour.
It's a beautiful spot. We're going to wander around a bit, have a pint or two and then an early night.

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