Saturday, July 18, 2020

Stage 4, To Ireland

I was up bright and early and was away by 05:15 in light winds, a couple of hours later I was past the “Wave Hub” experimental site and sailing with the Cruising Chute in 11 knots of south westerly wind. That did not last for long and by 09:40 the wind was up to 12 knots gusting 16 and one of those gusts causing a broach during which the flogging chute threw off the snap shackle, something that would be repeated a few days later so it looks as if I will have to remake the spinnaker sheets with better snap shackles.

My actual track (red) from St Ives to Ireland. The solid
blue line is the direct rhumb line and the dotted blue line
the planned track allowing for the tide sailing at 4.5 knots
The 08:00 download of four different weather maps from PredictWind showed the wind veering to NW or NWByN in the evening but with different timings, other forecasts suggested the wind might become northerly. I took a gamble and beam reached well above the rhumb line (adjusted for tide) making 0.5 – 1.0 knots more speed than I would have done on the wider reach, this would allow me to have a good go at getting to Rosslare rather than Fishguard as planned which should then give an easier route north sailing in calmer waters in offshore winds than sticking to the English side and its lea shores. But if the wind did go northerly I should be in a good position to revert to Fishguard as the next stop.

I had hoped to go through the Menai Straights on this trip but the tides were not going to be right so that will have to wait for another year. 

By mid-afternoon it was blowing 17 -20 knots, 244 degrees and by 20:00 it was round to 329 degrees and I was well over 20 miles west of the rhumb line. As the wind veered, I came closer to the wind and was close hauled coming into the Irish course but managed to make Cansore Point without tacking and anchored in St Margaret’s bay, two and a half miles south of Rosslare which offers better protection from a NW wind than anchorages closer and with an easier route out to the north.

The downside of this route was the Covid lock down and quarantine requirements in the Republic that meant that the first place I would be able to go ashore would be the northern shore of Carlingford Loch. 

Gannets diving as I closed in on Ireland, the fish were having
a bad time as a very large pod of dolphins were also feeding.
134 NM in just under 31 hours.

Rosslare - Roney Head - Dublin.

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