Monday, April 18, 2022

2022 St Kilda Days 20 & 21 to Dale Bay then St Margaret's Bay IRE.

Milford Haven is long so to shorten the trip on Wednesday when the wind eased I moved to the anchorage at Dale Shelf on Tuesday afternoon, motoring till past most of the oil facilities then a pleasant but chilly sail, that turned into a bit of a theme on this trip.

10 miles in two and a half hours.

It was another early start on Wednesday, again a theme for this trip and not a welcome one, I was up at 02:30 to find a light mist but visibility not that bad, I could see the land around the bay and lights several miles away on the oil terminal. The fog horn at St Ann's Head was sounding not far away but was not really concerning given what I could see. 

I was away at 03:00, turned around Dale Point and into dense fog with visibility a few boat lengths. I didn't see any more land until approaching Ireland!  I was very close to land but had the comfort of some buoys, GPS and radar and made a point of closely following the track I had on the plotter from when I entered last year, a favourite ploy of mine.

Radar watch in fog at night is usually a strain and concentrating on a small screen you have to watch out for sea sickness which on this occasion I just avoided until a belated Stugeron kicked in. I had a bit of a scare passing south of Skokholm when the collision alarm went off as the Irish Ferry came from astern at high speed, fortunately due to the possibility of over-falls I was rather further out so she went past less than a mile away, unseen except on Radar and AIS - hopefully both ways!

Leaving Milford, once out of Dale the visibility varied from
a few boat lengths to perhaps half a mile on occasion until off
of this pic.
Crossing to Ireland
I had to remain under power until 08:20 when some wind set in and I was then able to sail in variable winds until I got to the SE corner of the Tuskar Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) by which time the wind was light and on the nose so to avoid the TSS (you have to follow the direction of the lane or cross heading at right angles) the engine went back on until past then again for the final approach into St Margaret's Bay. 

There was some drama with flooding on the way over but I'll cover that saga in a separate post. Here.

61 miles in 13 hours. No pictures due to the fog and a lack of anything interesting at the Irish end.

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