Wednesday, May 3, 2023

2023 April 28th, Day 14 & 15 Newlyn to Milford Haven

A bumpy start motoring directly into wind and waves to the Runnel Stone, ideally I would have left at about 02:00 for the best tide around Lands End but I compromised to get more sleep and left at 04:45 which would allow me to clear Cape Cornwall before the tide turned and would also allow a bit more time for the wind and waves to moderate.

With contradictory forecasts from different models, I left not knowing if I would be heading direct to Ireland, to Milford Haven, to St Ives or further up the Cornish or Devon coast, that was resolved when I downloaded multiple models at 08:40, had the inshore and shipping forecast from the UK Met office and the forecast from Met Eireann. St Ives would likely be too exposed to waves and a poor starting point going NW, Carnsore was a long way off in light winds and would require much more motoring so I decided on Milford.

A few large sets where coming through as I passed The Longships
but now it was reasonably comfortable as I was not bashing directly
into the waves.
The engine went off at 08:00 and I was sailing on a reach in a WNW Force 3 - 4, after 3 hours the wind backed to WSW at 3 - 5 knots and the engine went on for a couple of hours until the wind had backed further to SW and increased back to F3 - 4 so at 13:30 the engine went off and I was making good progress with the cruising chute.

From mid afternoon mist turned to fog and by late afternoon visibility was some times down to less than a quarter of a mile. The engine had to go on again at 18:18 when the wind had dropped to 4 - 7 knots and stayed that way for the rest of the night. 

Sailing in fog is always tense, even with radar and AIS to help.
Here the Irish fishing boat went right around me unseen as I went
N making 5.5 Knts through the water, 4 over the ground.
 The first “Range Ring" is half a mile from the boat.
The fog got gradually worse and by Turbot Bank, 3 miles short of  the entrance to Milford Haven, the visibility was down to well less than a cable (200 yards) and I was navigating with 2 independent GPS systems and charts (the plotter and an iPad with Admiralty charts) and Radar. 

Milford Haven VTS (Vessel Traffic Service) called at that time with traffic information, a request for current visibility at my location and to ask for my intentions as a ferry was outbound, fortunately using the west channel whilst I was using the east but it was another thing to keep an eye on with Radar and AIS.

I was spending a lot of time watching the radar, and paying the price with a "crick" in the neck as I could pick up the buoys at a mile or more on radar but only at 1 and later 2 cables visually - and these are big well lit buoys to help the big tankers going in and out.

I anchored on Dale Shelf at 04:15 for a few hours sleep and a rest day before heading for Ireland.


The big French catamaran on the right left Newlyn 8 hours after
me but despite having a foul tide around Lands End arrived
only 1.5 hours after me.  

A quick passage with a lot of engine and some quick sailing, 119 nautical miles in 23.5 hours.

Canadian yacht White Cloud, we would meet again, more than once.
Click here for Milford to Ireland.

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