Thursday, May 11, 2023

2023 May 9th, Days 25 - 27 Browns Bay to Red Bay and Port Ellen, Islay

I seem destined always to motor when going north through the north channel, this was the third time out of three.

Even motoring the tide was not favourable; to get past the Mull of Kintyre before it turned foul would mean leaving at midnight which I did not fancy, so I didn't set the alarm and would hopefully get a good nights sleep then work out what to do. I left at  06:15 with some favourable tide left, the engine went off at 07:00 with the cruising chute and no mainsail on a dead run in a light wind but that did not last long - about 10 minutes so the engine went back on and I headed for Red Bay and an anchorage off Glenariff (aka Waterfoot) to wait for the tide to turn.

Entering Red Bay, 40 minutes after local low water the adverse tide
still hit 3 knots.
At Anchor for a few hours and an early lunch waiting for the
tide to change.
I had a cunning plan and this time it worked πŸ˜€

My track from Bangor to Red Bay the across the N
channel to the Mull of Kintyre.
The admiralty tidal atlas shows a back eddy along the coast north of Red Bay, starting a couple of hours before the tide changes to the south so I left at 11:55, again under the cruising chute, this time for about 15 minutes before the engine went on and shortly I had a knot of favourable tide which quickly increased to 1.5 knots then peaking at 1.7 knots as I head north hugging the coast rather than heading out for the SE corner of the N. Channel TSS.

Apart from the speed boost this also meant I was further north before heading into the strong south going tide, so there was a better chance that the north going tide that I would pick up between 14:00 and 15:00 would compensate for the south going tide as I headed NE.

This almost worked but because I was motoring at 5.4 knots rather than sailing at a planned speed of 4 knots I would have come in a mile or so south of the turning point and rather close to over-falls, although these would have been slight, so with a couple of miles to run I set the autopilot to track to the SE corner of the TSS which I reached easily across the 2 knot north going tide and then I had a favourable tide all the way to Port Ellen where I anchored for the night in Kilnaughton Bay.

I don't know how much time this saved but it was substantial, another 9 metre boat left a few minutes after me and headed straight out, by the time she reached the corner of the TSS I was 8 miles further on but a chunk of this was probably down to me motoring faster.

The next day I moved into the small marina for a welcome shower and revictualling at a much better shop than within walking distance at Howth. 

I also got 28 litres of diesel by porterage, as much as I can comfortably carry on the trolley, but on a second trip for a final 20 litres I came away disappointed as they had run out, the planned delivery having failed to arrive and they were closed for diesel. I was also unable to replace an empty Camping Gaz cylinder but I have one and some left and they are normally available at Tobermory where I plan to be on Sunday or Monday when the wind could be rather strong.

As an aside; why do gas cylinders always seem to run out just after you leave dinner to cook in the oven, rather than when you are boiling water or cooking on the hob and would spot it? 
Past the Mull of Kintyre with 2 knots of favourable tide.
Port Ellen from Kilnaughton Bay.
White Cloud, seen for a third time this trip, in Kilnaughton Bay
White Cloud followed me into the Marina and we had drinks together in a local bar and a decent takeaway Chinese on board her.

2023 Browns Bay to Port Ellen

57 miles in twelve and a quarter hours including the lunch stop.

Click here for Port Ellen to Loch Tarbert.

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