Sunday, May 5, 2024

2024 May 3rd Days 35 - 37. To Milford Haven and rest.

Finally some progress and, except for the cold wind and a lumpy sea to finish, an exceptionally good sail.

I woke up half an hour before the alarm but got up and did a couple of small jobs and had some coffee before leaving on schedule at 03:30 - I did not want to be early and find a foul tide off Lands End which can be uncomfortable. With the south westerly wind I motored for two hours to the “Runnel Stone” arriving 10 minutes ahead of schedule.

The Long Ships light at dawn.
As soon as I passed the Runnel Stone the sails went up and,
passing close to the Long Ships I was able to sail all the way to
the Milford Haven Offing.
The wind was almost unbelievably consistant at 10 - 14 knots all the way although, annoyingly, it did back from WSW to SW which slowed me down and I had to take down the Spinnaker off of Cape Cornwall. It was also sunny, but not that warm with the chill wind.

Approaching “Turbot Bank”off Milford the current, even on a neap tide, can create a confused choppy sea and so it was and I got the sails off about 2 miles short so that I could see where I was going (the Genoa being in the way) and concentrate on navigation as the boat rolled nastily until I was into the Haven.

The offending vessel, now corrected after I mentioned
it to a fellow Achillies owner who happens to work for
Milford VTS who had a chat with them.

 Coming in I got rather confused, I was trying to get the big picture - gps is all very well feature hoping or tracking but not always good for situational awareness with all the lights. A cable layer / survey vessel [actually a trawler i subsequently found acting as a guard ship] was showing on AIS (claiming to be under sail to a cable site, so I was a bit dubious of everything it said) east of the east channel but I was convinced I could see a larger ship c 20 degrees off the ais contact or was it the same and it was a really big ship, contrary to a suspect AIS profile. There was nothing on radar or ais from a 2nd ship, then I twigged it was 2 random shore lights on the N side of the haven looking like mast lights of a ship going right to left plus a fixed red nav beacon pretending to be a port nav light ๐Ÿค”.

With an expected easterly wind I went to Sandy Haven Bay which, unlike Dale Shelf, has good shelter from the east and some from the SE.

Sadler 34 "Domina" at anchor in Sandy Haven Bay. We were
rafted up at Newlyn all the time I was there. Chris being
hardier (and younger) than me headed off for Ireland on
Sunday expecting another overnight passage after another
early start. I'm not sure if he anticipated the rain.

 It looks like I’ll be here till Wednesday, I could get to a safe anchorage (in a northerly wind) in Ireland (Dunmore East?) on Sunday and probably on Monday but I would then be stuck there till Wednesday because of Northerly wind, so I would be N of Carnsore Pt late Wednesday. But I could be at the same place from here on Wednesday with a more sensible start time.  Also I am tired and rain is forecast for Sunday [I should have remembered that on Sunday as I write this, I put out some damp towels to dry and they are now wet ☹️]

Update: that was a good decision, cold light rain much of the day, I even had the heater on, it would have been pretty grim if it extends towards Ireland as is likely.

There after the winds are favourable but light with temperatures in the 60s for a slow sail or quick motor to N. Ireland. 

Hopefully the weather will be good enough to  have a short yacht around the Haven on Monday and Tuesday whilst I wait. 

118 miles in 25 hours.

Click here for my trip up the river and back and plans for the ext few days.

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