Saturday, June 22, 2024

2024 June 22nd Days 85 - 87 Bagh na Doirline to Druimyeon Bay then Bangor

DRAFT pics to follow.

Saturday morning:

The wind went round to the NW overnight making the anchorage a little uncomfortable, I was anchored well out as there were four other boats in the anchorage, I could have gone further in but single handed I prefer not to have boats behind me, it can be difficult to then get out as I have to be at the bow to raise the anchor and the boat will drift down wind (and or tide) potentially into another boat. So as the wind was light and the tide good I made a quick hop around the north of the Island to a better protected anchorage in Druimyeon Bay.

4 miles in 1 hour

The weather forecast for the next few days is not hopeful with headwinds, mainly light or moderate except perhaps on Tuesday  / Wednesday. And more hopefully tonight; I try and avoid overnight sailing, not because of the dark - except for the avoidance of pot buoys and often the cold, that is pleasant and even easier - but because of the length of time that it takes me to recover and to recharge my sleep bank, it is definitely harder than it was a few years ago.

However the window for westerly, or even a north westerly wind, has expanded since yesterdays forecast, now it looks to be turning westerly at c20:00 and to be favourable for most if not all of trip to Browns Bay, NI although on the down side the 07:00 forecast the sea North Channel is to be "smooth or slight, occasionally moderate", but that is not a major problem although rough would be around The Mull of Kintyre.

If I leave this evening there is a reasonable chance to make Browns Bay (Larne) in 12 - 13 hours, with Red Bay (further north) as an alternate if the doing is slow, and Bangor a possibility if I feel fit enough and the forecast southerly wind is no stronger than forecast and does not arrive early. I would then have Monday to recover and perhaps re-store. Then the tide south from Bangor through Donaghadee Sound is favourable from c 08:00 on Tuesday and 50 minutes later on Wednesday, allowing a reasonable start time an hour before.

Scenarios for a night crossing, calculated by the navigation
software and tabulated for reference, one of the times at
the corner of the TSS should match the actual and gives me
the course to steer without having to start up the PC in
the middle of the night. It also shows the best times to leave.

I have diesel for well over 250 miles but prefer to sail so if the forecasts do not change it looks like an evening start.

Saturday evening.

I left at 19:00 with  a southerly wind F4-5, with the domestic forecast predicting the wind should veer to the NW by c 20:30, then when I refreshed it 30 minutes later, it said 21:30 ☹️ so I was motoring for longer than anticipated and making a lot less than the 5 knots I had planned for the trip down the east coast of Gigha due to the head wind, the choppy sea and the crud on the hull. About halfway to the Mull of Kintyre the wind backed to the SE! This actually helped as the sea got calmer due to the shelter from the Mull.

On the revised time schedule, almost to the minute, the wind quickly veered to the NW at F4, being late to get round the Mull at or before slack water I kept the engine running but motor-sailed with the main and the genoa with one reef. Shortly after I picked up the strong S going tide and was making 8 knots, the engine and sails together generating enough power to over come the drag from the weed on the hull so I could make 6 knots through the water.

With this boost I got to the end of the TSS a little ahead of schedule, switched off the engine and rounded the Mull in good order. The Chute went up for a couple of hours but had to come down as the wind dropped and the engine went on, 20 minutes later the wind was back and up when the chute, but I should have waited because the wind kept increasing and within 10 minutes I was taking in down in 18 knots, quite a bit over the limit for the sail. I continued under sail for a while but had to put the engine on again as with lack of wind I was likely to be pushed north into the TSS. Half way over I was sailing again but after the previous problems I was reluctant to put the chute up and waited for almost an hour before doing so.

Off Red Bay the tide was running north faster than I could sail and I was heading almost W when heading S, so on went the engine again. I started sailing again until past “The Maidens” (pics to follow), then the wind disappeared completely and I motored on to the anchorage off Bangor arriving at 10:00.

Dinner got a little complicated, I had started prep for 2 portions of Chicken curry, then found that the chicken was off, smelling really bad; it was well within the sell by date but there was a small hole in the packaging, so I ended up with spag bol.

Monday was a rest day but I spent much of it working on the boat(a post may follow on that work).

With the strong southerly wind a lot of boats came
north on Monday, most arriving late afternoon on
the last of the tide through Donaghadee Sound. 
Most went to the marina but 3 came to the
anchorage within an hour, now there are four
of us, 2 Brits, 1 Irish and 1 Norwegian.  I think
all are single handed.

Ardglass on Tuesday and I hope that, with all the boats heading north, there will be a berth available, if not it is going to be a long sail to a safe anchorage and tinned food πŸ™

Click here for Ardglass.

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