Thursday, June 27, 2024

2024 June 24th Days 88 - 90 Ballyhome Bay to Ardglass

DRAFT pictures and more commentary may follow.

An 05:20 start to reach Donaghadee Sound as the tide turned south, I was sailing as soon as I was out of the sound until approaching Ardglass.  The timing was good as I carried a little tide the short distance down Belfast Lough and entered the sound at slack water, or as slack as it gets, at the southern end it just switches almost instantaneously.

Exiting Donaghadee Sound. 
The route from Bangor through the sound.

With the northerly wind is was a dead run for much of the way and a little too strong for the cruising chute as a "storm" spinnaker although to wards the end I could have carried it but decided not to as the wind was quite variable.

Facebook post: I really, really dislike this mode, more specifically the agro setting it up with a 150% headsail, but the wind is gusting above what, these days, I consider a safe max for the cruising chute from the pole. But here I am on a dead run in F4-5 having just gone through Donaghadee Sound, but it is better than beating against a F5. Hopefully I’ll be at Ardglass fairly early this afternoon.
Lighter winds on the last leg no longer running.

I was on a berth at Ardglass just short of 13:26 with plenty of time to re-store, to leave the next day (Wednesday) but it was clear that this would not be a good idea with the wind forecast to initially very light then turning to the south and fairly brisk. As I had a lot of laundry needing doing I decided to stay put and sort that as the next chance will hopefully be Newlyn. I refuelled immediately before a much needed shower - no point in getting smelly from handling diesel and getting up a sweat after the shower!

34 miles in 8 hours.

The marina at low tide. Works better slowed down a bit.

Thursday was a non-starter with winds forecast to be up to F7 later in the day, the forecast at the time of writing (Thursday lunch time) is not that positive for Friday:

Lough Foyle to Carlingford Lough - Strong wind warning

24 hour forecast: Southwesterly 4 to 6 veering westerly 5 to 7, occasionally gale 8 in north, decreasing 4 or 5 later. Slight or moderate, becoming rough in north, and occasionally very rough in far north. Rain or showers. Good, occasionally poor at first and moderate later.

Outlook for the following 24 hours: West 4 or 5, occasionally 6 at first, becoming variable 2 to 4. Mainly slight or moderate, but rough at first in far north and occasionally smooth later in south. Showers then fair. Good.

But the forecast models show that winds will probably be OK from late morning so the current plan is to leave then and sail to Dundalk Bay which should be OK for a short overnight stop as the brief northerly wind should only be a few knots, Dundalk would give a good start to get to The Skerries in the forecast light winds on Saturday. If that does not work a very late arrival at The Skerries (a 10 hour run at 4 knots) or an overnighter to the Dublin area. 

After that the wind should be generally favourable but rather brisk at times through Tuesday, the main problem might be finding somewhere to park overnight on Sunday when the forecast is for wind to briefly go the the NE at 15 knots, at this point there is no point in over thinking that as things are likely to change, but as a fall back there is always Howth or Dun Laoghaire (Dublin).

I took the enforced stop in warm weather (what a relief from the cold, thankfully it was warm and not very hot) to do some cleaning and do a couple of jobs.

Scrubbing the hull.

Despite some work in Stromness my best speed was still low and getting worse and, as well as I could calculate with infrequent engine use until Tobermory, the fuel consumption has steadily increased. The port side was regressing quickly and I spent over an hour on it before warping the boat to the finger on the other side of the bay .With easier access to the starboard to the skeg and rudder than at Stromness, this is what I found:

Facebook post: 3 coats of Seajet top of the range “Emperor “ in July 2023 “good for “up to” two years”, power wash in March and another coat, part scrubbed in the water in Stromness and this is what it looks like now. No wonder speed is down [and fuel consumption up] 🤬🤬🤬. Not impressed.

I spent a couple of hours cleaning the starboard side but still could not get all of it off, the problem being weed etc. was strongly attached and the "Scubis" cleaner is intended to remove slime and dead stuff. It was hard work.

I managed to achieve this on the skeg, the keel is untouched, the
rest I did what I reasonably could.
Hopefully it was worth the effort.

Fore hatch leak

I have been chasing minor leaks for a long time, the only remaining one was very minor from rain - just a drip now and then, and not much worse when taking waves over the bow but it seemed worth the effort and turned out to be about 7 hours work that helped pass the time.

The wood frame removed and a seemingly minor
issue bottom left.
But on closer inspection the section over one of
the hinges was loose, I suspect not properly secured
when the hatch was modified and new hinges fitted.
I carry an epoxy / fibreglass repair kit, epoxy glue, etc., so securing this was straightforward. It took longer to reprofile this and the frame to be a snug fit. 

It was also clear that there was quite a lot of "give" between the fibreglass hatch and the wood frame it only being secured in the 4 corners and with a pair of machine screws a third of the way along the sides. A couple of the blind holes for nuts used to secure the plastic "window" to hide in were not deep enough forcing a gap between the frame and hatch, those I deepened and I added a second pair of machine screws right through on the side, plus one in the centre of the front and a couple of screws on the back.

One problem is that I had less wide rubber strip than I thought so there is only a narrow strip along the back so its not fully sealed at the aft corners, hopefully any rain will drain forward through the drainage gutters and tubes. A wave over the front is likely to let some water in until I can get hold of more, the small chandlery here does not stock it. 

As an aside, the double sided tape used to attach this type of strip is normally a waste of time, silicone sealant (not glue) does a better job. 

The frame varnished and refitted to the hatch and the hatch to the boat.

Click for the Skerries.

No comments:

Post a Comment