Don't put the sails up backwards

We left the secret anchorage after a few days chilling out and working, but the weather was right for moving on and more importantly the time window for departure had reached dawn rather than prior to dawn, a time that even I as a morning person are not that keen on.

As we left Larne Lough under motor the wind was right behind us, so Beverley decided to hoist the sail with the wind directly behind us. On her first attempt the batons tangled with the lazy jacks so she thought that it might not work. I personally was not worried about that as the batons tangling in the lazy jacks is something that regularly occurs with our rig when we are hoisting the sails. My concern as someone on the helm was keeping a steady course, when you are going into wind adjusting the helm so that we are facing the wind is something that we do on a regular basis, but in this case I needed the wind to stay directly behind us, which really felt like an alien concept as far as I was concerned, so I think, it was my inability to steer a steady course was the primary issue. With the first attempt being a bust we tried again, and this time the batons went past the lazy jacks, bit then I noticed that the line to the forward third reef was still secured, which seriously wrecked Beverley's momentum, but it sort of worked, not as easy as going into wind but at least it worked, so although it is not a technique that we would recommend, if you were coming out of a marina with the wind directly behind then it can be done. For us cruisers who love to sail, we don't have that desperate need to get the sails up straight away.

Once the sails were up and we were on the correct course, the engine was off as soon as we could. It was only then that we briefly chatted about the project that we had started in the secret anchorage and our night out at East Antrim Yacht club, which was enjoyable. The fact that they also let us use their pier to tie up to while we went shopping was another bonus. In fact all the times we have had dealings with them, they have been very nice to us.

We sailed, then motor sailed, all the way from the secret anchorage to the bottom of the Mull of Kintyre, there were a few reasons why we motor sailed

  • At one time we only had 4 knots of wind so at that time we were forced to motor, but even when the wind returned we kept the engine on because
  • It is not Beverley's favourite piece of water, so she wanted to get out of it as soon as possible
  • I was on the helm that day, so as such it is my responsibility to make the most of tide and other factors and I wanted to get past the bottom of the Mull and a good way towards Machrihanish before the tide reversed
  • Once I had reached my objective I was happy to return to sailing

It was only then that I allowed myself to relax which is one of the reason that Beverley managed to get some footage of me snoring, we had been on the go for at least eight hours by that time and I was tired. As well as getting a picture of me snoring she actually managed to video swell. We have tried several times to video swell, but this was the first time you can actually see it.

We got into Gigha and it is a shame that we did not film our entrance but sometimes the cameras run out of charge, which is what happened in this case, so we didn't film our fun and games that occurred with the mooring ball as we came in but hey ho, that's sailing.

Gigha, is a great spot, to start your Scottish tour as it has a protected anchorage and lots of facilities, although if you are going for fuel or water, please be advised that although there is fuel at the top of the hill, it is at the top of the hill and the water too, would be best if you had jugs to transport it. One of the things, that it has which we contributed to was an art collection of stones of all the visiting yachts, some of them were really good, where as I was just happy to get my paints out for the first time since I received them for Christmas. Gigha is a really nice place and I'm so glad that we managed to use the drone in that area.

After we flew the drone Beverley talked about the fun and games that we had getting onto the mooring, the issues we had were

  • The mooring ball had no pick up so we had to attach to the loop at the top of the mooring
  • The loop at the top was in a recess and fell down into the recess when you touched it
  • We used our old fashioned boot hook to keep the loop up
  • then we used our Mr Swifty to get a line on

After staying on the mooring at Gigha we were offered a free mooring at Tayvallich so we decided to leave Gigha and sail there. We had to motor to start but as soon as we were past the top of Gigha, the sails were up and the engine was off. It was just then a case of adjusting all the various lines to get those tell tails flying.

Raising money for the RNLI

The RNLI turned 200 years old on 4th March 2024. So as sailors and people who promote the joy of sailing, we thought that we would like to raise just £200. What we hope is that other people take up the shout and raise their own £200. In the last 200 years the RNLI have saved over 144,000 lives and yet they are funded entirely by people like you. They are not government funded.

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