Failure at Fair head

If everything goes to plan. It is a trip not an adventure.

We were up and out to sea by 04:40, on 2nd May 2020, far too early in my opinion but when you need the tide to get you somewhere then this is what you have to do. We were up so early we saw dawn crack, which I have to tell you is one of my favourite times of the day. I think the dawn really conveys hope, hope that the day will be great. I might not get a great day but I always hope that I can.

We had to start with the motor running but soon we were able to switch off the motor and sail. We were still doing between 4.5 to 5 knots so we soon were making up for the small 10minute delay that we had at the start. At one time we had even got up to 7.2 knots and we wanted to get to Fair head just at the tide was turning so that we would have slack in and around the area that there are a lot of rip tides. We managed to sail quite a bit, but there were times when the sails came down and we were motoring.

While we are sailing along then Beverley and I look at the sea state all the time. When you have completely flat water, then you also have no wind, while ruffles in the water is wind and you can watch a ruffle in the water, so that you are alerted to a gust of wind or simply a change in the wind speed. We had observed a dark patch on the water and that was quite a bit of wind and we were back at 7knots of speed over ground, the only problem was our course was diverging away from where we wanted to be, but we were going north and that was a direction that we wanted.

Despite being way ahead of schedule at waypoint 3, our speed over ground had dropped to 3.7 knots and our speed continued to drop. One of the reasons our speed had dropped was because we had 20knots of wind bang on our nose and we think that the tide had already turned. Certainly by the time we were actually at Fair head the tide was already running against us and we had quite a bit if over falls that I steered Salty Lass through. By this time our speed over ground had dropped to 0.7 knots which was nothing and at some points we were going backwards, We tried everything, but in the end we admitted defeat and decided to return to Glenarm.

In Glenarm we treated ourselves to a really good lunch, we needed it.

The next day, the weather in Glenarm was really horrible so we decided to think about the things we did wrong and what we need to do to improve. We also looked at our track which was all over the place, in fact one person has already commented that they thought we were trying to draw a penguin in the water, we weren't but I can see why they thought that. We are really interested in peoples comments on this one so we will see what responses we get.

Things we got wrong

  1. We have done this passage before so we should of read our log book for that passage. Then we had arrived early, if we had known that then we could of assisted our passage by using the motor to arrive early.
  2. Totally believing the pilotage, it can only be a guide line
  3. Overall we should of made a faster passage earlier, we could of heaved too and waited if we needed too, but arriving too late limits your options

For me it has given me a better understanding of a tidal curve that I saw for the area, that had a very steep curve, that means that the tide will change rapidly

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