It's supposed to be warmer if you go south

Our around Ireland adventures had begun, we had finally gone around the corner of Belfast Lough and we were motor sailing down the Ards peninsula. I had already changed into my Mullions and I was just thankful that we had them because contemplating a night sail in anything less would just be ridiculous. We bought them some time ago at £120 per suit and they keep us well toasty. Although as it was early in the season we did break out the blankets later on.

Before the sun went down, the only bit of interest was some fishing boats that did not have their AIS on, so we had to rely on the technique of looking at various pieces of hardware on deck to determine if we were going to go in front of them or not. It didn’t take us long to determine and we were going to be safe, but since having the AIS it has been a little while since we have had to use that technique.

As we went past North Rock(Beverley put Butter Pladdy in the video and that is South of South Rock, not North of it), the sun began to set which is why we were not going into Strangford. North Rock is 7½nM North of the entrance to Strangford, so that meant that it was at least an hour away, plus the passage into Strangford in an hour too. We took the passage in shift of about two hours each. Enough to get a cat nap in but nothing really else.

We were both up on deck as the dawn broke, which found us still motor sailing in an incredibly calm sea. It was still early in the morning when we arrived in Skerries for a rest. It was good putting the Irish courtesy flag up and the anchor ball up, but that is all we had to do as we had come from the island of Ireland.

After resting most of the day, our friends from Wave dancer arrived to take us out for a meal, so we got Salty Sausage down and we were off. This meant that I had to climb a ladder which I was a bit wary of, but I did it. They treated us to a lovely meal at the Blue Bar, which was fantastic.

The next day, we were up quite early to catch high tide going into Malahide marina. When we were filling in the weather section of the log book, we realised that we did not where to get our weather forecast, so we looked out the hatch to declare that visibility was poor and we were hoping that it would improve later. We just left the anchorage and as soon as we were out of the protection of the land, we found the wind increased massively. We were heading straight to wind and Beverley had to go forward to lash the sail down as it was coming out of the bag.

As I navigated Salty Lass through the Skerries, I remembered our Rule of 12th video because the Skerries was where we practised applying that particular rule, this time I was using two different methods to calculate depth.

The first is to go over a contour and read off your depth. This allows you to calculate depth at the time that you are moving. It also takes into account atmospheric pressure, the problem with this method is that your charts are not accurate and are at best an approximation.

The second is to use the fact that for areas that have sinusoidal tidal curves, half tide for a particular area is very close to each other regardless of the fact that it is a neap tide or a spring time. In the Liverpool area where there are 10m tides ½ tide is usually between 4.8 and 5.2m while the Dublin bay area it varies between 2.1m and 2.4m, this meant that for Salty Lass as long as we were going between the Skerries with at least a ½ tide we would be fine.

While we were traversing the area, we still needed to look out for pots, so I talked about the two methods in more detail once we were moored up.

Dublin Bay area

Springs   HW 4.2m
  - LW 0.2m

4/2 = 2 + 0.2 = 2.2m

Neaps     HW 3.5m
  - LW 1.0m

2.5/2 = 1.25 +1 = 2.25m

For Liverpool bay where you have a 10m tide, ½ tide varies between 4.8m and 5.2m regardless of if you are on a neaps or a spring, so learning your ½ tide height for your area is a good thing to know.

Malahide is a tidal marina which means that you get some interesting wave patterns in and around the pontoons as the water is pushed below the concrete pontoons. Malahide is a tidal marina and th rule is, go to the Fairway buoy and deduct two meters off the depth and that will be the depth you have in the channel.

We had come to Malahide to visit our friends on Wavedancer. They have just started their You Tube channel and they are one of the reasons that we want to explore the South of Ireland. They have really supported us with gifts at Christmas and advice and they are a really nice couple as well. Unfortunately we did not record their piece to camera, so we had to do the piece ourselves.

With regard to the marina, we thought the staff were really nice and the town had a real holiday vibe about it. The only funny thing was finding the switches for the bathroom as they are quite a distance away from where you would expect them to be.

The tidal heights in the estuary are quite different between low tide and high tide so we went for two walks around the estuary, so that we could compare the look of the estuary at these two times.

While we were there we started Cooks Tour afloat and we left Malahide on an afternoon tide.

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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