Not what we expected

Our contract for Carrickfergus Marina had expired on 30th April so it was a good thing that it was a sailable day for sailing because we had to go. We had tested the boat, we gad tested ourselves so now it was time to do more than just test, it was time to actually do.

So like all passages we got out our log book, which we had to find and started to fill it in. It had been that long since I had filled in the log book I had forgotten what to do, but I had plenty of examples in the book, so a quick look at those and I was getting information such as weather and tidal information. It felt good gathering this information as it somehow made things real. I suppose that we had been talking about leaving Carrickfergus for so long that it had become a fantasy, why entering information into our log made it a reality.

Once out in the lock we chatted about leaving Carrickfergus, realistically we were sad to leave, because we had made friends there, but it was time to get out and about. It is the adventure that I love, it is the exploding of new places and having new adventures that I love, while for Beverley it is just being out getting on with the act of sailing and being in the moment.

While we were out we adjusted the sails to get the most out of them so we

  • Tightened the kicker - This brings the sail down at the front of the sail close to the mast
  • Adjust the main sheet - We watch the sail as we do this, watching our tell tails, when they are all flying then we have got it right
  • Adjust the traveller - For close hauling then we move the traveller onto the windward side, so that we get more power out of the sail

On the Genoa we are looking for

  • The tell tails on the Genoa to be nicely in line inside out out, if they are not then we can adjust the cars on the side of Salty Lass to change the shape of the sail

The weather was a wee bit more challenging that expected and we had to dodge quite a bit of commercial traffic, but we managed to sail it all. Not the longest sail in the world, but it is a great feeling to be sailing. There are challenges in sailing but we overcame them and that felt great.

For me however the biggest challenge that I had was actually getting into our mullions, it is clear that I have put on the pounds during Covid. I have put on so much poundage that I barely fitted into our cold weather gear, but our diet starts today, so it will be soup for a few days.

Once we got to Larne lock, we put the anchor down, which needs some more practice, but we were soon in with a mug of soup in our hands. I hope this diet works because i have put on too many COVID pounds.

The next day

We made our passage plan out and we marked out where we should be at various times. If we sailed at 6 knots then we could go to Ballycastle, but if we were slower then we had a back up plan of Glenarm, We made our first way point and we were using the main sheet to accelerate Salty Lass where we could but ease off the sail when we were in a gust. The weather was so variable with a squall line, then no wind, then wind and back to no wind. I wouldn't of minded but this was all within a very short distance, so I felt as if I was in the Salty Lass classroom. At our second way point we were behind where we needed to be so we decided to go to Glenarm.

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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