Our plans go wrong on Day one

After a long delay because of weather, we were finally off. Our delay in departure was even longer than last year when I had to complete making the canopy before our departure.

So in preparation for the journey. The previous night Beverley had made a huge batch of curry, which had cooled overnight in our fridge, and because Mr D Thermal cooker is in fact a thermos flask, we stored the curry in the outer jacket, so that we could keep the fridge clear.

For various reasons we were both very nervous, we had gone through the check list twice already and I was wanting to go through the check list one more time before departure. In a way we were using the check list as a touch stone, to reassure ourselves that we knew what we were doing. However, you can not prevaricate for ever, so we let go of the lines and we were off.

The journey did not start great, because it was raining and we were under motor. However, there was a touch of blue on the horizon and we had high hopes for the day. While we were motoring, Beverley discussed our plans which were

  1. Keep going as long as possible
  2. Go into Strangford
  3. Go to Ardglass
  4. Carlingford
  5. Lambay Island
  6. Howth

There might even be a plan G depending on what is happening with the weather, but the most important plan was for plan T as in a cup of tea.

Just after Donacadee sound, we put the Genoa out an turned the engine off, We even put the engine into reverse so that the propeller would stop and we would have that wonderful sound, which is silence. There was lots of discussion in the cockpit about our coarse, so that we could make the best use of the wind that we had.

Meanwhile downstairs, Beverley opened a tin of soup which is our standard go to for a hot snack while under way. We only eat the one tin between us, as we prefer smaller meals more often while we are sailing. That way we keep our sustenance up while not being lethargic which can happen when we have eaten a lot.

While we were sailing, we listened to the weather forecast and there was to be strong winds through the night, so rather than be exposed to that we decided to go into Strangford where we would be protected. The other reason I wanted to go into Strangford was, we could go on anchor and reduce our costs. Marina’s are great and they protect you from strong winds, but they do cost money and I like to keep our cost down as much as possible.

So I set out course trimming as much as I could by going inside marks that are there for larger vessels and we got to the bottom of the channel ½ hour before the turn. I was hopeful that even though you need an hour for the passage that we would still be able to make it, as I thought that the tide would be weak to start. Well we got to the point that we could read the writing on the hotel, but the tide was just too strong so we decided to turn around and head for Ardglass.

As I came into Ardglass, I did the ram the pontoon and then turn the wheel away from the pontoon so that the rear of the boat comes in technique and it went really well.

While we had tidied the boat away we put the rice on and warmed the curry in Mr D. then by the time the boat was squared away, the curry was warm and we could sit down and have a great meal.