Portpatrick to Peel

After our damsels in distress incident I took a walk around Portpatrick and I met the locals from The Crown who enquired if I had got the gas I wanted. On finding out that my search had not been fruitful, he offered his 6kg of gas. To me that was such a generous offer, he didn't know me and yet he let me walk off with his gas bottle and its contents. Now it was just a case of getting it to the Lass to see if it would fit. As I lugged the gas bottle and its contents over to the lass, I reflected on one of my objectives for the year, which is to get fit and loose weight. Trust me lugging a 6kg propane bottle around which weighs between 15-17kg when full, is hard work. Muscles that I didn't know existed until that time, were declaring their presence, but I did manage to get the gas over to the lass all by myself. Then it was just a case of using two ropes to lower the gas canister down. One rope that I controlled from the harbour wall and one that Beverley controlled from the deck of the lass. Beverley and I didn't want the gas canister to hit the side of the harbour wall, both of us could see a mini explosion happening, so we were not risking that.

I got Beverley to help me carry the gas canister back to the Crown Hotel, where we spent an hour or two talking to the locals and generally having a very pleasant time. A few of them, ribbed us over the entertainment that we had provided with regard to our Damsels in Distress incident, but it was all in good jest and what had been a scary incident, was in the end a bit of a laugh. It is strange how we can laugh at what scares us, but it is a way in which we can deal with it and prepare us for our journey off to Peel which we would be doing the next day.

After the pub, I stayed on the Lass while Beverley walked around the town.

The next day, we would be setting sail two hours before low water, as this was the advice that the coastguard had given us about the journey into Peel. As our start time was going to be quite late, I decided to get a taxi all the way to Stranraer to get gas. This time my search was fruitful as I had already called to make sure that they had the gas I required in stock.

While I got gas, Beverley went on a walk to the old lighthouse which is now used for a craft shop. There she found markings on the wall, which had been left by the boulders that the sea tossed about on stormy nights. These boulders are huge so it makes you realise just how dangerous the sea can be.

Soon it was time to go and we made a lot better progress because the tide was in our favour, we even got the sails out, which I always enjoy. We were progressing quite well and I could see the lights of Peel in the Isle of Man, when a sudden storm started. I sent Beverley downstairs as she was cold and I knew that I could handle the waves. The waves seamed to have a pattern to them, so I would point Salty Lass in the direction I wanted, then turn into the large waves, so that they would break across the bow. I felt that I was on the wheel for hours, but in truth it was only an hour that I was on deck. I was about three nautical miles from the harbour entrance, when I got Beverley to radio ahead before taking over the wheel. Because of the way the tides work, we would be able to go straight into the harbour, rather than have to tie up on the harbour wall.

Once Beverley took over the wheel, I put on four fenders from the safety of the cockpit, as well as the rear line. I got the other fenders and lines ready because I wouldn't have much time to get the fenders on once we were protected by the outer harbour. Once, inside the harbour, I was rushed, I managed to get one more fender on, before I had to go back to the radio to demand that the gate was opened. Beverley was screaming and I'm sure they could hear her in the harbour office in Douglas. The gate was opened and we were in, I got one more fender on and the bow line before we were at the pontoon.

They had chosen a good pontoon for us as it was at the end, but it still took us ages to tie up. The wind was still quite strong in the harbour and it took us a few times to get in. Once in and secured, we had some dinner, I think it was midnight at this point. I tell you I have never slept so soundly for a long time.

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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