Sailing the Irish Sea

We were in Liverpool and we were ready to leave, but there is always loads to do. One of them was to get our rigging checked. Apparently you need to be in the water to do this and there was one cable that needed adjusting high up, so we went over to where you get lifted out and the rigger adjusted the cable from a cherry picker. Once we got that done, it was over to the fuel dock to fuel up. I know it is more expensive but it was actually nice to declare that we would be using some of the fuel for travelling as opposed to using the fuel for 100% heating. Fuel checked, water is next on the list.

So all our tasks in and around Salty Lass were done, so it was then a case of going to see my kids for a meal and a bit of a chat. While we were at the flat, a friend called for a drink and a chat, so we chatted for a long time, sharing a bottle and a gluten free cake between us. Once they had left for the night, we went to the supermarket, to get provisions for ourselves. It was well after midnight when we returned to the Lass, but we still put most of the food away before calling it a night.

The next day, I filled the bilges with tins, taking off the labels as I went. Then I started putting all our stuff away, getting Salty Lass ready for sea. I was partly through this task when we got a phone call, telling us that more friends were coming to wish us luck. At this point a whole pile of stuff just got flung onto the bed as we got ready for more guests. Beverley and I always like to give people space and sitting and chatting with people is part of who we are. We still managed to put Salty Sausage on the back of the Lass, add the life lines and get the lines ready while we chatted so we still got everything that needed to be done done. The task that was dropped was a shower, and preparing any food for the passage, we will get a shower later and we will just have

Our friends left 1/2 hour before high tide, so it was a bit of a rush, to get the final bits done, but we did it. So it was down to the lock to get locked out. The channel out of Liverpool was a bit of a challenge as there was lots of wind over tide, but we knew that would happen. In our planning of the trip, we had looked at several weather models and we could go to various locations on the Isle of Man, depending which forecast you believed. Beverley's confidence has dropped in weather predictions, so we had decided to see what we got, once we were out there. This is exactly what we did, so it was bye bye Liverpool, hello world.

Once out of the channel we were able to set the sails, we started with reefed sails, but it was fantastic to get the sails up and the engine off. I love that moment when the engine is turned off, it is at that moment that you feel totally at one with nature. We were also able to put our auto pilot on which we decided to call Annie and have a cup of tea. Having Annie on board, will certainly make live easier for us. It will allow us to have breaks and be able to single hand. This is very important to both of us, because if one of us are injured or we have a man overboard situation then we need to be able to rescue the other whatever the weather. So there is lots to learn and lots to do.

Later on, we put on my Mullions so that we were prepared for the night sail. Boy were we toasty, toasty, very, very toasty. After thinking about toast, I decided to make some, which was a bit of a laugh, as the toast refused to keep on the grill pan as we were heeled over at about 10° to 15°. As the sun began to set we were able to get all the reefs out of the main. Not bad for our first days sail after a long time. I told Beverley about all my little worries, they were little as the Lass was sailing beautifully, but they were there al the same.

We continued to sail through the night, but as the sun rose the wind died, so it was time to put the iron sail on and motor towards Port St. Mary. When we arrived we talked to the Harbour master about the best time to go through the calf of Man, and he told us half a hour, so we decided to have a cup of coffee and go through the sound. I took us out of Port St Mary and navigated the sound. It was a little bit tricky, but it is no way as tight as say a harbour entrance. The issue comes from the fact that it is at the bottom of the island and has two lots of tide competing at the same time, so going through at any other time than High water or low water slack is very dangerous. Also with two tides going from different directions then you will encounter wind over tide and in a narrow passage that only adds to the complications.

As there was no wind and we were at the correct time, then we had no issues, so then it was a straight run up to Peel and a well deserved rest.

The next day, it was going to be a late start again, so we had time to listen to Patsy Cline on the radio as we put more water in the tanks and swabbed the decks as I had thrown coffee over the side and that had left marks on the deck.

There was again no wind so it was a long motor over to Carrickfergus, but I have to say, I took a great bit of footage of Beverley taking down the motoring cone at sunset. As we started late, we arrived late, but Beverley and I seem to be experts as we navigate the various passages at night.

So once we were tied up, we went to bed exhausted.

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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