Sailing to Ireland

As we were moored up in Port Dinorwic, my mother and my brother took the opportunity to come visit us. So we explored around the local area, which allowed us to watch the regatta. There was so many small craft out on the water, from classic wooden boats to more modern boats. Haveing a little knowledge about the way races are run, we could spot the race committe boats and spot the marks that the yachts were sailing around. I love watching all the sails, and it is a beautiful sport to watch, with the excitement coming from the boats that are having to sail close to each other due to the wind conditions.

Once we had explored the local area and had a light meal at the local cafe, we then got in the car to visit one of the local National Trust properties at Plas Newydd. I loved a mural that was inside Plas Newydd, which contained lots of little jokes and places that the family had visited, while Beverley loved the outside, with the beautiful views of the Menai straights. From there we went for a drive taking in the glorious views of the straights, before returning to Port Dinorwic.

The next day we completed the short passage out of Port Dinorwic to Caernarfon. I helmed Salty Lass out through, the lock gates and apart from a minor hiccup right at the beginning then I can say I did alright. I was hoping to helm Salty Lass into Caernarfon, but I chickened out. It is something that I need to do, but it looks like it will be another day, before I give that a try.

While we were waiting in Caenarfon for the right conditions to take us over Caerarfon bar, we managed to restock and explore the local area. One of the people that we know, keep their boat at the small harbour, which dies out, so is not suitable for us, but it was nice to see all the little boats and watch the people crabbing. We also explored the local town, walking around the streets and the castle. We even found a local laundrette that did a service wash, so that we could get all our washing is done.

Once the conditions were right at the bar, we got up very early so that we could leave Caernarfon at the first lock. Once again, I helmed Salty Lass out of the harbour, then took the lass out through Caernarfon Bar, We had entered all the current buoy marks into our plotter and one of the buoys had moved by a good 20 meters from what we had in our chart plotter, so is well worth the time it takes to do it. As the marks were in the plotter, Beverley had no trouble directing me to the marks, so that passage was not too bad, but the clerence in some parts is quite small, so you really do need high tide and calm seas, before you navigate the bar.

Once out, we managed to put the sails up for about two hours before the wind completly died and we had to revert to engine again. At this time we had a minor toilet malfunction with one of the clips that hold the pipes together slipping off. This caused a minor leak, but Beverley managed to fix it.

Later we did have enough wind to sail. I love it, when we are sailing. Motoring is just boring, Motor cruising is alright, but there is a certain magic when you can actually sail. As the wind was quite good, we got a good few miles in under sail, before we had to go to motor cruising. We only did this so that when we got into Ireland we still had a bit of light left.

As we got closer to our destination, we reflected on the maps and the fact that two cardinals that you could barely see was quite large on the map, while a light that was small on the map was huge in reality.

We got into Howth about 10o'clock at night after a 14 hour passage. So once we had secured the boat, we simply colapsed.