Sailing to Scotland

After getting our engine fixed it was time to prepare Salty Lass for sea, so there was lots to do, from passage planning to getting more gas aboard.

So one of the things that we needed to do to get before we could go off was gas. So for Carrickfergus there is a shop a short car journey away called Andy's stores, where we could take the bottles and get new bottles. It reminded me of one of my objectives for buying a boat and that was to get fit. In the two years that I have owned Salty Lass, I have become more fit, but I have not lost any weight. I think I might need to go on a fitness routine, to loose the pounds, but I certainly am a lot fitter than I was, so at least some good news on that point.

So the day before departure we were looking at the tidal flow in the Irish sea, looking at the tidal assist and looking at the direction that we had with respect to the direction that the tidal flow was going in. So you can find tidal diamonds on charts, chart plotters and you can see tidal flows in reeds, pilots and dedicated charts. We might do a technical over the winter on this topic so we will leave the wonders of looking at vectors and all that wonderful stuff for then.

Another task that needed to be done was to clean Salty Sausage our dingy. If you leave her in the water for any length of time then barnacles start to form. If you get this in the early days then a solution of vinegar is all that is needed to clean Salty Sausage. We also noticed that our dinghy fenders were particularly dirty so we gave those a clean too. All these jobs that are needed to get Salty Lass ready always take longer than you think, so when you are preparing the boat give yourself the time in which to do all these tasks.

At last it was time to slip the lines and venture out, we did manage to get the sails up and the engine off, which is always welcome. There was also lots to do looking at the clouds and also guessing where the tidal diamonds that we had found were located. When we got into the North channel the weather turned to force 6 gusting 7 so we decided to head for one of our alternates which was Larne lock. This time we went to the anchorage which turned out to be very pleasant and a lot better than the free mooring that we had got last time. It is a rather tricky little anchorage with the gas pipeline for Northern Ireland to be avoided, and is quite industrial with the power station on your door step but despite that it was really pleasant and we had a great nights sleep.

The next day, the weather was very calm with no wind what so ever, but it is really eash to prep the boat when you are at an anchorage, all that needs to happen is for you to remove the huge amount of weed that is wrapped around the anchor chain, lift the anchor and you are off.

For the start of our journey, we had to motor, and we motored across the North Channel. Luckily we got some wind in the afternoon and we were able to close haul for quite a bit. Our sailing has vastly improved over time and when it come to close hauling you can see where we have improved. Before we would typically be getting 60° close hauled, while now we can get to 45° not as good as a racing boat, but for Salty Lass pretty good.

We used the moorings at Lamlash which cost £10, when we went to the mooring the weather was wonderful and we were able to look out and see Lamlash in all its glory.

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