Relaxing in Strangford

Well we were in Strangford Lough, a place I had wanted to go for a long time, so we just had a mini explore as the Lough was still closed due to Covid, so we kept to the main channels, anchored and stuff like that.

We were at Killyleagh in Strangford Lough and we had been on the mooring ball relaxing. The only significant thing that we had managed to do was get off Salty Lass one day and explore Killyleagh by dingy. We had seen a few people when we arrived, but since then we had seen very few.

So, we decided to get off the mooring ball and go up to White rock bay and see if we could anchor there. So we sailed up the Lough at a staggering 2.4 knots, but we did have two reefs in the Genoa and three in the main. we were not quite balanced on the sails as the auto pilot was having to make lots of little adjustments, but we were having a quite sail and I think its good to have one of those every now and then. It was interesting looking for the various marks as the buoyage to mark the channel was really small. The other thing about the sail was when the wind got up to force 6, we were fine as the sea state was minimal.

That night we dropped the anchor and it was our most successful anchoring to date as we discussed it all beforehand, so we both knew what we were doing.

The next day was very wet and miserable so I got out the sail we were given and decided to look at it in detail. The bolt rope inside was completely shot, so I got out my sewing kit and unpicked the seams on the side of the sail so that I could remove the bolt rope. It was interesting process as I removed the bolt rope, it was particularly fascinating around the thimbles, where they had stitched the bolt rope and some of the sail around the outside of the thimble. For me, it is not about success, it is about learning and I was learning lots, one of which is that sail making is an art.

The next day, the sun came out so we got out on the dinghy and went for an explore, looking at the light ship, the castle and we managed to fly the drone, which was fantastic. The drone does do some great footage and gives you a really wonderful view.

The next day we watched lots of others out sailing in large and small yachts and it was just nice to see them really. One of the locals talked to us, which is what we like, and they gave us some interesting advice with regard to getting out of Strangford Lough. So we decided to look at the charts later, as once coffee was over, we would be getting the sails up again and sailed down the Lough, back to Killyleagh.

From there we planned our passage out of Strangford and we decided to go to Portaferry as it would be the ideal location to leave Strangford, it would also mean that we could treat ourselves to a night out in the pub.

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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