To boldly go where we've never gone before!

We stayed on the mooring at Port St. Mary for two nights because the winds were quite high, but with the wind coming from the west, we were quite protected. Soon however the weather was much improved, so we slipped the mooring lines and left Port St. Mary for Douglas. We had to motor as there was little to no wind, so we didn't really feel like blogging much. We went with the tide however so that we gained 4 knots of current, so although we were motoring we were going at a good clip. When we arrived at Douglas, they had removed the waiting pontoon. The people at Douglas do this on a regular basis, because when the wind in coming straight into the harbour then the waiting pontoon becomes dangerous. As someone who has been on the waiting pontoon in bad conditions then I would agree, it can be quite bouncy, so for a storm they are doing the right thing by moving the pontoon. As the pontoon was missing, we had to moor to some lines that were draped along the side of the harbour wall. Soon however it was time to open the gates to the inner harbour, so Beverley and I went into Douglas, to do some work and have a two week break from filming.

Although two weeks break from filming is a long time, Beverley put the time to good use putting episodes together, while I worked on my little side project. Beverley had got a few videos ahead of herself, so we were in a great position to invite our friend Karen aboard, because once Karen is aboard, there would be no chance to edit video. What with having wine with every meal and doing things, then there would be no time to do anything else. So the next day after Karen arrived we caught the steam train from Douglas, to Port Erin an the other side of the island. On the trip down, we stopped at Castletown, which used to be the capital of the Isle of Man. I'm fascinated by little harbours like Castletown, but to come there by boat, you need to be a boat that can take the ground, like a bilge keeled boat. Although Castletown is a fascinating little place and we could anchor out in the bay, we would need the wind to be coming from the North to stay there. After Castletown, we went to Port Erin, where there are three mooring balls that you can go to, as well as anchoring on the North side of the bay. For this bay then the wind should not have any westerly in it at all, but with the right weather conditions it could be a great place to stay.

After our trip, we set sail back to Port St. Mary, but leaving Douglas took longer than anticipated because initially we had very little water under our keel, then on the second boat lift there was a large commercial vessel manoeuvring in the outer harbour and because large vessels take priority, we had to wait. Once out, it didn't take long before we were able to get the sails out and enjoy the sail. With the tides the way they were, we had decided to sail in the early evening, which meant that the sun had just set when we went unto Port St. Mary, but with three people aboard, I went forward with the torch to help us look for pots. At Port St. Mary we went straight onto the mooring balls to get a good nights rest.

The next morning we left for a long motor over to Belfast lough, but it was only when we got into the lough that we got any wind, so we sailed the last few miles to anchor in Ballyholme Bay.

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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