First Sail of the Season…

And what a beauty!


We left the dock at 6:40am, hailed the harbormaster for a lock opening and by 6:50 we were heading out into our nemesis, the Irish Sea.


First, let’s get the battens into the main and the reefing lines all set up – NOT. Engaging the autopilot (2nd Mate) yielded nothing – nada – nowt. The autopilot is buried deep in the stern of the boat – about the most inaccessible spot. The Irish Sea is doing its number – ie: lots of wave action – so while I’m trying to sort it out, I’m also getting rather queasy – in spite of taking a preventative Stugeron…


No joy – I can’t work out what’s wrong… We decide not to head back into Whitehaven with it’s lack of Chandlery – but instead we’ll hand steer to Peel Harbor on the Isle of Man – with a small chandlery… Let’s get those battens in the main. As is my habit, I turn on the autopilot when we’re into the wind – and lo and behold, it works!!! We’re good to go!


We got the battens in (these give the sail good shape) and rigged the reefing lines (which allow us to make the mainsail smaller for sailing in higher winds). Finally we’re actually sailing at 8:20am – headed for Larne in Northern Ireland, some 80 miles distant…


The weather was very kind to us – it was dry (YAY!!!) and it was windy (Double YAY!). We set off in 20kts of wind with small jib and double reefed main, making 8.5 knots!


We traversed westward across the Irish sea, doing between 8 and 10 knots, with unfortunately a 2 – 3 kt current against us!

Romping through the Irish Sea

Romping through the Irish Sea

As we approached the southern tip of the Mull, the seas grew significantly with waves in the order of 6-8ft – and we were going across them – making for a distinctly rolly ride. ETA to Larne looked ominously late at 10pm, but as we rounded the Mull of Galloway, we got a favorable current – and winds up to 35kts! – so made it to the destination shortly after 7pm and anchored in a quiet little bay – all by ourselves!

Anchorage in Brown's Bay, Northern Ireland

Anchorage in Brown’s Bay, Northern Ireland


Other than it being s cold day, we were lucky that the only time it rained was during anchoring – and it bucketed down!! Overall it was a very good day of sailing – and ended up being 98NM distant!

Check our route under the tab at the top “Where are We”

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