… a good friend of old gaffers, nobbies and hookers.
I've been sailing on the yacht 'Phyllis' since her launch in July 2010. Not a 'rag and stick' sailor originally so I've had to learn new skills during this time. She's a lovely, and cosy, little boat who has taken me all around the Irish Sea and the countries on its shores.
I've been sailing on the yacht 'Phyllis' since her launch in July 2010. Not a 'rag and stick' sailor originally so I've had to learn new skills during this time. She's a lovely, and cosy, little boat who has taken me all around the Irish Sea and the countries on its shores.
For those readers who follow the history of the Royal Mersey Restricted Class yachts on the website several logs have been kindly provided by Mike Greenwood whose father John (Jack) and uncle Eric crewed on the yacht "Ikinoo" for several years. Postscript: If anyone knows the whereabouts or what's happened to "Ikinoo" please get in touch.
Mike who now lives in Glasgow is a dedicated mandolin player and his tutor, Laura-Beth Salter was so impressed with the history of the families sailing exploits said she was inspired to write the 'Ikinoo Waltz' after seeing the sailing photos of his father and uncle that he put together to the Sharon Shannon music. In particular this photo of his Uncle Eric playing the melodeon on "Ikinoo".
Laura-Beth Salter plays in a number of award-winning groups including 'The Shee', 'The Kinnaris Quintet' and as a duo with Jenn Butterworth. You can see Laura-Beth playing the rendition of her composition below:
If you've read the earlier post about our return from Largs to Deganwy you may recall that I had to take my car to Largs to bring "Phyllis" back home.
Some three weeks passed as we had family commitments, our 50th Wedding Anniversary followed by my birthday to celebrate. We did so, but regrettably with only the family members who were in our 'bubble', due to the continued Covid-19 restrictions.
We set-off taking the train to Largs, which was strangely quiet, virtually an empty carriage all to ourselves. Then a short taxi ride to the marina. An overnight in Largs before we ventured onto the ferry from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. Then across, again on a short ferry trip, to Colintraive before driving to Portavadie, a village on the shores of Loch Fyne on the west coast of the Cowal peninsula, Argyll and Bute. to again catch another ferry to East Loch Tarbet.
Alas, the high winds resulted in the ferry, just a 5-mile crossing, being cancelled which resulted in an 85-mile road diversion to get to Tarbet. One night in East Loch Tarbet was suitably enjoyed in the Anchor Hotel. The following morning and we drove south to a ferry for the short 3-mile crossing, as foot passengers, to visit the Isle of Gigha.
Returning to Tarbet to catch the ferry, operating by this time, and to drive to Tighnabruaich on the Kyles of Bute. We spent a couple of nights here and managed to enjoy a walk to the isolated Ostel Beach and Nature Reserve. The views over to the Isle of Arran and Kintyre were fabulous. Meeting a fellow walker he showed us a photograph, taken on his phone, just moments before of an Adder on the footpath!
Dinners in 'The Royal' and the 'Kames Hotel' proved excellent before we departed for our journey back home.
Photo Gallery - Click Image for Full Size (then you can scroll horizontally)
Out of the blue and while busy sorting out everything for the return of "Phyllis" from Largs to Deganwy a comment was received from the website. It was almost two weeks before viewing the message but when I read it I was so excited.
Now able to email Allan, he was happy to send me a few photos. One of his grandfather Fredrick Whiteley with his mother Phyllis on a later boat "Chance" owned by the family.
Plus two other pictures when he and his wife visited Largs Marina before I brought her back down to Deganwy.
It's a shame that we never got to meet, but Allan tells me that the family still holiday in the cottage on Hilbre Island in the River Dee estuary. You never know we might get to meet one day!
Well, it's certainly true to say that COVID-19 has decimated the sailing programme for 2020. Both on terra firma and at sea. The only serious sailing that has taken place has been by our President who needed to return his boat 'Phyllis' to her homeport of Deganwy from Largs in Scotland. The plan was to travel as a fleet to Largs, taking in the splendid scenery and bonhomie company, some sailing around the Clyde before venturing back south to our homeports. As time wore on only 'Spray' was potentially up for the sail, but alas due to COVID-19 issues was delayed in Liverpool and could not make the timescale, 21 July - 31 July.
Members Kevin Goulding and John Hodson then departed by car to Largs Marina in Scotland to board 'Phyllis'. After spending the winter months in Largs all was thought to be set for a return sail. Alas, when onboard and after only ten days since the previous visit to ensure everything was set to go the batteries would not start the engine. In the pouring rain, it took us a day to sort out the issue. The automatic battery charger had burnt out finally resulting in the acquisition of new batteries and a replacement charger. Ouch! Marina prices for the replacements.
However, now sorted we left Largs in dryer weather the following day. The weather should have been good at this time of year but for the majority of the time, it was terrible. Good company but poor weather. It was decided to follow as best we could some of the ports in the NOA Sail Programme. Leaving Largs we sailed up through the famous and beautiful Kyles of Bute. Then headed north into Loch Fyne giving us a choice of two good Marina's. One to starboard Portavadie with the other to port, East Loch Tarbet. We chose the latter if only because that was the one in the programme.
To East Loch Tarbet [30 nm]
A quick thirst quencher in the Harbour House before going for dinner in the refurbished Anchor Hotel. I dined on fresh Loch Fyne langoustine as a starter with scallops served as a main, scrumptious. John settled for a lovely steak. The evening was wrapped up by us finishing our wee bottles with a resident sailor in the marina, who was impressed with 'Phyllis'. Indeed he turned out to be Scott MacDonald (www.scott-macdonald.co.uk) a local artist and musician who resides on his 1955 Hillyard sailing boat.
Leaving Tarbet with a fuzzy head at 8 am the following morning we started our voyage home, back to Deganwy. En-route we stopped off at picturesque Lochranza, at the north of the Isle of Arran, which is the location of the island’s first legal distillery for over 150 years. Until the 19th century, Arran was renowned for its Malt Whisky, often made illicitly, and known locally as "Arran Water". A must visit. Alas on arrival at the distillery it was found to be closed.
Returning to the boat we departed for Lamlash Harbour, passing Goat Fell to starboard, then across Brodick Bay with Holy Island on the bow. As we had made such good progress we decided to continue to Girvan to berth overnight and partake at a favourite Indian restaurant.
To Girvan [45 nm]
By this time the wind had picked up quite strongly and we found ourselves getting absolutely drenched while the recent road works furniture was being blown all over by the wind. Now, most will not recall but the crew did recall it very well! It was virtually one year to the day when 'Phyllis' was left in Girvan with a broken gearbox. Resulting in a year's stay in Scotland for 'Phyllis' due to a delay in the finding of parts, then the onset of the winter months (where she was berthed in Largs) and finally her subsequent return to Deganwy delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Well as if to remind us 'Phyllis' refused to go into reverse gear. Oh no! However, a quick inspection revealed nothing more than a sticking cable which was soon remedied. Phew!
The following morning, Sunday 25 July 2020, John prepared breakfast on the pontoon while I refuelled using the nearest garage, quite a walk carrying fuel back, as Girvan has no on berth fuelling facilities. Departing on what was a much better day to Portpatrick a couple of hours after low water (neaps) and we headed towards Alisa Craig to clear the 'bar' before turning to port. Good weather accompanied us across the entrance to Loch Ryan before bearing to port into the North Channel. The obligatory Northern Ireland ferries passed us going in both directions.
To Portpatrick [30 nm]
Portpatrick can be a difficult entrance in poor weather as the tidal streams race across the entrance, in either direction north/south, but today all was good and we entered the little port lining up the transit markers quite easily. We shared the berthing with three other yachts, 17:30hrs.
That Sunday evening, it was buzzing with people, like Blackpool on a warm summers day, although lightly drizzling. The sky then took on a strange light and shortly after loomed clouds which rained down on us by the bucketful. Fortunately, we managed a beer or two and ate at the Crown Hotel outside under a parasol.
In speaking with Paul, an acquaintance we met coming up from Holyhead he told us that the IOM would allow anchoring or mooring to a buoy but no landing on the island. He had dropped an anchor in Derby Haven on his way north. And we heard of mixed receptions in the Republic of Ireland for visiting boats. Therefore this left little option but to chose the eastern Irish Sea seaboard route via Whitehaven and Fleetwood although with a westerly in all forecasts resulted in us on a lee shore.
To Whitehaven [60 nm]
As time was pressing for both crew to be back home before the end of July, and a marginal forecast we set off, 08:30 hrs, for Whitehaven. Looking at the chart the overfalls at the Mull of Galloway looked challenging and indeed they were. This next leg had us in rough seas, rain and at times very poor visibility. The waves were big, at times up to 8ft high and on occasion perhaps more, but the following sea made for some exciting sail surfing. Saint Bees headland finally appeared and at 18:30 hrs we finally tied up in Whitehaven Marina. A quick refresh in the facilities and we just managed to get an evening meal, COVID-19 friendly, in The Vagabond.
The following two days proved taxing, as the wind and the rain picked up to 46 mph westerlies. We were to spend three nights at Whitehaven. A very successful seaport in the past but now a town which looked wretched in the pouring rain with shops closed or opening late mornings everywhere due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We endeavoured to make the best of it in the wind and rain even though all the museums and other facilities remained closed.
A walk in the footsteps of John Paul Jones, a Scotsman born in Kirkcudbrightshire, who led the only American incursion to England in 1778 during the insurgency in North America. He sailed from France to pillage boats and ports in the Irish Sea during this period. Crewed by what sounds like a bunch of scallywag's, they managed to 'spike' the guns and enjoyed some merriment in a quayside pub. Their ship 'Ranger' then sped out of port, chased by the locals, across the Solway Firth to raid his Scottish folk.
In 300 years over seventy pits were sunk in the Whitehaven area. During this period some five hundred or more people were killed in pit disasters and mining accidents. The coal mining pits had shafts going from the top of the cliff then out under the sea. One minute the wind would almost blow us off the cliff tops and in the next we were enjoying some glorious sunshine.
In the afternoon we took a short rail trip down the coast to Saint Bees and a walk along the beach was thoroughly enjoyed as the receding breaking waves broke up the seashore sandstone and granite rock.
To Fleetwood [48 nm]
Bleary-eyed we headed out of Whitehaven at 05:45 hrs although still a little windy. Across the bar and then giving Saint Bees Head a wide berth before heading south towards Fleetwood. As the morning progressed the day was quite cloudy but the seas much more manageable.
Sailing past Sellafield, then Ravenglass before passing Selker Rocks to port with the Black Combe fell dominating the shoreline. Soon the huge Devonshire Dock Hall (one of the world's largest) appeared on the skyline as we continued down the Cumbrian coast. Far off to starboard are the massive wind farms of Walney and West Duddon as we pass the smaller Ormonde and Barrow farms also to starboard.
The inclement weather finally starts to take its toll on the autohelm. Erratic display and direction before going over to manual steering as we begin to cross Morecambe Bay and the Lune Deep. Then looking for the North Cardinal at the entrance to the buoyed channel of the River Wyre. Arriving at low water I expected to pick up a mooring buoy to await the incoming tide to enable the lock gates at Fleetwood Dock to be opened. Alas, no water at the last turning point to the pool at Knott End. Anticipating this I slowed the boat until she 'kissed' the mud and we chose to return down the channel to the North Cardinal and then return. This got us enough water to get us into Knott End pool for a mooring buoy to await the tide. We locked in at 6 pm. An inauspicious meal at the 'Three Lights' pub at the entrance to the docks saw out the day.
To Deganwy [65 nm]
Our last homeward bound leg started at 06:30 hrs in extremely poor visibility which was to last for about a half of the day. A bit of a lumpy start and using the 'bungee' assist autohelm fix we spotted Blackpool Tower to port which was a good sign knowing we were going in the right direction. As it disappeared aft the gas and oil workings of the Irish Sea came into view. Firstly the South Morecambe Gas Field followed by the Hamilton North Gas Field and then the Conway Oilfield. At this point, we could see in the distance the Welsh Mountains.
The temperature then began to rise rapidly and it wasn't long before we began stripping off our wet weather gear. On berth at Deganwy Marina at 18:30 hrs, and what a great relief it was to have her back in her homeport after an enforced absence of 12 months. A quick shower and then a couple of beers and supper in the Quay Hotel to celebrate the return of 'Phyllis'!
A much better route would have been via Ireland and /or IOM, however, Covid-19 prevented this from happening. In summary: Some 278 nm, seven ports of call, terrible wet and windy weather but with an excellent company in the crew.
Largs Marina was now fully operable but with Covid-19 restrictions still in place. The Marina reception was open of a sort. With the office closed, we met on the stairs to pick up the boat keys. Face covering to buy bits and bobs from the chandlery and the onsite Bosuns Cafe only doing take away. Fortunately, Scotts was taking pre-bookings for my evening meal. Restrictions remained in place at various ports in both Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. In particular, the IOM was totally isolated for leisure boaters, which normally makes for a good staging post for a return to Wales.
Final preparations on Phyllis, in particular, the running rigging and a sea trial on Friday with a good friend Mike Greenwood. A short trip to Castle Bay in the lee of Little Cumbrae Island. What a good move that was, with the gaff saddle parting the mast and the gaff sail parting company at the head. Fortunately, I laced the sail on both the boom and gaff using individual loops rather than spiral lacing (which is a lot quicker) so that if one comes apart the sail is still held. The gaff saddle loss, with us being in the lee of the island presented no problem to sort out.
On our return to Largs Marina, we ate, courtesy of Mike and his good lady Norma who had pre-prepared our supper. A beer and then to slumber knowing that Phyllis was now all sorted in preparation for the sail back to Deganwy. Saturday morning and after a lift to the railway station by Mike, I returned home in time for a commitment on Saturday.
My return to Largs was on the 21 July.
See the posting after this one for this little adventure!
Due to the weather and other circumstances, the new departure date was arranged for Tuesday 18 June. Comrades and Sara Ann could not make the revised timescales and remained in Conwy. Two boats, Spray & Phyllis, departed Deganwy with the IOM, Northern Ireland and Scotland in our sights. John Hodson joined as the crew on Phyllis with Jimmy Lamb on Spray. Taking a slightly different route we sailed towards Point Lynas before turning northerly to the IOM.
Phyllis (skippered by Kevin) and Spray (skippered by Tom) continued to the IOM, Port St Mary, before departing to Peel via Calf Sound. Jimmy was not well when we arrived in Peel and returned home with John, on the fast ferry Manannan from Douglas to Liverpool.
After a couple of days in Peel, we departed to Northern Ireland with landfall close to Portavogie before sailing along the coast through Donaghadee Sound to transverse Belfast Loch to overnight berth in Carrickfergus Marina.
Our next departure took us along the cliffs of the Antrim coast, hosting a multitude of different nesting sea birds before our arrival in Glenarm. With the Mull of Kintyre insight, we then journeyed north to arrive in Campbeltown after passing Sanda Island to port and Alisa Craig well off to starboard. Lots of Gannets were seen en route feeding, before going to their breeding ground on Alisa Craig, famous too for the granite used for making curling stones. Alisa Craig dominates the outer Clyde and can be seen for miles and miles on a clear day.
Campbeltown once refuelled and refreshed, we enjoyed a visit to the local distillery 'Springbank'. We then crossed Killbrannan Sound towards the Isle of Arran passing Lochranza to starboard before crossing Bute Sound to enter the inner Firth of Clyde towards Largs Marina.
Once again refuelled, both with diesel and a good meal we set-off up the Clyde the following morning, with the incoming tide, passing Inverkip, Cloch Point lighthouse and Greenock. We were met by Douglas to show us the way into Sandpoint Marina (a very little known spot known to locals) in his powerful RIB. Just on the cusp of the tide, Phyllis lightly touched bottom on the soft sand before immediately lifting again to continue down the short channel to Dumbarton, our final destination, on the first phase. Then treated to a fast RIB ride to get some supper in Holy Loch and catching up with some old friends before returning to Dumbarton. We left the marina the following morning, Thursday 27th June, to catch the train from Glasgow back to home, business and other commitments awaited.
Photos from our Scotland phase I voyage. Click image for a larger picture & to scroll thro.
Return to Scotland
Our return to Glasgow was almost two weeks later, Wednesday 10 July. Joined by Tanya (to crew on Phyllis) who had travelled from North Wales to meet up at Warrington Bank Quay before we picked up Tom at Preston railway station.
We arrived in the afternoon at Dumbarton and were met by Douglas, our host at the marina. Both Phyllis and Spray had been well looked after at Sandpoint Marina. By the time we got ourselves and the boats sorted we joined Douglas for a beer and something to eat in the town that evening.
The following day saw us breakfast at Denny's, the Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank (the last building remaining from the shipbuilding days) which forms part of the Scottish Maritime Museum. For those who aren't aware Sandpoint was the place where the Cutty Sark was built. After breakfast, a must-visit as this was the first commercial ship model testing tank built in the world and it retains many original features today: a water tank as long as a football pitch, clay moulding beds for casting wax model ship hulls and the original Victorian machinery used for shaping models.
Then off to the supermarket for victualling the boats with the afternoon on Douglas's RIB upriver to see the upper Clyde and Titan (a huge crane), the famous paddle steamer Waverley and the new navy ships being built by BAE.
A visit too, for Tanya and Tom to the recently opened Glasgow Distillery - No Whiskey there yet! While Douglas and Kevin visited the wonderful River Side museum and went aboard the tall ship 'Glenlee'. That evening we all enjoyed a wonderful meal at the 'Sugarboat', down the line in Helensburgh. Highly recommended.
Friday 12 July and we said our goodbyes to Douglas and headed down the Clyde. In harmony with the music played by Tanya on her Penny Whistle, as she did on every departure. A great sail towards the Isle of Bute with berthing at Port Bannatyne. A short bus ride to Rothesay for a visit to the famous, not to missed, Victorian toilets. And then an evening meal in a local hostelry prior to catching a taxi back to the marina.
The following day we departed, to Tanya's music, to sail through the Kyles of Bute. What a marvellous passage along the fjord passing by the Burnt Islands before sailing south past Tighnabruaich and Kames in the West Kyle. It's here that a sudden wind shift saw Phyllis's jib part from the end of the bowsprit. A swift dropping of the halyard and pulling in of the sail sorted it all out in double-quick fashion.
Then around Ardlamont Point and in a northwesterly direction on Loch Fyne brought us to one of the most astonishing marinas on the Clyde, Portavadie. The complex was originally built for the purpose of constructing concrete oil rigs. After an immediate move to steel platforms, the facility became redundant and after a little time, it was developed into a marina complex, opened in 2010. Five-star luxury apartments, private sauna facilities, a restaurant and conference centre.
Never the less the rock blasting at Portavadie and the resulting very deep water intended for building oil platforms has left an excellent and well-sheltered marina. Well worth a visit, a refuel, an evening meal and breakfast.
Sunday 14 July and we started our homeward bound sail. Exceptionally becalmed conditions saw us motor-sail southwards to Troon. Another well-protected marina and a wonderful seafood meal in a very busy Scott's Restaurant on the marina complex.
Monday and we ventured along the South Ayrshire coastline passing Ayr, Turnberry Lighthouse and the Trump golf course with Alsa Craig always within sight in the far distance. Girvan was our next port of call en route to Port Patrick and then onto Peel (IOM). Well, that was the plan! A meal on board before a restful night and an early start.
Time to depart, the engine started and into gear. Phyllis would not budge! Forward and reverse gears were selected, still, no way would she would go! The gearbox was suspected. The harbour master contacted as well as the local ship repairers and marine engineers. Alas, it was the Scottish wake weeks and no one was available to help. Reluctantly Phyllis was left in Girvan and everyone, Tanya, Kevin & Tom started on our way home on Spray.
The plan was now to return to Deganwy as quickly as possible so the next leg saw us landfall in Peel (IOM) in the wee hours and then after some rest and recovery an evening departure directly to Deganwy. Arriving late afternoon on Thursday 18 July. Two and half days after leaving Phyllis in Girvan.
Photos from our Scotland phase II voyage. Click image for a larger picture & to scroll thro.
Phyllis Remains in Scotland
Phyllis was eventually repaired after a couple of trips back and forth to Girvan. It transpired to be only the Drive Plate which once replaced were fitted on to a newly acquired gearbox. Everything fitted and ran like a dream. During our sea trials, we took her to Troon where she stayed for approx six weeks prior to moving Phyllis for overwintering in Largs Marina, where she is now berthed until the spring of 2020.
Photos from our Scotland phase III. Click image for a larger picture & to scroll thro.
Thursday 23 May and we left Deganwy, in remarkable weather with flat seas, all the way to the Mersey to Liverpool Marina. Arriving in good time for the start of the Festival (Friday 31 May). Moved the boat the previous Thursday from the Marina to Albert Dock, now renamed the Royal Albert Dock. Phyllis remained on static display along with the other boats from the Nobby Owners Association.
Seven boats attended the event in the Royal Albert Dock, including Spray, Phyllis, Comrades, Sara Ann, Jean, Hearts of Oak, and the Anna Elldi. With no sailing programme, it was a social weekend for the Association. It was good to catch up with everyone.
It was Tuesday 4 June when we all left Liverpool to return to Deganwy. Some five boats, Comrades, Sara Ann, Phyllis, Spray and Anna Elldi departed the River Mersey back to Conwy, with Anna Elldi returning to the Menai Straits.
Afraid not all the planned work was completed during her lift out. The most important, fixing a persistent leak and an increase in the bowsprit length was completed. Along with new anti-foul and hull painting. Varnishing too of the cockpit and all the spars. The leak was found by Roger, from the boatyard, who spotted that a plank gap had appeared starboard side directly behind the rear engine beam. A tingle was made to complete the repair.
While out of the water a survey was completed 6 March 2019 by Jonathan Jackson (Ulverston) which proved more than satisfactory for the insurers.
The anti-foul paint job ruined the log paddle, ascertained once in the water, so a new replacement was procured at a very favourable price. The fitting of it, in the water, was a very slick job which resulted in less than a tablespoonful of water entering the boat!
April 5th and Phyllis was re-launched for our return to Deganwy, on 10th April, after a short stay in Fleetwood Dock. We were now prepared for the season ahead.
Tues 29 May - Sun 3 June 2018
The end of the Tall Ships at Liverpool was the catalyst for the start of the Nobby Owners Association's 2018 summer cruise.
As previously posted "Phyllis' visited Caernarfon via the Menai Strait en-route to Dublin. The remaining boats chose to sail (well motor sail) directly to Dublin, the thought was that they would be arriving in time to see the Tall Ships as they sailed down the River Liffey. Alas, the fleet had become becalmed at the top end of the Isle of Man. Meanwhile, the crews took the opportunity to explore the delights of Dublin and enjoy the exceptional sunshine covering the whole of western Europe.
After which we joined in with the Dublin Bay OGA for their annual regatta and their participation with the visiting Tall Ships as part of our summer cruise, our boats then starting our own sailing flotilla together.
Master Frank [who headed home, Ramsey, IOM]
Mon 4 June 2018
After watching the departing Tall Ships leave the Liffey we went to Howth Marina for a few days to enjoy the fine seafood restaurants that this major Irish fishing port has to offer. Visits to the quayside restaurants of 'The Oar House' & 'Crabby Joe's' provided much joy and merriment. While at the same time an opportunity to catch up on provisions and a little laundry.
Weds 6 June 2018 'Adelaide' returned early morning directly to Conwy via Holyhead as some crew had work commitments.
With the wind remaining predominantly northeasterly in the offing, and the remarkable high temperatures of the summer we decided to go south to Dún Laoghaire Marina which must be one of the largest in Europe with berthing for 850 yachts. For guests unfamiliar with the marina they despatch a small tender to lead you to your visitor's berth. The pontoons to the offices and services are extensive and they provide a barge mid-way for toilet and shower facilities.
In the glorious sunshine, we enjoyed our visit to this pretty little town and their Irish National Maritime Museum.
That evening we all gathered together and shared our provisions for an impromptu onboard dinner on 'Phyllis' while watching the various yacht fleets making the best of the weather. The crystal clear waters enabled us to see the fascinating sea creatures attached to the pontoons. We were Joined too by a resident seal in the marina.
Thurs 7 June 2018
The following day we left Dún Laoghaire Marina and still going south took a wonderful passage thro’ Dalky Sound passing Sorrento Point and Bray Head en-route to Greystones Marina.
This new marina is in its last stages of development, the marina office and facilities in portacabins, not a problem as they were wonderfully appointed. A new office and permanent facilities were under construction in a very large block on the quayside which will have a top tier bar and restaurant providing a 360º view of the Irish Sea, the Marina with a backdrop of the Wicklow Mountains and the Great Sugar Loaf.
The pontoons were immaculate and the only downside at this time was the unavailability of fuel. Construction of the fuel berth was underway to be completed soonest.
A pleasant walk into town for provisions and well, some wine really, gift shopping and coffee shop stopovers all before enjoying another impromptu meal aboard 'Anna Ellidi'.
Fri 8 June 2018
An early morning start and once again we departed in benign weather conditions resulting in motor sailing across to Wales, on a mirror calm Irish Sea to Caernarfon. Unusually for 'Spray', she lagged behind for a considerable part of the crossing, only just making the tidal gate for the Caernarfon Bar and entrance into Victoria Dock.
An excessive amount of fuel was used by 'Spray' who had quite literally 'put-putted' on to the fuel berth for refuelling the following morning. The dilemma causing some head-scratching over dinner in the 'Black Buoy Inn' before retiring for a nightcap in the welcoming Royal Welsh Yacht Club.
Sat 9 June 2018
Once 'Spray' was fully fuelled up she rafted alongside 'Phyllis' to clear the fuel berth. In the bright light of day, and luckily berthed starboard side to, her propeller could clearly be seen wrapped up in some discarded plastic rope and streaming a metre or so of line. Using our boat hook and after tugging and pulling we managed to free the foul-up before the option of diving overboard with a knife in hand to cut-away the rope. Phew..!
Before transiting the Swellies, 'Anna Ellidi' picked up her mooring at Y Felinheli, formerly known in English as Port Dinorwic. The crew Trash, Tanya and the dog Bosun came aboard 'Phyllis' to sail up the Menai Strait before returning to Conwy. The tides were good for a low water transit of the Swellies but too soon for a direct return to Conwy. A stopover at Menai Bridge and lunch in the Liverpool Arms.
Our final leg saw 'Spray' motor to Deganwy Marina with 'Phyllis' joining in with the local Beaumaris Sailing fleet in a short sail up the Straits. A final drop off of the crew of 'Anna Ellidi' at Conwy Marina before 'Phyllis' crossed the river to her homeport of Deganwy.
Although the Summer Cruise was not as expected as we originally planned to go north and then to Peel on the IOM, due to the wind direction and the realisation, with some crews, that the Conwy River Festival was before and not after the Peel Traditional Boat Festival. A southerly route back to the mainland was thoroughly enjoyed. A great adventure in great company.
Just before the closure of the cill at Deganwy Marina [05:00 hrs], an early morning start, to catch the last of the ebb to catch the flood shortly after passing the Gt. Orme. Two nobbies, ourselves, Phyllis from Deganwy and Comrades from Conwy, en-route to Liverpool to rendezvous with the Tall Ships over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
We managed a little sailing until we got to the Orme and we had to motor most of the way. Rhyl Flats and we crossed a massive algae bloom brought on no doubt by the nice warm weather. Not a single turbine blade turned on any of the windmills as we passed them by. A leisurely cruise to lose some passage time so we could enter the Mersey via Rock Channel which is only navigable typically a few hours either side of HW. New Brighton as expected was full of families enjoying the sunny day.
Finally on a berth at 14:20 hrs, after our lock-in. Then to catch up with other Nobby owners and share a few jars of liquid refreshment.