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!
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!
Well, what a start to the new year. After several visits to PHYLLIS in Largs Marina to keep her ready for returning back home after my last post it's all been delayed due to the current COVID-19 worldwide pandemic.
On my last visit to Largs Marina (11-14 March 2020), and finally with the anti-foul and oiling of the toe rails finished the marina lifted PHYLLIS back into the water, on Saturday. Allocated a tidy berth G7, close to shore, on the fuel dock pontoon, very handy.
The week had been very mixed weather and the Thursday, in particular, was grim. Very wet and windy, some snow on the hills too. Totally unsuitable for doing any work on the boat. I decided to visit Arran and call in at Lochranza, to meet up with an old friend who used to live in the same village and who I've been sailing with several years ago. Alas, the weather suspended the ferries from Ardrossan to Brodick. Therefore I chose to visit Millport on Great Cumbrae, as being only a short ferry trip from Largs town was still running. The town was deserted, in the pouring rain. Stopped for a coffee at a wonderful little cafe which also turned out to be a chocolatier. Bought some chocolates to take home and then caught the bus back to the ferry.
It was a surprise to find the Hebridean Princess on berth at the end of the Largs Ferry pier.
From Largs, town car park I decided to travel north to check out the chandlery at Inverkip Marina. What a ride, the road at times ran alongside the seafront. Twice I found myself literally driving through waves, no visibility at all and pushing the car onto the other side of the road too. Fortunately, on both occasions, no traffic was on the opposite side of the road.
After launching PHYLLIS on Saturday I drove home, via Glasgow, due to the weather. On arrival at home effectively started self-isolation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. PHYLLIS's stay in Largs Marina was until 31 March, but the Marina gladly extended my contract until the end of April. I await further updates from the government to see when I can get PHYLLIS back to her home berth in Deganwy.
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.
Phyllis has been moved to Skippool Creek on the River Wyre for lift-out 8 Oct 2018 by David Moss Boatbuilders. After some eight years, she needs some work and where's a better place to do it than at the original boat builders who restored her.
We have always had some difficulty in turning her and often had to opt for a 'jibe' rather than the preferred 'tack', particularly when attempting to turn thro' the wind against an oncoming sea. We'll be taking a look at the bowsprit to see if by extending the length we can gain some advantage by having the staysail and jib further apart.
Other jobs will include the stopping of a persistent water leak, plus painting, varnishing and antifoul.
Going to look too, to see if we can engineer all our sail control from the cockpit. I'm sure we can but it will need to 'look the business' without spoiling her lines.
And while she's out a survey for the boat insurance.
The NOA & OGA together enjoyed five days of celebration during the arrival of the Tall Ships to Liverpool for their Three Festivals Regatta, linking a trio of vibrant port cities – Liverpool, Dublin and Bordeaux – in anticipation of some nail-biting racing across the Irish Sea and Bay of Biscay.
Liverpool put on a spectacular show by starting the first stage with numerous civic and maritime attractions and firework display. Each evening a 'Ghost Ship' appeared in Albert Dock, a very special and unique water and laser light display.
On the Friday 25 May 18, the Nobby Owners Association hosted a buffet for all its members and guests from the Gaff Rig Association, including the current national president Alistair Randall and the DBOGA (Dublin Bay OGA) ex-national president, Sean Walsh. An opportunity too for the skippers briefing for the following day activities.
Saturday 26 May 18 and the role of the gaffers was to provide a public spectacle while the Tall Ships were on their berths, showing off our classic traditional boats along the River Mersey waterfronts on both sides of the river. This was a long day covering a full tide from an early morning lock-out to an evening return. The day proved very interesting. Late afternoon sudden and totally unexpected gusts, reportedly up to 50 knots (yes, that's correct 50 kts..!) ensured a Mayday call when a boats steering broke mid-river. Other incidents included an almost full broach and capsize, an engine failure, and a crew mutiny, to promptly reef, made the day's events very memorable. A late evening leisurely dock cruise with supper completed the day's events and a welcomed wind-down!
Sunday 27 May 18 and the fleet were accommodated in Albert Dock for viewing and onboard visits by the general public. The evening concluded with an invite for boats and crews to a BBQ on the Tall Ship 'Morgenster'.
Bank Holiday Monday 28 May 18 and the Tall Ships prepared for a 'Prade of Sail' before commencing their race around the Irish Sea to Dublin for the next stage in their festival. The gaff rigged boats departed Albert Dock and led them out of Canning Half Tide Dock into the River Mersey. Several of our gaff rigged boats were to go directly to Dublin and stayed to participate in the parade of sail. 'Phyllis' had other plans to get to Dublin via the Menai Straits, Caernarvon, Morfa Nefyn and Greystones. Remarkably several days later we arrived in Dublin (Poolbeg) just as the Tall Ships quiet literally entered the River Liffey, appearing out of the early morning mist as they had been becalmed in the Irish Sea around the Isle of Man during our voyage time.
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.