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Nostalgic Return to Caernarfon

Bank Holiday Mon 28 May 18
Directly following Phyllis's participation in the Liverpool Tall Ships 2018 festival she immediately left to catch-up with them.  The voyage plan was that, rather than go directly to Dublin to rendezvous with the tall ships before participating in the Dublin Bay OGA Regatta the opportunity was taken to visit Caernarfon. A nostalgic return for Phyllis as Caernarfon was her homeport for some 40 years, albeit some 75 years ago.

Menai Bridge. note click images for larger pic.

Therefore the passage plan was to use the Menai Strait passing through the Swellies. With the weather remaining benign it was a lovely motor sail past the Great Orme, Puffin Island, Beaumaris and onto Menai Bridge.  Due to the timings making it not possible to get access to the marina at Caernarfon, we overnighted at the new pontoon alongside 'Porth Madog' on her pier.  This survey vessel belonging to the University of Bangor's marine research department. The newly refurbished Liverpool Arms provided a welcoming watering hole before bedding down for an early rise to move on to a mooring buoy, and another forty winks prior to getting the slack water thro' the Swellies.ago.

Britannia Bridge

Tues 29 May 18 - A Nostalgic Return for Phyllis
A mid-morning passage thro' the Swellies and a leisurely motor down the Straits and into the welcoming Victoria Dock for an overnight stay. Some shopping, then lunch at 'The Black Buoy Inn' and an evening visit to both the Caernarfon Sailing Club and the Royal Welsh Yacht Club both at which we were made most welcome.

Phyllis was certainly now in her home waters.  She had spent some 40 years at Caernarfon with various owners, once she had reached the tender age of 21 yrs old.

For the record:

  • 1934   Dr R Armston
  • 1935 -1948 Austin Lightbound [as a Bermudan rigged sloop]
  • 1949 - 1951 JS Horsefield / F Taylor-Monks
  • 1952   Francis G Critchley
  • 1953 -1956 1953 WA & JF Wood
  • 1957 - 1959 Ronald J Wood
  • 1960 - 1964 Robert W Shaw
  • 1965 - 1969 Clifford Thomas
  • 1970 - 1973 Zdzislaw FIC
  • 1974   John W Gully
Victoria Dock - Caernarfon

Can any reader cast any light on her time spent in Caernarfon? Phyllis would be very appreciative of any previous history. Please post any feedback in the comment box bottom of this page.

Weds 30 May 18 - Porthdinllaen
A mid-morning departure from Victoria Dock to cross the infamous Caernarfon Bar in very calm weather with blue sky and sunshine and a hazy backdrop of Snowdonia. We were Joined for a short while by a pair of dolphins. Too short a time to capture a snap or two of these wonderful creatures.

Mid-afternoon found us at the old fishing village of Porthdinllaen on the Llŷn Peninsula, near Morfa Nefyn, looked after by the National Trust in Wales. To see some aerial pictures of the village visit:

Huge prawn baguettes.

It's still used by fishing boats and after finding a suitable mooring the tender was inflated and a paddle ashore brought us to the beach and the Ty Coch Inn for lunch.

Following our return to Phyllis, it was interesting to watch the local RNLI station going through their training paces and winching the lifeboat back into its boathouse.  Little were we to know but shortly after this, it responded to a 'shout' for a reported missing fishing boat en-route up the coast towards Trevor Pier. To witness the launch down the high angled slipway with all the chains rattling raised hairs on the back of the neck as the boat sped away at full speed into the hazy late afternoon.  Reassuringly the lifeboat returned very shortly afterwards indicating that all was well.

Porthdinllaen Moorings

An early night to our bunks to rest in preparation of a 04:00 hrs start the following morning to Southern Ireland.

Thurs 31 May 18 - Greystones
A surprising benign Irish Sea, mirror calm saw us motor sail across. Great visibility and the flat sea making for opportunities to spot cetaceans and turtles, but alas none were spotted. However, we did recover a pontoon fender, complete with some pontoon attached, which looking at the tides was probably debris from the destruction of Holyhead Marina in March by storm Emma. After being suitably impressed by the unexpected currents during our approach to the Irish shores we homed in on the impressive Wicklow mountains and the distinctive Great Sugar Loaf as we entered the new marina at Greystones. Arriving late afternoon, in time for a Guinness or two!

Fri 1 July 18 - Dublin
A beautiful morning motor sail up the coast, past Bray Head, Sorrento Point and thro Dalkey Sound along with a couple of porpoises, passing Dún Laoghaire and crossing the bay to the entrance of the River Liffey.

TTS Lord Nelson led the Tall Ships Fleet to Dublin

Amazingly we arrived at exactly the same time as the Tall Ships which had been becalmed going around the IOM.  It was surreal to be entering the River Liffey through the early morning mist followed by the emerging magnificent tall ships entering the river.

A few miles down the river to Poolbeg Marina and we caught up with all our friends who arrived directly from Liverpool two days earlier. Tom (our Hon.Sec.) striding down the pontoons to greet us after having literary just arrived by aeroplane as he had to return to Liverpool following his early arrival at Dublin. A kit bag too for Jimmy who had expected to be calling in at Conwy to pick up his passport and 'smalls'. A big grin and 'happy days', let the party begin.

A Short Video


Published on Categories Voyages

About Phyllis

I'm a 100-year-old (plus) restoration of the Royal Mersey Restricted Class gaff rigged yacht. I was found in a rear garden in Bebington on the Wirral. I'd been modified over the years, and prior to renovation was Bermudan rigged with aluminium spars and two beam shelves, witness to a 14" addition to my topsides. In July 2010, I was re-launched back to my original build based on models and drawings. You can often find me in attendance at the various traditional boating festivals around the Irish Sea.

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