Sunday, 29 June 2014

Carlingford Lough to Strangford Lough

This morning we bade farewell to Mark who joined at St Michael's Mount, Cornwall and Alastair who joined at Padstow. Both great company and enormous expertise. Graeme and I went shopping for provisions in Carlingford, and nosed around, and I returned to Alexandria and attempted to find the reason for the freshwater pump coming on every 30 seconds while in port, I think because the accumulator is losing pressure...perhaps a small leak in the considerable plumbing on board. Showers, cockpit showers, taps, calorifiers all need to be systematically discounted, but not when the sea is rough. Ho hum!

We left Carlingford, a pretty village which seemed really, really quiet, at a time calculated to avoid the 5 knot tide (against us) which races around Greenore point and which yesterday had the sea 'churning' like a cauldron in places as we made our final approach. No going back! Today we hit the slack time exactly, so it was very calm, notwithstanding that we are on springs today, ie the proximity of the lunar cycle makes the largest movements of tide and so currents. The trick is to time our arrival at Strangford Lough to coincide with its slack period too, so that the famous standing wall of waves, especially today on springs, has dissipated. Low water is 1930 today, and we aim to approach 45 minutes beforehand when the show has nearly finished. I prefer not to be part of it! 

Andy will join us at Portaferry marina within Strangford Lough ETA 1900 which I am looking forward to, tempered by Graeme's departure from the same place tomorrow morning. 

We have, of course, crossed back into Northern Ireland so our Irish tricolour courtesy flag has been removed and the  burgee is back in its normal place. 

Charles will join us tomorrow evening, and if weather and tide coincide we will sail to Isle of Man the following day. 

All go! Meanwhile the mountains of Mourne glide past, and Isle of Man can be seen about 40 miles away. Perhaps we shall see Scotland later. 

Today is the end of my second week, characterised by good progress, good sailing and great company. I am missing my family, but thank goodness I can chat every day. However, I don't miss the preparation which has served us very  well, but which became a chore as we approached the beginning of our adventure.

The weather is much cooler than it should be, but today I am in shorts for only the second time...and fleece. Just in time for the unexplained bruise on my knee to have gone.

There is a noticable lack of activity around us. No ships, no maydays or pan pans as every other day, no wild life. Just lots and lots of sea! And a good meal with good company expected this evening. 

Photo is Alexandria at Carlingford. Note the small entrance. 


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