Saturday, 31 July 2010

Broad Haven

Howling wind, banging halyards, and heavy rain may have done something to dampen our enthusiasm for our early start. But there we were in damp sailing boots and wet-gear bracing ourselves for the long haul across Donegal Bay, when our routine barometer check revealed a very sharp drop in the space of an hour. This seemed sufficient justification to hang up the wet gear and console ourselves with a little snooze.

At eight o'clock we looked out and saw a break in the clouds and a lull in the wind. Thankfully Martyn pointed to the barometer again and counselled caution. As it turned out this was wise. The wind and rain were back in their stride before long and we were happy to have a day in the well-named Broad Haven.

Perhaps it is a sign of dwindling supplies, or maybe some form of mariners' mania, but instead of clutching hastily constructed and disintegrating sandwiches washed down by either salt spray or rain, we found ourselves almost enjoying our sophisticated lunchtime aperitif of cider and olives. (Don't try this at home.)

We now have re-read the pilot books, consulted the tide tables, pored over the charts, and read Wallace Clark, Andrew Phelan, and Alistair Scott. So we have a tentative plan for the next few days. It is very unlikely that things will turn out quite like that, but as the rain starts pattering on the spray-hood again, at least we have a plan.

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