Friday, 30 July 2010

Time and tides

It is probably unnecessary and certainly embarrassing to dwell on the reasons why our departure was not quite as early as planned. However we were on our way by 08:00 in the rain and minimal visibility. As we left Clare and rounded the eastern tip, the submarines turned out to be fish farms, and the rocks turned out to be rocks.

We ploughed into unpleasant seas all the way to Achill Head, but once round the head we found kinder seas and more helpful winds. The original plan to anchor off Inishkea was dropped as the weather was not sufficiently settled, and we thought we were heading for Black Sod Bay until Martyn had the bright idea of pressing on to Broadhaven. It turned out to be a great idea as we had a superb sail outside Inishkea and round Erris Head.

We picked up an industrial size mooring by 18:00. It could probably secure a modest supertanker, so we should be OK.

We must record our increasing respect for the little yacht - a 28ft Twister - which is absolutely reassuring even in horrible seas, but also sails beautifully, showing a delightful turn of speed. On top of that, the conscientious previous owners (notably Don Henley) have made sure that all the fittings and equipment are of the highest standard. Even the outboard for the tender starts first time!

Tides were puzzling today. The tidal atlas prepared us for adverse tides for most of the leg north from Achill. In fact they were generally favourable. We are beginning to suspect that West coast tidal streams and eddies are mysteries yet to be revealed to us.

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