Thursday, 5 August 2010

Rathlin and Carnlough

The roller-coaster ride to Culdaff turned into a different ride at night. The Pilot book mentions the possibility of a little swell at times. We toyed with the idea of suing the author. The swell rocked the boat all night to an alarming degree, accompanied by the solid metal thud from the chain arrangement in the mooring buoy. They combined to produce an all-night symphony of everything that could slide or rattle doing so, punctuated by a heavy metal clang as the swell hit the mooring buoy. At least we were able to amuse ourselves watching glasses make their own way across the table to a waiting hand. To add to the cacophony Martyn tried to teach Allen to play the spoons - not entirely successfully.

Wednesday's forecast was F4 to 5, occasionally 6. Full of confidence we set off with reefed main and genoa, only to find we were in for a day of hanging on tight as wind and swell gave us an even more 'exciting' ride than the previous day. It is routine for us to clip on with safety harnesses in big seas, but that trip prompted also the fitting of the washboards in the companionway and closing the main hatch for safety. Our slow-reading wind indicator sat at a steady 28kts for a while as we were being driven along at over 7 kts in front of it. That adds up to 35 kts which translates into a F8 gale. As they say, forecasting is not always an exact science.

We arrived in Rathlin around 17:30 and met the Secretary of the Twister Class Association who had arrived the previous day. John and Ann entertained us mentally and gastronomically, but we do have a slight retrospective worry about that Swedish whiskey.

A totally different day today as we left Rathlin at 11:00 to pick up the conveyor belt of the south-going tide down the Antrim coast. Despite light winds we made good time past Fair Head, Torr Head and Garron Point before threading the needle of the narrow entrance into Carnlough Harbour. Tied up alongside a large local yacht we are hopeful of a quiet night tonight.

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