Jump to Piel; Ravenglass; Isle of Whithorn; Kirkcudbright; Douglas ; Amlwch.
I mainly use tides favourably (this helps a lot) and motor at my displacement speed (5 to 7 knots). I have an auto-pilot but use a kitchen timer set on 10 minutes (or less) to help me keep a regular look out. I always stop overnight -- since I am single-handed.
Friday 13 May. Weather favourable for a few days with mainly N winds
so I planned to go to the sheltered Galloway coast.
Leave Liverpool Marina near HW [4:38 8.2m] at 6.10. Leave by the main shipping channel then cut north across the training wall near buoy ALPHA. Wind was mainly E so fairly calm except when crossing Ribble estuary and Morecambe Bay.
Off the Ribble, I spotted a pod of dolphins. There were at least 4 but they were too far away to photograph.
Lune Deep buoy with windfarms behind.
Marlin moored at Piel Island; view of Roa Island with lifeboat slip; seals inside Walney Island
Set off at 2:15 pm for Ravenglass. I increased
revs while leaving Barrow to counter the incoming tidal current. I
arrived off Ravenglass at 5:15 and was in and, after sorting out the
mooring chain and ropes, moored by 5:45 with 2.1m under my keel. I
intended to dry out overnight and the pool is very sheltered. The
moorings were quiet - except when a train crossed the nearby iron
bridge. By 8:30 I was aground. At low water, I could inspect the
channel and also test the seabed - which seems to be a layer of mud on
firmer sand. I did not fancy wading through the mud, so stayed aboard.
A guide to Ravenglass
Ravenglass: View up-river from my mooring near LW; village and railway bridge in the morning near HW.
Saturday 14 May: leave Ravenglass at 5:50
near local HW in very calm conditions. Proceed to the Isle of Whithorn
since I expected to be able to go ashore there near LW: either at an
alongside berth or by anchoring and rowing ashore to the new slip. At
11:30 I could see that there was still some water around the outer part
of the harbour wall so I nosed in gently and found that I could tie
alongside with 0.8m under my keel. It was a neap tide (Liv LW 12:48
2.6m; local LW 12.54 1.8m). I went ashore to shop (in the Community
Hall) and to eat in the Steam Packet Inn (which serves from 12:00) and
has a view over the harbour. The inside of the harbour wall was dry at
LW: so I could not have reached it.
See also here for previous trip to Isle of Whithorn.
Sellafield and Black Combe (mountain between Ravenglass and Duddon).
Isle of Whithorn: Marlin alongside outside of harbour wall; inside of harbour wall at LW neap; leading marks (yellow diamonds in a garden).
Little Ross lighthouse (Island in Kirkcudbright Bay); at Kirkcudbright: Marlin on the pontoon; trawlers alongside.
Kirkudbright: morning mist near the pontoon; 2 views (looking inwards) of buoyed channel.
Sunday 15 May. I set off about an hour before local HW at
6:00. By 6:30 I was leaving the buoyed channel and I set course for
Maughold Head on the Isle of Man. The wind and waves were fairly slight
and I decided to take the direct route crossing the charted sandbanks
(Ballacash and Bahama). Current was adverse for a while. By 10:52, I
was at Maughold Head (conspicuous lighthouse with the peaked mountain
North Barrule behind).
As I approached the Isle of Man, my mobile provider sent a text with prices (higher since not in EU) and welcoming me to Guernsey. Whoops.
Isle of Man: North Barrule; Maughold Head (with Clay Head beyond); Douglas Head(with harbour wall to right).
Anchored vessel (Arrow) in Douglas Bay; Marlin on the pontoon; Lifeboat recovery.
There was a fair amount of shipping about, so I combined AIS, radar
and eyeball to keep a non-collision course. The wind was NW 3-4 and the
sea state built up as the shelter from the Isle of Man was cleared.
The visibility was excellent and, when only a few miles from the
North Anglesey coast, I could still see the Isle of Man.
Amlwch: Marlin in the pen; view of two pens with Pilot Boats
in inshore one; entrance to inner harbour.
I heard Holyhead Coastguard giving advice to a diveboat Karma 3 about decompression treatment: this is the same boat that issued a mayday last time I was in that area.
I entered Amlwch harbour at 8:00pm and, within the harbour, there was very little wave motion. Of the two "pens", the inner is now reserved for the Liverpool Pilot service, while the outer has commercial boats (fishing, diving, etc). There was room for me to enter the outer (seaward) pen and I tied alongside a fishing boat. One of the main activities based at Amlwch is whelk fishing. The trawler BS188 was unloading bags of whelks which, apparently, end up in Korea. Whelking involves using rotten fish as bait: so the harbour can be a bit "pongy".
Amlwch: Marlin in the pen; view of two pens with Pilot Boats in inshore one; entrance to inner harbour.
Monday 16 May A very peaceful night (apart from a small fright when a nearby boat had its automatic bilge pump come on in the middle of the night). The fishermen appeared about 6:00 and left at 6:30. I was in no big hurry, so left at 7:20. Current would be favourable after LW at around 3:00pm, so I proceed slowly against the current. This adverse current was noticeable passing Point Lynas. I then followed the Anglesey coast, inside Dulas Island, taking a break off Traeth y Ora (a favourite spot of mine), past Moelfre Island, past Traeth Bychan and then Red Wharf Bay. The wind was westerly but waves were from NW, so there was some jumping about.
Point Lynas; Traeth y Ora; Dulas Island.
Rock stack off Moelfre Head; Traeth Bychan (moorings in old quarry); Red Wharf Bay (Traeth Coch) with moorings.
Colwyn Bay: Porth Eiras watersports centre (beach access lane) and Beach Caffi (Bryn Williams)(to right).
I set off again at 3:00 and with favourable current, headed
south of the Hoyle Windfarm and then in via the Rock Channel to the
Mersey. Much construction work is underway for the extension
of the Burbo Bank windfarm. One curious looking vessel was busy at the
western end of the site.
Off New Brighton I met two groups of sea-kayakers. There was a "tall ship" leaving Liverpool: two-masted. I locked in to Liverpool Marina at 7:20.
Vessel (Crane ship Svanen) working on the Burbo Windfarm Extension; two-master (Brig Stavros S Niarchos) leaving the Mersey.
Overall 280 nm run, with four countries visited.
A record of the depth and track of my voyage is available from teamSurv
Clicking on an image should give a higher resolution picture. If even higher resolution versions of the above images are wanted, please contact me. All information given in good faith, but please do not rely on it.
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