MARLIN trip to Menai Bridge, Port Penrhyn and Deganwy 2015

I mainly use tides favourably (this helps a lot) and motor at my displacement speed (5 to 7 knots).

Friday 10 July: Leave Liverpool Marina near HW at 08.15. Leave via Rock Channel, then past wind farms and Great Orme. Sunny and warm with slight waves. Arrive at S side of Puffin Island at 13.30, close to LW. Proceed via waypoints previously established by me (quite a dogs leg) to rejoin main channel. Up past Beaumaris to Menai Bridge. Tie up 2.35pm on St. George's Pier. Ashore to get a (late) lunch and drink at Dylan's nearby, with a view of my boat from the table.

Snowdonia beyond Rhyl Flats wind farm; Menai Bridge: Marlin alongside; view from Dylan's of St George's Pier.

After chatting to Scott (his dive boat arrived to take up his berth), I left for Port Penrhyn at 4.30pm. Local HW was around 7pm, so I hoped to have enough water to enter (and with a making tide I could afford a contact with the bottom). Passing the perch (left to starboard), I entered the harbour and tied up at 5pm. Least depth was about 1.2m under my keel as I approached the S end of the dock. Ashore for a few photos, then off again at 5.10.

Port Penrhyn: Marlin with mussel dredgers.

Head out past Beaumaris with strengthening W wind and decide to venture across the Penmaen Swatch as a short cut. Again a making tide made this feasible. I "turned right" at 5.50 between B6 and B8 and headed for Conwy. Least depth was 3.5m under my keel. Join channel into Conwy at C1 buoy at 6.45. Tide was slackening near HW. Arrive off Deganwy marina at 7.15 and proceed to (by prior agreement) my berth for the night.

Marlin at Deganwy marina; Llandudno Pier (2 views)

Deganwy marina is not as well set up for short term visitors as Conwy, but I had never visited, so I fancied trying it out (especially as I had a free one night voucher). Into Deganwy to seek food and drink. The Castle Hotel is no more, but some helpful locals (thanks Mary) took me to Conwy Yacht Club nearby -- which was a good option for me. Later to the Indian takeaway.

Saturday 11 July. Fuel up at Deganwy marina then leave at 9.15am. Chug (against the current) up to Conwy pool to look around and then back out. Stop on the Beacons Pontoon for a while to get shipshape. Wind was SW 5 and gusty. Leave 9.48 using main (buoyed) channel out of Conwy. ( Local information was that the North Deep channel has now shifted and 3 buoys NDI, NDM, NDO mark it. This is a short cut heading East, but I did not fancy risking it on a falling tide in strengthening wind).

With adverse tide, I motored slowly round the Great Orme into Llandudno Bay. Here the waves were more moderate so I took a break. Then on past the Little Orme into Rhos. Anchor off Rhos at 12.00 for lunch (on board) and siesta. There was a fierce offshore wind and some intrepid sailors in tiny beach-launched inflatables looked unsafe to me.

The pier at Colwyn Bay looked forlorn: with a fence at beach level to keep people away from the decaying structure.

Onward at 13.50 since the tide would now be favourable. Keep close to shore to minimise wave height. Around 2pm, I heard a Mayday from Karma 3, a dive boat out of Conwy that had engine problems so could not pick up divers (diving the wreck of the Dublin). I offered to help but my offer was declined since I was too far away. I subsequently found out that windfarm vessels recovered the divers and the Rhyl Lifeboat was launched and escorted the dive boat. Apparently the diveboat engine recovered when they discovered that the engine won't start unless the gear lever is in neutral -- doh!

With wind force 5-6 and a following sea, carry on to enter the Mersey by the Rock Channel and lock in to Liverpool Marina at 6.20. After a delay getting a lock gate malfunction fixed, berth at 7.05pm.

Deganwy to Liverpool 8.5 engine hours, 5 gallons -- it pays to go slowly and with the tide.

All information given in good faith, but please do not rely on it.

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