Positive Impact at her Barmouth
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1 - Delivering the Baby!
After the traditional 350+ mile drive up to Scotland Skud
(Skipper Tud) and the Cabin Boy arrived Croab Haven to meet
Ballast (Dek), AJ and Charlie who was joining us as his
40th birthday adventure!
A night on board lead to the first leg motoring down the
Mull of Kintyre which ended with a short but great sail
before a rest and a 4am start for the Isle of Man. So far
the score was Dev one vomit the rest nil.
The sea was rough and the wind on the nose so we motor sailed
for about 20 hrs getting into Peel harbour on the N side
of the island at midnight. By now the score was even between
Dek, Tud and Pete with Pete being happy to be the third
man to throw! We had a late supper before bedding down at
about 2am - sleeping the sleep of the just.
A lazy morning in the harbour was in order as we filled
up with water and food. Having sailed past the Island a
few times it was good to finally touch the soil. We set
out for Wales only to come straight back in when the Skipper
let go of the main halliard and it shot up the mast! After
sorting it all out and putting in a third reef we set of
again for an entertaining trip round the west end of the
island. Charlie was loving it in the 10 ╦ 12 ft steep swells,
big grin on his face and no sign of sea sickness. He was
the only one who would go below to cook at sea, beginners
luck but appreciated.
We had a great sail overnight to Bangor with only a short
rendezvous with the periscope of a submarine to cause any
stress á.! We gently worked in past Puffin Island and up
to Menai Bridge in the early hours putting alongside the
Ocean Youth Trust yacht GMC.
AJ and Charlie left us there having had a brilliant few
days experiencing the sea. The three remaining crew took
the boat through the Swellies in bright sunshine before
dropping the cabin boy in Felinheli (Port Dinorwig) and
then getting a few hours afternoon kip. Next day saw Dek
and Skud racing round to Pwlleli for a night in the bar
before arriving in Barmouth at Friday lunchtime just inside
the last arrival deadline.
Over the next few hours the rest of the crew showed up in
dribs and drabs until we suddenly were 10! 7 sailing/running
team and three lovely support crew. We booked a table in
the Last Inn and got down to the serious business of getting
to know each other. All the last minute organising seemed
to be under control as shopping and food were sorted, kit
organised and bikes transferred. The ladies left for a comfortable
night ashore and we went aboard to let the newcomers get
to know the boat and start to find their sea legs. We were
the closest boat to the sea on the moorings and acted as
sea break for the rest of the armada as the boat took the
swell from behind all night!
We are now in the process of scrutineering the boat and
runners as well as doing lots of interviews to camera etc
for the interested international paparatzzi. An hour or
two and the fun begins.
2 - The next 37 hours.
After a few problems getting off the mooring at barmouth
(getting the lifeboat to cut the lines was the solution!)
we headed out with Eddie at the wheel. At the start we kept
away from the mayhem and got a clean start, we were off!
The wind was a nice force four and we were enjoying the
sailing for the first few hours as the wind slowly picked
up. The best entertainment came from watching the camera
lady getting soaked sitting at the front of the boat. We
pushed up the south coast of the Llyn Penninsular in a freshening
5 ╦ 6 and watched as a couple of boats went very close to
the lee shore to pick up the tidal lift.
Going through Bardsey sound gave us our first taste of excitement,
as we came through the narrows the tide race was working
well and we dropped into it close under the cliffs with
the intention of surfing out, unfortunately a wave caught
us at the wrong time and the next thing that we knew was
when we were 360Úd about 50ft from the rocks by a breaking
wave. The boat was flattened and then shot round through
the wind and towards the cliffs, Tyd let go of the wheel
to let the boat do itÚs thing and we hung on. As we came
up through the wind we recovered some control and by shouting
a lot and pulling on things we managed to get upright and
pointing in the right direction before getting the hell
away from the rocks. The good news was that we all did the
right things and that there was a camera crew within 100ft
of us for the whole episode! They have said that they owe
us a pint or two for the show! God only knows what the camera
lady on the boat got but she did admit to being terrified.
After that it all calmed down and we were treated to a school
of Dolphins escorting us over Caernarfon bar! The runners
were off and we dropped anchor hoping for a few hours kip
but the anchor kept dragging and we spent most of the night
up on deck making sure we didnÚt get blown onto the jetty.
The lads were back at about 6 having done a great job on
Snowdon in horizontal rain and strong winds and we pushed
off to go through the notorious swellies. Theyturned out
to be fine with enough following wind to allow us to beat
the tide easily enough. The sun was shinning and the winds
about 15 knotts from behind so we had a lovely sail for
the majority of the trip to Whitehaven. We sunbathed, cooked
and slept little knowing what was brewing behind us!
About 4 hours from Whitehaven we got a gale warning of a
possible force 10 on the way so we were keen to get in to
harbour. The wind kept picking up as the sunb set and we
were fully reefed by the time it got dark. Unfortunately
I had the wheel and while Tyd worked out tides, courses
and lights for the harbour I had the most terrifying and
exhilarating sail ever with up to 40+ knots of wind over
the deck and huge breaking waves picking the boat up and
throwing it forward. We called Dek up to help drop the main
about a mile off the harbour, this was an epic manover with
the boys who were at the mast getting thrown about like
rag dolls. When you turn into the wind and waves you suddenly
realise just how big they are and from the wheel you just
see walls of water coming down at you as the boat pitches
up in front of you.
When we finally made the shelter of the harbour wall we
were all very very relieved and there were a few whoops
as we waited in the lock for another boat to join us. The
marines were on the way out as we came in and we shouted
a warning to them, sure enough about an hour later they
came back! It was rough out there!
We kept the runners back until first light as we would not
go out again until the weather changed so there was no point
pushing things as conditions on the hill were appaling with
howling wind and snow!
So we are now sitting in the marina having slept and showered
waiting for the runners to return. We will then go to TescoÚs
for breakfast and get some more sleep before deciding when