Round And Round We Go,
Up And Down We Go
The first part of Caroline and Dai’s voyage around the UK, Summer 1997
Wed 14 May
2150 Leave Paglesham after numerous loading trips in the dinghy.
2235 On hook Branklet
Thurs 15 May
0425 Weigh anchor
1140 Enter Ramsgate
1300 Royal Temple Yacht Club. Missed Bubble and Squeak offering but excellent beef sandwiches at £2 each.
1900 Nok Noi (Thai for Little Bird) Excellent meal: Steamed Dimsung, Golden Parcels, Yum Nuea ( warm Thai beef salad), Sea Bass with yellow bean sauce, Rice and Rombout coffee and Red House Wine. Total £30.50.
Fri 16 May
1120 Leave Ramsgate - take inshore route
1226 Deal Pier
1338 Enter Dover eastern entrance. See Danish liner “Saga Rose”
1350 Leaks from water pump unions (dezinced). Renew from Ardee Hose located in caves deep in the cliffs.
2030 Royal Cinque Ports YC - Shepherd Neame £1.45. Jacket potato £1.
Sat 17 May
1045 Leave Dover Western Exit - no wind
1550 Off Hastings
1800 Water filling up the bilge - engine water hose to exhaust elbow detached. Caroline completes heroic effort (elbow almost inaccessible) and mobile again by 1900.
1920 Moored up in Sovereign Marina, Eastbourne.
Sun 18 May
1109 Leave Sovereign lock
1440 Enter Brighton Marina after 1-2 hours drifting with very little wind
1830 MAJOR EVENT - for 3-4 days I had a sprained big toe! which steadily got more painful so Dr Gibb was called in and she quickly extracted a metal splinter!! What a relief.
Mon 19 May
0820 Leave Brighton. Wind E 6-10 Kn and cloudy
1218 Street buoy red can marking western exit from Looe channel (short cut off Selsey Bill)
1535 In Cowes Yacht Haven
1600 In Gallerias cafe - excellent tea, coffee. Jacket potato with tuna & cheese, 1 crepe - cherry & Kirsch. £6.20 total
1730-2030 CMG removes water pump and reverses worn end cover and cures blockage in inlet pipe.
Tues 20 May
Pleasant sail down to Yarmouth, one of our favourite haunts.
Wed 21 May
1115 Leave Yarmouth
1125 Hurst Castle
1340 Poole Fairway spar buoy
1455 Enter Poole YC marina - never again - receptionist insulting and ordered us not
to sign visitors’ book and most expensive of the trip - £18 per night and although a modern building everything was out of order - the telephones and the showers!
2000 Had good Adnams at £1.40 per pint but lounge overrun with screaming children and rude parents.
Thurs 22 May
1000 Relieved to leave PYC
1130 Anvil Point - diverted by patrol vessel out of firing range off Lulworth
1440 Tied up in Weymouth - 220 NM run to date on log
1900 Kings Head on Cove side near bridge - wonderful Plaice - fresh fresh fresh with chips £3.85
2030 Meet Germans in 25 footer sailed from East Germany east of Rostock. Gave us Apfel and Schnapps both miniatures and declared the war was now over!
Fri 23 May
1050 Leave Weymouth
1200 Portland lighthouse abeam with smooth passage around the Bill (inshore route)
1530 Crossing Lyme Bay 20 Nm from Berry Head.
1818 Berry Head
1835 Tied up in Brixham marina
1930 MR PICKWICK Restaurant near William of Orange statue. Fried plaice and chips £4.30 the best I’ve ever tasted! Spaghetti Bolognese £4.50: Treacle Pudding and cream £2 - excellent - don’t miss it, especially the fish.
Sat 24 May
1000 Very lumpy sea - pump up fenders and tend warps ad nauseum £14.55 per night
1230 Brixham YC (up the hill) - excellent view of Tor Bay and good draught Bass at £1.60 per pint. Jacket potato with prawns and cheese in massive quantity - great value at £3.95. Fascinating to look down at gulls whizzing past the club windows.
1430 Rotten, rotten swell - grind, grind, grind on pontoon.
3 Contessa 38s arrive from Dartmouth Naval College. Mer of Faversham near us - a real old timer.
Sun 25 May
1115 Relieved to leave. Wind NE 3-4 gusting 5
1340 Tied up in Darthaven marina at Kingswear
1900 Royal Dart YC Bass £1.60; scampi £3.95; and very good. Met ex Benfleet skipper with Super Sovereign designed by Holman but bows to acknowledge the Contessa 32.
Mon 26 May
Shopping and lunch at Royal Castle at Dartmouth
1320 Exit Dart River. Sunny and wind E2 or less
1720 On mooring Salcombe £9.70. 14’ YW Dayboats having their Nationals - approx 20 boats
Tues 27 May
1145 Exit Salcombe. Wind E 4 gusting top of 5
1720 Off Fowey
1740 Rafted up with Contessa 32 Flyanna ex Bristol with (literally) coffin handles on companionway.
1930 Ship Hotel (near church) excellent scallops, salad, garlic butter and bread rolls £5.95
Mooring fee £7.40 but water taxi £2 return
Wed 28 May
Inshore forecast E 4/5 occasionally 7
1115 Exit Fowey
1415 St Anthony’s Head
1445 In Falmouth marina (Penryn) - too rough on Royal Cornwall YC moorings for comfort. (easterly wind). The actual wind recorded was F6 frequently F7 and gusting F8! Maximum boat speed 8.13 Kn through the water on 40 percent genoa.
Trip log now showing 348.8 NM
Thurs 29 May & Fri 30 May
Heavy weather but Esther at Royal Cornwall YC produced wonderful grub - Avocado with Crab and cheese sauce £4.25; Dover sole £4.50
New York - Lizard race competitors expected Saturday including 185’ Adela but due to easterlies will not beat 12 days record established in early 1900s. Taxi man quote “The sea kicks up at the Lizard if it only thinks it’s easterly”
Saturday 31 May
1330 Eddie arrives and so directly to RCYC for Whitebait, Kidneys with rice and Avocado again
1545 Exit Falmouth, second reef in main
1625 On hook St Mawes
1900 St Mawes SC. See Adela arrives off Falmouth - fantastic sight - dwarfing every other craft
Sunday 1 June
1045 Weigh anchor
1215 On mooring at Malpas up the Fal river
1300 Sunday lunch for 3 £14.40 Roast pork and stuffing, roast potatoes, carrots and Garlic and King Prawns etc
1810 Slip mooring
1935 On hook St Mawes - still blowing. Trip log 364.4
Mon 2 June
St Mawes in the rain
Tues 3 June
0820 Weigh anchor, 3rd reef in main and half genoa. Wind ESE up to 28 Knots
1450 Around Lizard and Lands End and at Longships
1840 Little or no wind. Engine on
2130 Sun sets at 330deg mag
Weds 4 June
0530 Sun rises at 060 deg mag
1040 Sighted Old Head of Kinsale (we think)
1420 Roche point - entrance to Cork Estuary exactly 30 hours from St Mawes (184 NM)
1500 Royal Cork YC marina at Crosshaven Trip log 544
1530 In Schooner Inn with excellent cheese salad sandwiches in soda bread - a great new taste for us.
1930 RCYC for very good value meals (scampi etc)
Thurs 5 June
1230 Catch bus to Cork City £2.80 return 40 mins. Go in Dunners and Roches in Merchants Quay a massive shopping centre. Crowds, crowds, crowds but made up for by the numerous beautiful Irish colleens!
1930 RCYC for dinner - seafood bake, prawns haddock cod in white sauce and cheese topping, mixed grill (Eddie) and boiled ham, new potatoes and parsley sauce - total £15. Lots of sailors having what they call a sailing supper after their racing. (their latest class is 1720 - RCYC was established in 1720 - the oldest in the World)
Fri 6 Jun
1100 Eddie leaves to ring Garda! for a taxi. £12 to Cork Airport
Sat 7 Jun
Get “spin” (new word to us for a lift in a vehicle) from Clare who we met 10 minutes earlier! Her race in a Ruffian had been postponed for four hours and she took us to an excellent supermarket four miles away, insisted on waiting for an hour and to run us back. Such is the hospitality of the Irish. This was just one example of many on the trip.
Met local yachtsman who, describing the deep water inshore on the South Irish coast said
“you can pick daisies as you sail along” More education - Clare tells us ladies’ hurling is called CAMOGIE!
Sun 8 Jun
Another Irish statement “the seas were so long you go downhill for half an hour and then uphill for half an hour”
1130 RCYC for coffees
1450 Late lunch
2100 Late dinner - chicken, rice and Szechuan spice sauce and crunchy vegetables
Mon 9 Jun
1155 Leave Salve Engineering fuel berth after £6.50 refund of error in charge
1505 Entering Kinsale Estuary
1530 On marina near Yacht Club
1630 Find Gourmet Shop-excellent seafood-buy crabs (2 for £1.85) and Fisherman’s Pie £3
1730 Kinsale YC - very welcoming and interesting people - overlooks marina
2000 Demolish delicious Fisherman’s Pie
2100 HORRENDOUS wash from speedboat - heavy clash of masts with Sadler ranked inside us - for awesome moments we thought the Sadler would land on our deck!! Moved to another berth
Tues 10 June
0830 Move to accommodate ‘Blue Leopard’ 112 ft overall, 100 tons gross, 11ft draft. Built 1963 to Laurent Giles design. Skipper said he called us “Little Blue Leopard” when he saw us near the Smugglers in the Fal river - a great compliment!
1130 Coffees in Kinsale YC. Rain. First two coffees 1.20 punts, 2nd two cost 1 punt. Irish law of diminishing cost
1530 Finish navigation homework
1645 Heavy weather clothing to trudge to shops. Gubbeen cheese, mussels and pate 8.90 punts
1800 Party on “Blue Leopard” now flying Blue Ensign
Wed 11 Jun
0810 Leave Kinsale
0840 Bulman buoy (at shore ends) - nice breeze but died after 20 mins
0850 Encountered salmon net fishermen and diverted around inshore end of net as requested and thanked profusely by the crew
1035 Decide (independently) to go to Crosshaven in view of Youghal ETA at near LW dropping and Dunmor ETA after dark
Thurs 12 Jun
0525 Leave RCYC
0600 Shore Ends. RAIN RAIN RAIN. Log 545.0
1000 51 53 86N 07 42 65E Log 568.2
1500 Off Dunmore East
1530 On hook amongst moorings and umpteen “storage” pots
1700 Ocean Hotel 2.40 punts for half Guinness and a coke! - beat hasty retreat
1830 Watch 5 Cruisers race (in the rain of course)
2100 Josef Locke recital. Don’t wish to return to Dunmore East - would try Kilmore Quay next time (due to lack of moorings and prices)
Fri 13 Jun
0920 Weigh anchor
0955 Rounding Hook Head
1135 Coningbeg lighthouse abeam. Coning beg rock bearing 081 at 1.4 NM. Log 606.3
1530 On hook north of Rosslare Harbour
1530-0930 Saturday ROLL ROLL ROLL ROLL
Sat 14 Jun
0930 Weigh anchor
1223 No 2 Rush Channel Buoy
1515 Entering Arklow Harbour and tie up at pontoon near Arklow SC (pontoon owned by Arklow Shipping Co)
1645 Cross near bridge and find Kitty’s pub and restaurant in bustling street. Half Guinness and a coke 1.25 punts (half that in Dunmore East!)
Excellent meal - smoked trout with curried egg, pineapple, strawberries, cherries, apples, pears, peppers, coleslaw and star fruit; tiger prawns with cherries, Marie-rose sauce and salad all with soda bread for 9.20 punts.
1820 Back on board for Rombout Colombian
2200 onwards - BLISS -quiet, quiet night with no rolling
Sun 15 Jun - Father’s Day
1100 Leave Arklow
1159 Mizen head
Spectacular sail with Wicklow mountains including Sugar Loaf a la Abergavenny for 15 miles, Blackstairs mountains and Caroline’s great, great grandfather’s Croghan mountain near Greenhall
1318 Wicklow head
1715 Off Patch Rocks (nose of Howth)
Rescue operation - tow LM 33Vilesse “Pip B” who had lost his propeller? 7-8 lovely young ladies made it worth while
1745 In Howth marina
1830 In local pub club
Mon 16 Jun
1130 Get “spin” to Windmill Chandler by Irish ex-RAF flying officer and yacht delivery ferryman
1300 Lunch at “La Pizza” in O’Connell Street 3.50 punts each for lasagne and baked potatoes with umpteen salad items. Massive ice cream dishes for 2.49 punts
1700 DART back to Howth after City Tour including University, National Gallery, Guinness Brewery, wonderful regency houses and especially Phoenix Park - it’s massive.
2038 Decision to go North and around UK
Tues 17 Jun
0735 Under way - inside Ireland’s Eye and Lambay (latter privately owned and a bird sanctuary) islands.
0850 Lamvay to Rockabilly - absolute delight - profusion of shearwaters with their chicks having baths, divers, cormorants and a few gannets
0950 Rockabilly to port Log 720.0
1505 N54 04 00; W05 43 17. Isle of Man including Calf of Man visible due E at 32 NM
1515 Shere Donard (2781 ft high) with his feet in the sea abeam
1710 Enter Ardglass. Magnificent golf house on port hand. Earl of Kildare’s family lived there 13-19th centuries. Log 764.1.
Very pleasant small marina - gives you a snug feeling
Wed 18 Jun
0930 Leave Ardglass
1040 Strangford RW buoy
1245 Skulmarkin buoy
1349 Turn to port into Belfast Lough around Meir Islands
1530 Enter Bangor marina
1615 Tied up next to lifeboat. Log 800.3
1730 Charts and pilot from Todd’s Admiralty Chart Agency
1930 Dinner at Royal Hotel overlooking Belfast Lough. Plaice, seafood. chips, fudge cake, coffees and bottle of Frascati £19.85 sterling
2100 Talk to policeman in armour and told “expecting big trouble within the week” What a tragedy for such a lovely country.
Thurs 19 Jun
1000 34 litres of diesel at 25p/ltr
1035 Leave Bangor
1125 Cross Belfast Lough seeing Sea Cat en route Belfast
1135 Black head Pt and lighthouse
1230 N 54 51 75, W 05 44 30 off Larne and inside Hunter’s Rock. Compass anomalies on chart and George starts erratic behaviour Log 811.8
1315 Sighted Scotland - Mull of Kintyre
1530 Anchored by white arch in SE corner of Red Sand Bay after visit to Cushendall. 2 cables from Waterfoot village with Carn Neill towering 1302 feet above us. Wonderful.
Curiosity item - for approx 15-20 miles from Larne to Red Bay the road runs along the coast (under the Antrim Hills) and the only vehicles we saw were white vans and buses. Whilst off Waterfoot all the vehicles were white including the cars! Could there be any connection with the major Ross (fishery) at Larne? Log 828.4
Fri 20 June
1000 Weigh anchor
1130 Fair Head (or Ben More Head) bearing 280deg mag. Log 837.9, COG 003 and 4.9 Kn
1200 N 55 17 34; W 06 03 18 Depth 490 ft
1230 534 feet; Destination Port Ellen on Isle of Islay bearing 352 deg mag and 18.34 NM
1520 On HIE mooring Port Ellen next to Distillery - gorgeous smells Log 861.0
Sat 21 Jun
1025 Leave Port Ellen. Keep well off shore from frequent rocks.
1307 N 55 41 86; W 05 59 39
1515 HIE mooring at Craighouse (Isle of Jura) next to Jura Distillery! Log 885.6
1540 Watch Wedding procession for about 1mile from church along the shore to Hotel next to distillery - bride and groom and approx 50 people. Unfortunately too rough and windy to come back if we went ashore.
Listen to Lions v South Africa - half time Lions lead 9-8 and eventually win 25-16 - and so to bed very happy
Sun 22 Jun
Still blowing hard from North but need at least NW to proceed past notorious Gulf of Corryvreckan where extreme turbulence from very uneven bottom and the full force of the Atlantic comes in - the Great Race with overfalls can extend 5M to the West. (8.5 Kn on Springs) On the north side keep from the whirlpool known as the Hag which is caused by depths of 29m at the sides with 100m in the fairway! I’m writing this while we have F 9 outside here at Southend (Jan 3 1998) and F11 Biscay and Shannon! Help! Start Chores, Tighten sea cocks, add engine oil and fuel to tank. Thankfully a sunny day but windy - watch campers play football in front of Jura Hotel. Ben an Oiv (2564 feet) hovers over us - it has white scree all over - suddenly it and two other peaks above us are enveloped in cloud which descends from the summits to the feet but retains the exact shape of the mountains right down - this is followed by 29 Knot gusts. I think it was related and probably the Katabatic wind down current following the mountain slope. THINK OF EMIGRATING. Later the process is reversed and the clouds recede up the slopes as if peeling off a blanket and the peaks are clear again.
Mon 23 Jun
1145 At last leave Craighouse. Head north up Sound of Jura.
Gulf of Corryvrechan - overfalls but not bad at all (wind force 3-4)
Head up Sound of Luing towards Fladda to pass west of Dubh Sgeir lighthouse - here navigable water is about 1-2 cables wide but it feels much narrower especially as whirlpools make a lot of rapid rudder action necessary. I was too busy to record depth and SOG but I recall the latter as 11 Knots and sometimes nearly broadside to the course.
1613 Bogo Rock on port beam. Unable to distinguish Easdale entrance. Log 912.7NM
1620 Having difficulty in identifying Easdale Island and Insh Island - eventually find passage between them.
1730 In Kerrera Sound north of Gallanch ferry there are Ferry Rocks in mid stream with about 1 cable of safe water either side but the buoyage showed a green buoy to our port side and a red to our starboard which if buoyage was on basis of southward flood would suggest passage between them and in to real trouble. A quick look at the pilot however reassured us but still have not to this day found if flood is in fact northerly ( a bit like Elmley Ferry)
1800 Alongside pontoon Ardantrive Bay (opposite Oban) Log 924.0
1900 Go walkies to Ardantrive Farm but shut for food on Mondays - see pheasants, lots of ducks and pet ewe and lamb ( black face) in boatyard. Wonderful views to the west to Mull, Sound of Mull and south tip of Lismore, Lunn of Morvern.
Top be continued