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Menai Straits to Falmouth – eventually…..

July 26, 2009

And we’re off…!

After swinging round the buoy (quite literally) for just over a week, we finally took the decision to set off on our travels.  We were joined on the afternoon of Sunday 19th July by David who came over on the ferry from Ireland & then took the train to Llanfair PG where he was obliged to ask the conductor to stop the train for him as it was a request stop. 

We set off the same evening, establishing a rota of 2hrs on watch followed by 4hrs off.  It was a pleasant sunny evening and a clear, starlit night, very mild & fairly gentle seas.  Unfortunately the wind was coming from the South and South West so we made fairly slow progress, and by Monday evening still had not reached the Smalls off Pembrokeshire.  As we sat eating our evening meal in the cockpit & watching a glorious sunset it was hard to believe the forecast of strong wind, possibly gales on the way. 

However by the time Julia got up to her 2am watch on Tuesday morning it was raining and blowing force 6 – 7.  By midday our progress across the Bristol Channel was negligible, indeed we were almost going backwards with the wind still on the nose so the decision was taken to turn back and retreat to Milford Haven until the storm had blown over.  One delight was the porpoises; at times there were 15 or 20 all round the boat, leaping & surfing in the waves.  It was breathtaking & exciting to watch them.

 We got to Milford Haven in the early evening, berthed in the marina and promptly went ashore to find something to eat.  We stayed in the marina until Thursday morning, leaving through the lock just before midday.  We watched the square rigger ‘Royalist’ come in through the lock before we made our way out.  Once clear of the Haven, we tried to make our way west before heading south to Lands End but had to head south in the end in the face of prevailing south westerly winds. 

 We sailed across the Bristol Channel ending up about 15 miles west of Lundy before tacking towards the north west for a time.  Eventually the wind backed round more towards the west, allowing us to make ground to the south west.  By the end of the afternoon, we were just off St Ives then had to tack again to gain ground to round Land’s End.

 We rounded Land’s End during the night and headed towards Lizard Point; at which point the wind died so we had to motor on towards Falmouth.  As day broke, we were making good progress round past the Manacles and so on into Falmouth.  We arrived alongside by about 7am on Saturday, finding a berth in the Yacht Haven.

We’ve now got a full crew with David being joined by Brian and Bill but we’re stuck in Flamouth waiting for the weather to improve a little – strong winds from the south are forecast in the middle of the Bay of Biscay on Tuesdayand Wednesday, so there’s no point in setting off just yet. 

Our next post will be just before we set off if we have time, otherwise, it’ll be from Spain.

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