Clyde to Isle of Man and back

Following the recent trends for trip reports, we thought we'd add to the list with a brief report about our Longish Vacation with Knight Vision. Knight Vision is based in Ardrossan, and having escaped work we arrived with a disgruntled cat (Rocky, looks like a racoon) in mid afternoon. A brief provisioning trip was completed before we saided out to the glorious calm of high pressure features of the 2nd week of September 2009.

The Trip

2nd Week Sept
We shot off, well if 2.5 knots is shooting, with the aid of iron jib made a dash in fading light for a mooring bouy in Brodick Bay. There are free vistors mooring there laid in the SW corner of the bay, west of the ferry terminal.

The following day commenced with bacon sandwiches and a passage towards Stranraer in sunshine and very light winds spotting several porpoise and as we reached Ailsa Craig, basking shark

Bangor Marina
Bangor Marina has BATHS! Why don't more marina's do this, so good to soak tired muscles in. Also just next to the marina is an outstanding restuarant, "The Boatyard". [Big Sigh, justifiable bill, more reasons to go back to Bangor]

Monday was spent in Belfast, visiting the great Zoo, and easy to get to by train and good public transport, and avoiding all the ferries!

Next day 21 NM S down the NI coast, dodging North Rock and South Rock, to anchor in Knockinelder Bay. [54 22.88N 05 28.43W] A beautiful dark anchorage with a peaceful evening of star gazing, with small (ok ok ok) libation.

As the sun rose, we could clearly see our next destination the Isle of Man.

ENE force 4 winds, made for an easy crossing to Port Erin, at the southern end of the Isle of Man, where two new friendly plastic moorings bouys have been laid, replacing those mentioned in many pilots.

Port Erin's tidal range is not small, so if you are rowing ashore and intend to leave it for a while, then make sure you have an angel, and a long line.

Port Erin
Steam trains run from Port Erin to Douglas, and a horse tram runs along Douglas's front to the Electric Railway which runs to Snaefell Mountain Railway

Thus we had to catch the Train on our first full day in Port Erin.

The following day, we took a walk up a VERY steap hill, to Cregneash Folk Museum. This shows the Isle of Man crofting life of the later 19th Century.From there we walked down to the cafe over looking the Calf of Man and the tidal race. GREAT Soup, excellent views!

Coast Path
The day ended with walking along the coastal path, looking down from steep cliffs, to amazingly clear sea. None of the reported whale or shark sitings, but plently of shags on rocks.

Good ice cream on the Isle of Man, meant every trip back to the boat seemed to involve visits for a double scoop.

A need for clean clothes, and a little more power led us to do the 10 NM jaunt to the newly opened Peel Marina. [14th September 2009]

The facilities clean and new, though no bath. However, they are next to the Kipper smokery which means you do always remember to do breakfast and we do love kippers.

In Peel the weather changed on us, and we spent a day hiding from the weather, before heading back towards the NI coast, in what was still a brisk F5 going on 6. Leaving Peel with Liz at the helm, made it look like we were in the Southern Ocean with waves streaking white. 7 hours and 30NM later we anchored Ballywalter [54 32.64N 05 28.56W] just by the breakwater.

Great holding ! Amazing holding, in fact this holding meant for the first we need to use the trip line on the anchor! Initialy we got up at 2am to catch the N going tide, couldn't raise the anchor, went back to bed! Felt much better, tackled it with a trip line in the morning, everything came up easily and we headed off towards Port Patrick

To Loch Ryan
Great sail, in WSW F5-6, until within sight of Port Patrick, when squalls arrived and the it became clear that to attempt entry would be unwise. This let us change course and head back towards Loch Ryan.

We arrived in Loch Ryan, after 8 hours 37.5NM we anchored in Lady Bay. It took a couple of attempts to lay the anchor, but on the 4th try we got it down. We managed 4 hours sleep before the change in wind direction W -> SW and the progressive swell of the ferries broke out the anchor and sent us heading back to Stranraer, and the marina pontoon. Arriving just before 6am Tesco was just opening so big breakfast, and snoozy afternoon.

Friday was a glorious days final days sail, down wind, getting a consistant 5.5 knots using about 1/3 of our total sail, arriving in Ardrossan mid afternoon with the cat still in tow, and unfortunately the end of another few days sailing.

Knight Vision