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What we do 2011 part 2
A week in Harmony on holiday in June 2011 John, Tricia, Ann and I set out on Friday for Lochaline arriving aboard Harmony in the early evening. Lots of midgies around who were delighted about Tricia being in shorts. A few drinks aboard once all our stores were tucked away then an early night. Saturday morning we set sail up the Sound of Mull with a reef tucked in at 15-20 knots on the nose, so by midday we were heading into Tobermory Bay after a great sail at 6.5 to 7 knots tack by tack. We had a cruise around the bay checking out all the boats then sailed across the Sound into Loch Sunart and eased into Loch Drumbuie. We lost the wind in the narrow entrance and motored up to the far end where we tucked close into the shore at the north west end and dropped the anchor in a glassy calm. Drinks in the cockpit as we watched other yachts dropping their anchors in various other areas in this totally sheltered loch. A Nantucket Clipper called Sand Dollar anchored close to us and we noted it was skippered by a lone sailor, who we invited over for drinks and to share our evening meal. Colin was good company and had sailed up from Croabh Haven on his way eventually to Lewis for a music festival in July. After a lovely curry and lots of yarns it was bedtime and another quiet night. Sunday morning we went ashore in the dinghy to tramp over Isle Oransay for a couple of hours. John and Tricia went as far as the abandoned houses on the other side of the island. What a bleak and lonely place to have occupied and we speculated on what sort of life people lived and what the families survived on. Afternoon saw us beating out of Loch Sunart on course for Arinagour on the island of Coll. We sailed most of the way on a dying northerly breeze and anchored well inside the bay. Five other yachts were in the anchorage, four anchored further out where the old Highlands and Islands moorings used to be. It began to rain so we had dinner in the saloon and decided not to go ashore. The wind got up from the East through the night and John set the anchor alarm on the deck plotter. The alarm went off in the early hours when the wind went right round to the West and freshened. Our 45 pound CQR and 25 metres of 10mm chain in 5 metres of water held firm however. It was still raining in the morning as we breakfasted and the Met forecast was speaking of NE gales in Malin and NE 5-7 in Hebrides. The Caledonian forecast was for East or SE 3 or4. This meant Arinagour anchorage would be open to considerable swell so the decision was made to sail back into the Sound of Mull. One of the anchored boats, a chartered Moody 31 had fouled their anchor, probably on one of the old mooring chains that had been laid in their vicinity many years ago. They needed a diver to clear it in the end. We sailed in a light fitful breeze, alternating between sail and engine, no sign of strong winds. The Met office forecasts are getting less and less believable and becoming irrelevant to yachtmen. Tobermory was reached in sunshine and light breeze. We anchored close under the trees near to the pontoons as possible and had our lunch in the cockpit before going ashore in the dinghy. John and I had a couple of pints in the McDonald Arms whilst our wives explored the shops. Late afternoon we had a pleasant sail back to Lochaline as we had arranged for a diver to inspect our mooring on Tuesday as it had dragged in the ferocious storm 3 weeks previous. John cooked a delicious fillet steak dish for dinner that night. Tuesday morning was grey and damp however it was calm as the diver examined our main mooring. Although it had dragged about 50 yards it was found to be well re-buried again and all all the connections in good condition. The extra anchor we had since fabricated and laid as extra security was also found to be well buried and the diver re-attached it to a better position on our ground chain. We then had our other mooring inspected at the mouth of the loch. The anchors and ground chain were found to be in good condition and we had a new ¾ inch chain riser attached for good measure. We invited the diver, Stuart Barlow of Tobermory (who is a friend of Bob Calder) and his companion to have lunch with us on the boat. After lunch the weather improved and we had a leisurely sail to Pulldobhrian anchorage south of Oban where we spent the night with about eight other yachts. Next day dawned sunny as we headed south, passing through Easdale harbour as a short cut to Cuan Sound, which is itself a short cut to Loch Melford. Cuan Sound is always interesting, full of whirlpools, lots of hidden rocks and ferocious tide. Although it was neap tides we swept through at over 10 knots over the ground into beautiful Loch Melford. We tied up in Croabh Haven Marina, where we spent the next two days. We met up with John and Maureen Smith in Lotus who were en-route to Ireland. We all had dinner together in the pub that night. Lotus set off for Craighouses on the Island of Jura the following day, having a blustery two reef close reach in fresh winds. Next day John and Tricia walked over the hill to Ardfern in Loch Craignish whilst Ann and I, ever adventurous, took the bus into Oban. The bus was packed with school children on the way back. Dinner that night was Fray Bentos steak pies with new tatties and peas. Not a great success, as we hunted for any meat under the pastry. No wonder they were £1 per large tin in Lidl's ! Next day was Friday as we left Croabh Haven and out through Cuan Sound and Easdale again. We had a great sail with a soldier's breeze north through the Sound of Kerrerra, through Oban Bay and the short cut inshore of Maiden Island. A large blue yacht was seen to be high and dry on the rocky shore close to Oban Sailing Club. We dropped the sails as we approached Dunstaffnage Bay before berthing in the marina. We spent two nights here and enjoyed a super dinner in The Wide Mouth Frog, the marina's restuarant. We had lazy days here, yarning to folk, John and Tricia walked into Oban, Ann and I walked half a mile to Poppies coffee shop. Saturday we left for Lochaline in a stiff westerly breeze, needing a reef in the 18 - 22 knots of steady wind. An Oyster 68 charter boat, Moonshadow, followed us as we sailed tack for tack to Lismore lighthouse. Initially he was about a quarter of a mile behind us as we both set sail but caught us up exactly midway between Lady Rock and Lismore light. "Moonshadow" unfortunately was on starboard tack whilst we were on port and had to dip under her stern only feet away (see photo). The foul tide was pouring out between Lismore and Lady Rock at about 3 knots at this time which made it even more exciting. We continued trading tack for tack right up into the Sound of Mull past Eilean Glassa island. before she gave up at Ardtornish bay and motored into Lochaline. We were really pleased that we managed to stay within 3 or 4 hundred yards of her all the way. We sailed into Lochaline after four hours of exciting sailing, amazed again at the performance of the boat. We were hard on the wind the whole way with the log consistently reading 6.8 to 8 knots. Harmony is very stiff and powerful, rarely heeling more than 15 degrees in these conditions. Another quiet night at our mooring then up early on Sunday to tidy up and drive home. We finished the week off with a meal at the Bengal Indian restuarant once back to Buckie. It had been very mixed weather all week with the Met Office and coastguard local inshore forecasts consistently giving out strong wind warnings. By contrast XC weather online provided us with accurate forecasts that bore no resemblence to the Met forecasts. It was interesting to note that Croabh Haven Marina used XC weather online for their forecast bulletin board. Phil Brown
Varis Spey Bay Regatta The Varis Spey Bay Regatta, the FWSC round of a three way interclub series, took place on Saturday 18th June. We relocated the venue to Portknockie for this year's event. The first three scheduled for Buckie. I say scheduled as due to incredible bad luck only one of them actually took place due to atrocious weather. I was hoping a change of venue would bring a change of fortune. The day arrived with a brisk NE breeze at the appointed time. I had motored Destino across from Findochty, (Hardly worth hoisting a sail and the wind was to near on the nose to allow the fore sail to draw.) on arrival Bob Lawton, who had done most of the organising, asked if I would be OOD as I don't race. This turned out to be critical to the day as the previous bad weather appears to have put off boats from Banff, Whitehills, Lossiemouth and even Findochty (!) as if you included Bob in Fusion II there were only 5 entries, 3 from Findochty and two from Banff, with none from Whitehills or Lossiemouth. To be fair to the other clubs the details had only been released to the other clubs within ten days of the event so it was probably too late for many potential entries. The racing was brisk with the two Banff boats romping away. The first race was a triangle, double sausage, triangle, doubled. By the time the first four boats finished Microbot was just completing the first lap, at which point the skipper volunteered to retire and returned to Findochty. His sacrifice was not in vain as he was rewarded with a bottle of Glenfiddich (the event's co-sponsor) for his perseverance. The second race was a simple single sausage course. This was due to an irate call from the skipper of a squid trawler, during the first race, over the VHF. He was complaining about our windward mark, as "It was right in the track of a stretch of seabed he had been trawling for the last ten days." The first thought was that I would be surprised if there was anything left to trawl, but I'm sure he must be catching enough to make it worth his while. The mark was only about a quarter of a mile out but it was the mark furthest to seaward. It sounded if he was ready for a tussle, so, as he was trying to make a living we asked which marks he wanted moving. This seemed to catch him by surprise, as we had to ask him twice and then ask if the seaward mark being taken away would help. After a short pause, as he took this in, he replied this would be ok. With the windward mark removed we had no option but to run the second race as a sausage, which we did. Some brisk racing was enjoyed by the 5 participating yachts and the results were pretty emphatic with touchdown taking the honours in both races, predator was 2nd in both races and sea swallow took 3rd in both races sparkle came in 4th and microbot 5th. The race training crews of the two Banff boats are really keen. As soon as they crossed the line on the second race I was expecting them to head into harbour but they continued straight back down the coast to Whitehills with the wind gusting F5 on the nose. They reappeared by car a few hours later for the prize giving and barbeque. For those who attended it was a good day. I am hoping that next year we can entice more boats into taking part.
Summer Holiday 2011. Myself,Violet,son in law Adam & 2 younger grandsons flew to Marseilles to borrow a friends Oyster 575 for our holiday,we were picking up the boat at Port Napoleon and sailing to Tarragona in Spain. Unfortunately for us when we arrived the weather was abbysmal.We had to circle the airport for an hour,it took the third attempt before the pilot managed to land. On arrival at Port Napoleon the weather was not much better but the boat was a cracker. The owner had it built last year so he could compete in the ARCS. Because of the weather we were held up for a couple of days which gave us time to get plenty stores & drinks on board. We eventually had to leave as the rest of our party ( our daughter, eldest grandson & girl friends ) were arriving in Barcelona in a couple of days. When we left there was still quite a swell and still plenty of wind.Once you leave the marina you have about 4 miles of dredged channel before you reach deep water. It can be quite scary as there are guys standing kneedeep in the water fishing about 20ft from you. Once clear of the dredged channel we put in 2 reefs and set sail over the Golfe de Lyons, we were going to sail across to Port Ligat on the west side (100mls) but because the weather was so bad and the kids were not feeling great we decided to head straight for Barcelona(140mls).The wind speed was between 25 & 27 kts. We had a great sail across the Golf.although it was quite bumpy we were flying across most of the time at over 9kts.We eventually arrived and tied up at Port Olympic Barcelona the following lunchtime. A couple of hours later lying on the beach in the sunshine and the bad weather was forgotten about. The rest of our party arrived the following day so we had a few days sight seeing,lounging on the beach and sampling the local seafood. My son in law caught a pickpocket in the act of stealing from Violets bag. The pickpocket wandered what happened to him. I think it might be quite a while before he tries that trick again. Well done Adam. Next we sailed along the coast to Tarragona and tied up in the new marina. It was a nice pleasant sail with very little wind so half way along we dropped anchor and the kids went for a swim. We stayed there a few days sightseeing etc.This is quite a historic city and there are a lot of roman & medieval ruins etc. to see. All too quick it was time for everyone to go home. Myself and Adam were left so we sailed the boat back in one overnight sail to Port Napoleon. There was not much wind so we motor sailed.Unfortunately for us about 4 miles from the dredged channel at Port Napoleon smoke started to pour out of the exhaust. We checked the engine over but could not see any obvious fault. We tried to get a tow but no-one was available so with no wind whatsoever we tried to tow the boat with the dinghy,.no joy so we decided to push the boat with the dinghy. After 3 hours we had gone one mile. I decided to check over the engine and found that the turbo charger was seized. So we left all the engine covers open and ran up the engine and proceeded to our berth at slow speed. Fortunately everything went well. After a well deserved meal and few drinks we went to bed,got up early next morning and cleaned the boat. Then we flew home. A brilliant holiday was had by all. Roll on next year. Peter Rankine Lady Vi
Weekends in August and September I missed a lot of sailing this summer due to a family bereavement in England, but John and I have had a few weekends lately including one with our wives. Weather has been very mixed - often with fresh to strong winds. I think we have hardly sailed without one or two reefs each trip. Consequently our weekend cruising has been limited within the area of Tobermory and Loch Sunart in the west and Oban and Pulldobrian in the South. Our weekend with our wives started with a NW 4/5 becoming 5/7 later. However we set out up to Tobermory on the Saturday - two reef yet again with 20 knots on the nose. It was at least dry but rather chilly so full oilies on all the way. Tricia and Ann stayed warm tucked under the spray hood, whilst John and I shook out and took in reefs as the wind played games with us - often shifting backward and forwards between 30 degrees. It meant a lot more tacking than normal to ensure we were on the correct tack to make progress up the Sound of Mull. The 12 miles took us over 3 hours and we must have covered 50% more miles through the water. John surprised us all by suggesting we went on the pontoons in Tobermory - I think we have only been on a pontoon about half a dozen times since beginning sailing together 25 years ago ! -- as against many hundreds of nights, lunch stops etc at anchor. It was sheltered and warm on the pontoons which we shared with about a dozen other yachts. Our wives enjoyed being able to go ashore without clambering into a dinghy with wellies, lifejackets etc and to be fair so did John and I. We had lunch aboard of fresh baked baquettes with smoked sausage, explored the town and later climbed up the hill to the Great Western Hotel which looks out over Tobermory Bay for drinks, then back aboard much later for one of Ann's curries and beer. The wind got up through the night although not too much motion was experienced, just the occasional snatch of the mooring lines. We had an earlyish night and an early start to catch the ebb tide down the Sound to Loch Aline. The wind was blowing around 30+ knots directly down the Sound which made running before it under headsail a little difficult as every 20% windshift meant the headsail banging across from one side to the other - not good for the life of your gear or sail. We elected instead to motor under bare pole - with the Perkins ticking over at 1200 rpm we were still frequently hitting 7 knots. Other boats following us were seen to be struggling even under headsail as the sails oscillated around their forestays. Less than 2 hours later we were at our mooring in Loch Aline perfectly sheltered under the trees from the wind. Last weekend John and I set out on a damp breezy morning for Pulldobrian - a secure anchorage south of Oban near Easdale. One reef in the main with a S Westerly 4/5 forecast. Within half an hour the wind and rain disappeared and we were motoring toward Duart Castle at the south end of the Sound of Mull. There was a bit of a slop from a light SW wind and spring tide as we headed for the south end of Kerrera island. We came across the Spirit of Fairbridge, a sail training gaff rigged vessel sailing as best it could to windward in the slop. We took some photos of her and waved "hello" , then as the breeze filled in we hoisted sail and had a fine reach to the entrance of Pulldobrian. Four boats were already anchored and we dropped our anchor astern of a French ketch. I let out 20 metres in the 6 metre depth and we prepared to go below for some lunch. Astern of us however was a yacht called "Margaret Wroughton" (does that mean anything to anyone ?) and standing stiffly on its bow was the owner who advised us that we were too close to him. I replied that it was ok and we were fine (there was about 40+ feet between our stern and his bow). He disagreed with me stating that there was lots of other places to anchor and why did we anchor where we did ? I replied that we were happy where we where and we went below to have lunch. A minute later a voice shouted "Harmony ahoy", I went on deck and our fellow sailor asked belligerently if we were going to move then. I replied, "no - we are happy where we are". At this he became quite angry demanding to know why we couldn't anchor elsewhere and that we had dropped our anchor on top of his. I shook my head and went below for lunch. For the next 20 minutes, as we had lunch below, we could hear him shouting for us to move even shouting that we should row over with our insurance policy. John eventually got fed up and went out into the cockpit where our neighbour suggested couldn't we just move to the spot where another boat that was anchored astern of him had just moved from. John's reply made me smile when he said "I supposed we could but we are happy where we are" and came back below to finish lunch. Our neighbour, after a few more rants fell silent at last. We finished our lunch in peace at last but the thought of spending the evening with our mad sailor neighbour astern of us decided us to sail across to Mull and spend the night in Loch Spelve. We hauled up our anchor without difficulty and as we motored close past Basil Fawlty, I couldn't resist quipping "there now, no harm done - no need to shout was there" - responded to with a weak wave from him. John and I laughed all the way as we close reached to Loch Spelve, wondering what Basil would do if there were 30 boats packed in the anchorage as we have experienced in Pulldobrain occasionally. We both felt he was really just a bully used to getting his own way. We have seen other sailors do what he did to others in anchorages occasionally and normally they get away with it. He picked the wrong folk this time. Anyway we had a really quiet night in Loch Spelve amongst the hills with one (friendly) boat as a neighbour. Set off early next morning to catch the flood tide up Lihnne of Morven and the Sound of Mull, this meant however that we had to stem the tide pouring into the narrow entrance of Loch Spelve. Once out we motorsailed in a light south westerly close along the Mull shore passing close by Brown's Memorial and Duart Castle, the flood wafting gently back to Loch Aline where we spent an hour unravelling our mooring which had got itself into an unholy fankle in our absense. Just out of interest Loch Aline now has pontoons to the east of the sand mine pier with water and electric available and the social club and pub 10 minutes walk away. Phil Brown. Harmony
Sailing in Turkey, August 2011 Neil, Mairi, Bob and Jackie decided to escape the Scottish "summer" by booking an Oceanis 393 named Papillon from Aura Yacting, Yalikavak, Turkey. Yalikavak lies on the Ionian Coast and the first class marina hosts 450 berths. Following an overnight flight on Saturday we were all rather tired on arrival but after hitting the showers and the grocery store, we agreed that an easy day was in order so we decided to head across to Catalada Island to an anchorage where we could have lunch and go swimming. Everything went according to plan and we had a fantastic sail across with 26 knots assistance from the "Meltemi" prevailing wind. Following some swimming and much capering it was time to hoist the anchor and head south for Turgetreis on the Carian Coast which houses another fabulous marina. Just as Mairi and Bob were hoisting the electric windlass, Mairi's finger became somewhat tired and the windlass suddenly started to sound "dour" as the anchor reached below the surface we saw why - Joseph's amazing techni colour dream coat was lying on top of it and we really though we had hauled up a dead body. There was, however, only an empty coat, thank goodness so we promptly dunked it back into the water and fled. We spent the night in Turgetreis marina, which has beautiful facilities, and great restaurants in the town, which was just a short walk away. On day two the Meltemi winds were blowing over 26 knots early in the morning and we agreed that a long sail down into the Gulf of Gokova Korfezi would be a great idea so we took off, destined for Cokerteme, 40 miles away. We had a cracking sail down and on arrival we picked up a mooring buoy and anchored in 10 meters of water in good shelter. A nice Turkish chap picked us up in his small boat and took us to his beach side restaurant for dinner. Much cheapness too! Bob and myself went to haul the anchor in the morning and suddenly the electric windlass sounded "dour" again and my finger started to hurt pressing the "up" button. Thinking, "this is nae right for a start", I began to see why. Just below the surface I could see not only Papillon's anchor but a huge fisherman's anchor lying on top of it, being hauled up by my winch. Quick thinking by Bob - he jumped into the dingy and rigged up a rope around the anchor in order to clear the spare one. It worked first time. Good crew!!! On day three we made our way across the gulf to the north side of the Datca Peninsula, destined for Yedi Adelari which we couldn't pronounce and decided to rename, Yadeeladeladeela, about 20 miles away. It was a very challenging sail through in a constant 30 knots of wind and sea states like the Moray Firth and we were glad to reach a bit of shelter in behind the seven islands. We had to approach with great care as there were an abundance of rocks adjacent to the coast and we eventually dropped anchor at Cokagac but the shelter was not too great and the winds simply refused to abate. Not even considering overnighting here we hauled the anchor (with no extras this time) and made for a small anchorage to the west known as Safre Buku but the shore police told us that this was an all inclusive holiday village and they refused to sell us a beer. Well that was that, up anchor and off to Sogut, a further (10 miles that day). Sogut was one of the most beautiful places we overnighted and we moored at a pontoon and got electric and water (total cost about £15). We had dinner at a restaurant there and the food was great but the beer service was rubbish to back to the boat for refreshments once again. (photo attached) I always joke with Bob that men must design yacht interiors because no thought whatsoever goes into anything useful! Bob had a good look around Papillon and said to me "Mairi you must have had a hand in the design of this yacht because there are cupboards and mirrors everywhere and plug sockets near the mirrors". What can I say? Day four, we made an epic journey back across the gulf and all the way up to Bodrum (40 miles). This was the blowiest day we had encountered so far, with constant gusts of 35 knots. Still the hot sunshine made it really pleasant and we had yet another cracking sail. Arriving at Bodrum Marina we were horrified at the cost of an overnight stay - 65 euros! All this to listen to a din coming from all around us. The din went on until well after we went to bed at 3.30am. Then we were woken up by DJ Mohammed playing mosque music at 5am! Neil and Bob didn't care as they were snoring. We did some shopping in Bodrum town the next day but it was just too much of a trek and the heat was well up into the 30s so we cleared out. We headed for Aspat Koyu which is about 7 miles back up the coast towards Yalikavak and anchored for lunch then headed back to Yalikavak, another 15 miles, for a free overnight stay at the marina , this being the home port of Papillon. Day five - Departed Yalikavak and headed north to a place called Gundogan Buku (8 miles) where we anchored in 10 meters of water right next to a pretty mosque. It wasn't long before DJ Mohammed started his mosque music again though. The muslims are called to prayer several times a day and the mosques in Turkey have all got loudspeakers above them to relay the chanting and call to prayer. We raised the anchor and headed for the fishing village of Torba (8 miles) where we took a lazy line and tied up stern to next to a fishing boat and a gullet. This seemed to take forever and the harbour shallowed towards our stern and we were worried about the rudder touching so we hauled the boat into deeper water and instead of using the plank to get ashore we had to climb aboard the fishing boat. Wisna funny on the way back at night after the restaurant though, much giggling and bruises! On day six we departed Torba and headed back to Yalikavak to refuel the yacht. We saw some houses on the hill which were stunning but unusual and Bob said to me, "You must have had a hand in the design of those houses Mairi, you come out the front door and straight over the cliff". I had enough of the blonde jokes by then and Bob was sent to the naughty step (the dingy) for a while to cool off. Once he was allowed back on the yacht, we made for an anchorage across the bay at Piresun Koyu (2 miles). Here we were boarded by Borat Pirates. If anyone knows these pirates, the Turkish police are looking for them and there is a REWARD for information. These were the most testing wind conditions of any sailing holiday I have ever encountered and the difference between sailing in Turkey in May and sailing at the end of August is phenomenal. In May the winds are very calm in the mornings and you get some light to moderate breeze in the afternoons with only occasional strong winds. During our week in August we had calm in the very early morning and the breeze was always up by 10am every day, increasing steadily to a maximum of 37 knots, until 5pm at the earliest before dying away to nothing in the evenings. On the plus side it was never below 28 degrees in temperature and the sea state was usually slight only occasionally moderate so you never felt it was a battle with the elements. If you fancy trying this type of holiday, go soon because it won't be long before these holiday prices go through the roof! The cost of marina mooring is very expensive, however the cost of pontoon anchorages is very cheap and eating out is no more expensive than at home. Ps. I preferred August to May! Mairi Innes.
Peter & Jims Five Nations Trip. Myself, Jim Calder & a friend of the owner flew to Exeter,picked up a hire car and drove to Mylor Bridge marina. Its a couple of miles upstream from Falmouth. We were going to deliver a friends Oyster 46 to Largs Marina. We arrived there to warm weather and after getting our gear aboard drove through to Falmouth. Its a lovely place,full of tourists and restaurants and olde worlde pubs. We had been recommended to go to the Chainlocker Pub, there we had nice fish and chips then we went for a wander round the area. Next morning was spent getting all the grub aboard for our trip. After lunch we went back to Falmouth and visited the Maritime Museum. It was worth the visit. Next day an early start and we let go at 7am. It was damp and overcast. We got the sails up and sailed down Falmouth Bay,out past Lizard Point and eventually around Lands End. As we were off Lands End we picked up a fast moving tide and accelerated to 9.7kts. It was exciting stuff but it didn,t last for too long. Once we rounded we were heading up to cross the Bristol Channel and enter Millford Haven Marina. Later on it turned into a lovely night and we had an uneventful sail and went through the lock gates at 9am the following morning. Having left England we were now in Wales. Our fellow crew member Mike, whom Jim and I had never met turned out to be an excellent chef and did us proud with his culinary delights while we were tied up there. The following day was wet and windy. Forecast was 4/5 sw. Force 6 later As we were exiting the loch we were now heading for Howth which is north of Dublin we were following a very large tanker when a heavy fog came in reducing visibility to about a 100yds. We had a bit of a rush to get the radar going then calm was restored. Once clear of the loch we had to sail west to clear the "Smalls" The weather was quite bad Jim reckons it was force 7. We decided to get the sails up.We got the main sail up & reefed but the head sail jammed. It was to rough to go forward so we had to leave it as it was. After a few miles when we changed our heading northwards it was like a different world the wind and following sea were now behind us but we were yawing quite a lot. We got the headsail freed off & set. Jim disappeared & we thought he was making a brew. No such thing he was only baking a cake. He had the flour apples etc, out and made an Eves Cake.The cooker was on gimbals so I dont know how he managed to get into the oven.Another brilliant chef on board. I was definately going to eat well.That night the wind & rain were blowing on our stern so we snuggled up in the cabin with the radar on. We popped out now & again to check for other vessels. We arrived in Howth in the Republic of Ireland and tied up at 8am next day. It was a lovely day,sun shining and plenty people going about. Next day we let go at 8am and set sail for Kilkeel in Northern Ireland. There was hardly any wind so we had to motorsail part of the way. Jim was keen to go to Kilkeel as a fishing boat he was skipper of was sold to there in 1975 and was still fishing there. On arrival we found a very busy fishing harbour with no yacht facilities but we got tied up nice and secure. The guys who had bought Jims fishing boat the "Girl Mary" came on board for a blether. They informed us she was at sea fishing & was the oldest registered fishing vessel in the UK.Jim was chuffed to meet the guys again. Next day another short sail up the coast to Bangor. Most of the day it was wet & overcast with light winds. Around 3pm.we got our first sight of Scotland when the Mull of Galloway appeared out of the mist. It gave you that feeling of being home again. We tied up at Bangor not too far from Belfast at 4.30pm.There was a pop festival going on & music was blaring out everywhere. As we were all feeling knackered it was an early night again. Now we were on our final leg to Largs. We were up and let go by 5.45am. At 6.30. we watched the sun rise. There was no wind and it looked a promising day. Later on we got the sails up as a breeze appeared. Next thing for 2 hours we had torrential rain so it was back to the cabin again. After that the skies cleared and it was a beautiful day. We eventually tied up in Can Do new berth at 5.15pm. It was a great feeling to have completed the trip. We covered approx.430 miles and been in every country in the UK. After washing the boat down we went to Scotts Restaurant in the marina and had a lovely meal. The following day was spent travelling home. I think we all enjoyed the experience, I certainly did and look forward to cruising on Can Do next year. Thanks a lot to Jim for all his help and company. Peter Rankine. Lady Vi