19 footers only head for Scotland

With the bad weather forecasts, most skippers have decided to head for Strangford Lough.

Strong winds are forecast so ‘Step Back in Time’ and ‘Molly Cobbler’ decide to head north to Kirkcudbright and cross the entrance to the Solway Firth before returning to Whitehaven. Sally put it best: ‘Only 19 footers in our gang!’

We left Douglas Harbour before 0530 and as the boats poured out each time the bridge swung, the Harbourmaster was heard to remark, ‘Half the boats in the Irish Sea are leaving Peel this morning!’

Outside, to say it was bouncy, was to put it mildly. We sheltered inside the breakwater, and headed north at about 0700. ‘Step Back in Time’ drew ahead. With a Force 3 most of the day both boats made good speed, as the distant Scottish coast became steadily clearer.

The wind backed southwesterly in the afternoon, and soon after 1500 it suddenly increased to Force 5, with heavy rain. ‘Step Back in Time’ was already beyond Little Ross Island at the entrance to the Dee Estuary, and ‘Molly’ was only two miles off, so dropped all sail and motored past the island.

The rain stopped, and the winding channel through beautiful low hills was very easy to follow. On reaching the moorings at Kirkcudbright both boats successfully moored before the ebb had got going, which was just as well! We stayed there for two windy days, exploring the town and the neighbourhood by cycle and bus, definitely worth a visit.

Mary Gibbs, skipper ‘Molly Cobbler’