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OGA60 fleet: N Wales, Ireland & Isle of Man

Recent updates from the Round Britain Cruise fleet find them scattered across both sides of the Irish Sea, some visiting the Isle of Man whilst others are continuing to sail up the coast of Ireland or are on passage through the Menai Strait, North Wales, having decided not to cross to Dublin Bay last week. ‘Oystercatcher’, ‘Moon River’, ‘Minstrel’, ‘Barbarossa’ and ’Letty’ left Carlingford Lough and sailed to Ardglass, where they’re enjoying a pint or two of Guinness ashore. ‘Indian Runner’ is hoping to join them later, but “likely to be a late arrival in Ardglass. We have had some propeller trouble, something to do with the feathering? So we are sailing – going well but inevitably a longer trip. We think sailing may have sorted the prop.”

’Onward of Ito’ left Dublin Bay yesterday, spending the night in Howth before heading for Carlingford Lough. ‘Hilda’ is on a mooring at Portaferry, in a quiet harbour, after an exciting entrance into Strangford Lough. We hear that ‘Susan J’ had an enjoyable “lunch in Copeland Sound, still three hours of favourable tide, so pressing on towards Brown’s Bay, near Larne, for a night on the hook.”

With the mast repaired in Howth at the weekend, ‘Lahloo’ is ready to make passage north: “Sailing finally after three weeks of head winds, leaving Dublin for Carlingford Lough yesterday. Canapés en route then the distant but beautiful Mountains of Mourne. Fab breakfast cooked by crew member Dick, as we head out across the Irish Sea again, this time for the Isle of Man. Cooking a full English in bouncy conditions is a real skill! Chart out to mark our progress on the passage; my diary/log book to record each day and Ibuprofen to help the badly bruised ribs from a fall on another boat last week.” We hear that she’s now reached Peel, Isle of Man, and notes it is getting busy with people arriving for the TT. Dutch single-hander ‘Recipe’ has also reached Peel this afternoon.

Having left ‘Step Back in Time’ in Caernarfon in the last update, here’s another extract from her blog.

We thought that it would be good to talk to the locals about the best way to get through the Swellies. The owner of a nearby boat in the marina gave us good advice and also told us where we could pick up a buoy to wait overnight for the tide to take us to the Isle of Man. As we left Victoria Dock, around 1745, a few local boats overtook us and led the way. We followed the almanac and kept a close eye on the Navionics chart. We passed under Britannia Bridge then the Menai Suspension Bridge, after which were several mooring buoys, where we moored for the night. The wind began to increase – 20 knots when we last looked but the forecast is 7 to 10 knots easterly tomorrrow. We shall see! Thursday 1st June: We won’t be leaving today as the wind is now 13 to 20 knots north-easterly! ‘Swift II’ has just recorded 22 knots. By lunchtime, it is predicted to be 27 knots north-easterly. At least it’s not raining.

Sally Kiddle, ‘Step Back in Time’

Our last extract today is from ‘Indian Runner’, sailing towards Ardglass tonight.

We left Poolbeg Monday afternoon and made the short motor round to Howth – a delightful marina just north of Dublin Bay. We had another gourmet supper, spaghetti carbonara (thanks Roger) followed by tiramisu. Today was quite busy: refuelling, filling up with water, shopping, laundry and of course the all important passage planning. By mid afternoon all was achieved and we went for a really beautiful walk along the cliff path. We have been so fortunate with the weather, although the wind is always in the wrong the direction, apart from that it couldn’t be better. We’re settling for an early night, ready for a 0500 departure tomorrow for Carlingford Marina, our last stop in Ireland. We have loved the warmth and hospitality of all those we have met. Thursday we travel along the coast of Northern Ireland, looking across the Lough it looks beautiful. Carlingford Lough is a bit like a fiord with glorious hills rising steeply on either side. We were all pretty tired when we reached Carlingford Marina. In sailing terms, yesterday was a bit of a treat, we actually managed to sail without engine for an hour and a half. Yippee!!

Chris Hardman, ‘Indian Runner’