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OGA60 fleet reaches Northern Ireland

Our cover photo today is Fair Head, most northerly part of mainland Ireland. Since the last update, we hear that the steel-hulled ex-lifeboat from the Netherlands, ’Hilda’ is still in Portaferry, Strangford Lough whilst several boats were stormbound and thus forced to drink more Guinness in Ardglass: ‘Indian Runner’, ‘Letty’, ‘Barbarossa’, ‘Oystercatcher’ and ‘Moon River’. ‘Swift II’ and ‘Step Back in Time’ have also been stormbound in the Menai Strait, North Wales with north-easterly winds and gusts of 27 knots forecast.

Today, Saturday 3 June, ’Indian Runner’, ‘Oystercatcher’ and ‘Moon River’ are all now in Bangor, making safe passage from Ardglass with ‘Onward of Ito’ on passage to join them having left Carlingford Lough earlier today. After her stay in Pwllhelli, ‘Bonita’ has set sail again, arriving into Douglas, Isle of Man and hopes to rejoin the OGA60 fleet in the next few days. ‘Swift II’ has also set out on passage north from the Menai Strait, North Wales this morning.

‘Susan J’ passed the Isle of Muck, just off the Irish coast before taking anchor in Browns Bay near Larne on Thursday. After sighting the Mull of Kintyre, Scotland and rounding the most northerly part of mainland Ireland, Fair Head, she headed towards Ballycastle where she has stayed for a couple of nights. ‘Lahloo’ has departed Peel, Isle of Man after enjoying a few days ashore to watch the TT and is on passage to Scotland in “Glassy conditions with 3 knots of favourable tide off the Mull of Galloway.”

We hear from Martin Pound, single-hander with his dog, Jack that ‘Charlotte Elizabeth’, being only 19’, has taken advantage of trailer options to make passage to Scotland from South Wales and in our final extract from skippers’ logs, we hear why ‘Indian Runner’ has ‘fingers crossed’!

“I had to winch out single handed in Milford Haven Marina (no crane available) then towed through the middle of Wales on A438; Llandovery, Builth Wells to Oswestry joining the M6 at Chester. Stunning scenery but very winding road with steep hills,10.5 hours to friends in Auchencairn, Dumfries for a few days rest. Trailing north to Largs tomorrow to put the boat back in and sail up to Oban for the next gathering of the OGA60 Round Britain Cruise fleet. 

Martin Pound, ‘Charlotte Elizabeth’

Coming out of Carlingford Lough the engine suddenly seemed to lose power and sound very different. After some checks we came to think it was not the engine but the propellor and pondered our options. It wasn’t possible to return to the marina, the tide would run strongly against us. Should we return to Howth with the wind behind us or carry on a bit longer and see if things improved? We put the engine in neutral and sailed which went swimmingly well if not in the direction we needed to go. As usual – into the wind! We tried putting some power on and the propellor seemed a lot happier so we sailed and crawled our way to Ardglass. The approach to our berth was dramatic. ‘Slow down’ shouted Alan and Roger to Mike on the helm. Putting the engine in reverse resulted in noise that says all is not well. The marina manager found us a diver to investigate and by morning, the problem was obvious. There’s a huge amount of plastic wrapped round the propellor. Added to the prop issues, the water tank had leaked onto all Alan’s clothes but there’s a laundry with a tumble dryer and hardware store to buy tape to fix the leak. Hoping to head for Bangor in the morning, fingers crossed!

Chris Hardman, ‘Indian Runner’