July 06, 2009
Monday morning Ricky appeared with a couple of helpers and the stressful process of mast-raising began. Coleraine Marina has a good travel hoist, but for mast raising they have to use a pulley system which is operated by man-power. Now our main mast has the mainsail rolled inside it and weighs quite a lot, so it wasn’t at all easy. We had to wait for the very bottom of the tide before Ricky could get enough clearance to step the main mast and even then it was touch and go…
Anyway, huge admiration for Ricky, who stayed calm throughout and calmed us too. Nonetheless it was a while before my pulse rate returned to normal!
By mid-afternoon both masts were up and we were free to go. the weather was fair and the forecast was for a deterioration so we decided to make a run for Portrush before the weather set in.
Luckily for us, there was very little swell in the barmouth and we gave a spontaneous cheer as Flying Colours lifted her bow into the salt water waves through the mouth of the Bann. We all felt pretty drained after the mast raising so we stayed under engine all the way to portrush, where we tied up to the floating pontoon. Three times…
The first time it turned out we were in the area reserved for fishing trips, the second time it turned out the yacht we’d rafted up to was setting off at 4 am for a run to Scotland, so we reshuffled to put him on the outside and us against the pontoon. Third time lucky!
We spent the next couple of nights in portrush because the weather did turn very dirty and there was loads there for the children to enjoy. They swam on the beach and went to Barry’s fairground where they proceeded to turn their father into a green jelly with the big Dipper… I stayed with the boat and dog-sat. Besides,my arthritis was playing me up badly and I didn’t feel like moving much.
We met a lovely couple, David and Doreen in a gorgeous shiny Beneteau, Arthur’s pride which they had brought around Malin Head and they rafted up to us for one night, inviting us aboard for a glass of wine. Wow – one lovely boat!
The next day David and Doreen set off to Rathlin on their way over to Scotland. Wes tood and watched them go from the harbour wall and I’ll swear half their hull was out of the water at the tops of the waves.