August 27, 2009
Thursday 27th August. PSM, IoM to Beaumaris. 63 miles. 11.5 hours
It is quite comforting to sail with another yacht at night and keep in regular contact. Sea Lark has no radar. Their radar reflector was in the car. I was surprised by the volume of “traffic” off IoM given that some day-time crossings you seem to see nothing at all. Jan kept Sea Lark informed of what was heading their way. Jan understands the radar much better than me.
We had reverted to coward mode and not put the main up as I was not keen on crawling out on deck in the sea conditions and in the dark. Instead (shame on us) we used genoa and engine
The wind strength and direction was as forecast F4 NW, going W, going SW, going S and strengthening. The sea conditions eased gradually through the night and were even acceptable to Jan by 0600. We came through Puffin Sound at 0930 (against the last of the ebb) and were on the mooring for 10.30.
The weather decided to have the last laugh (it seems to have been laughing at us for 6 weeks!). A strong S/SW blew up before lunch time making the job of ferrying gear to shore difficult and very wet at best. Fortunately Derek Lumb was working on WS and helped us out using his dory. He was helpful again later jump starting Jan’s car as nearly 7 weeks of disuse had flattened the battery!!
Distance covered 750 nm
Engine Hours 100 (inc. Crinan Canal)
Islands visited 13
Bits broken or lost. Dinghy seat. Cooker grill. Boathook
The best bits certainly outdid the worst and the worst was thinking we were all going to drown for about 2 hours.
I learnt a lot about how much Soay can do and take, and (after a bit of a domestic) I also learnt so much about how to sail her, rather than make the tea, cook dinner, clean the heads…
It was exhausting, frightening, exhilarating, fun and a number of David Attenborough moments of pure joy. I would do it again but perhaps not until next season!