Pembroke Haven Yacht Club

Hobbs Point, Pembroke Dock

Maelstrom relaxes in Padstow 

Monday 29th April 2013

Good morning all and a glorious morning it is too. Sun is shining in between the clouds so the boat now resembles a huge washing line with all wet weather gear, various hats and towels getting dried. Breakfast is on courtesy of head chef Rob whilst Chris and I tighten the rigging a tad. Nothing major planned for today except some boat maintenance and possibly a lunch time pint. We will need to provision at some point because what we seem to have stocked up most on is Diesel and we haven't used much of that. Another breakfast of fruit juice and muesli with natural yogurt was rejected in favour of the full fry up, tea & toast. Damn nice it was too. Washing up all done and onto the greasing of all Maelstroms winches. Peter George from Milford is rafted outside us and made some comment on how generous it was for our skipper to let us do boat maintenance so that obvious boredom, until he arrived, could be avoided. We agreed, but did decline his reasonable offer of work on his boat to help us further pass our time. Instead it was noted by the ships clock that the sun had in fact managed to get itself over the yard arm, so not being a crew that wants to break any traditions we reluctantly dragged ourselves over to the Old Customs House for a pint. An afternoon power snooze was next on the agenda, then later I put the kettle on for tea and Welsh cakes. The sky is all blue and not a cloud in site this late afternoon, just a shame that the breeze and cold generally are keeping it not sun bathing but more coat type weather.

Next on the list is an evening meal possibly at the Custom House, as two years ago Chris and I had a fantastic rack of ribs which was just about all we could handle. Well that was a bit of a disappointment no ribs on menu. Darn. Still, was funny to watch the over zealous football fans watching Aston Villa and Sunderland. Don't suppose its anything like that when Wales are being supported down the club. Off for a quick one in the Golden Lion and then an early night. Got to be looking our best when the skipper arrives. Night all.

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30 April 2013 09:05:00 Categories: Maelstrom Padstow

Maelstrom’s Padstow run 

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Sunday 28th April 2013

The skipper thought it would be a jolly good idea if the boat was waiting for him in Padstow harbour when he got back from his holiday to Maderia. He had, with much husbandly persuasion, managed to get Jennie to pop him down to Padstow on the way back from Bristol airport. The obvious harbour between Bristol and East Williamston.

Anyway a motley crew consisting of the 3 stooges was assembled and sworn in to deliver Maelstrom safely to Padstow (missing any submerged rocks on the way). Much discussion was had on safety issues, supplies and command before Chris, Paul and Rob were hand picked for the job. Every one else apparently was busy.

Boat was fuelled and watered by Chris and Paul on Friday afternoon just in time to get to the club bar and liase with Rob on food and drink supplies. This is all going too smoothly we thought. Stilll, the plan was to meet at Hobbs Point at 6am on Sunday morning to enable a 7am getaway to catch the evening gate at Padstow. So amazingly, as planned, we were all there and finally left at 0625. What could possibly go wrong. Well almost nothing as it seems. Passed thro St Anne's head at 8am, passed a sleepy Autonomy over in Castle Bay. Motor sailed to Rat buoy then unfurled Doug's new genoa and started sailing. Turned off the engine (well Rob said have you seen the price of diesel these days) and had a very nice sail for 10 hours before the forcast Westerly going North Westerly 12-15knts actually went Southwesterly to Southerly 18-24knts so had to motor sail the last 2 hours in against the tide. Darn. Still can't complain cos we were in early, tied up and boat sorted ready for the Skippers arrival on Tuesday, Unusual for Maelstrom, and possibly cos the Skipper wasn't here to instil discipline, we wandered aimlessly about till we found somewhere warm to sit down and discuss the trip. Fortunately and completely unplanned the place we chose to get warm actually sold beer. Stroke of luck really. Hope the skipper doesn't find out about our slight lapse in discipline.

Saw lots of dolphins on the way but only in small groups. Still helps to pass the time and even old people like us enjoy seeing them. Well I have just about had enough of writing this now so gonna stop. Have just eaten my home made curry as supplied by Chris and desert of Pecan nut slice thingy, very tasty both of them were too. All washed down with some cheap Asda stubby beers. Night all.

30 April 2013 08:56:00 Categories: Maelstrom Padstow

Maelstrom arrives in Padstow 

Never ones to risk cutting it fine, Paul, Chris and Rob have setup camp in Padstow well in advance of the first of May.  Paul says he may consider writing for the blog – but is concerned that it may all be about food and drink again …

28 April 2013 23:52:00 Categories: Maelstrom

Maelstrom Scotland trip 2012 (part7) 

Saturday

Alarm went off at 0500hrs for our departure of Bangor NI. Quick cuppa and away by half 5 to catch the tide out of Bangor and down towards Holyhead our planned stop over tonight. Wind in the south all day so motor sailing to maintain speed. Looks like a late arrival and Doug checking tides to see what time we would need to leave on Sunday to get a favourable trip home. Had Argyle pasties for breakfast at about half 11 cos it's a bit lumpy for cooking a full fry up. Still working our way through the never ending supply of welsh cakes on board. We have done 11 hours of motoring since Cambeltown so refuelled after breakfast and settled down for our trip. By settled down I mean me and Chris went to our bunks and Doug and Ben stayed up. Got woken by Ben at quarter to 3 to say Doug and him had checked tides which meant another early start, so how did we feel about heading straight home through the night. Should get in Sunday afternoon. Chris and I agreed so a new course was plotted and what did say 45 miles to destination now says 122 and that's only to broad sound. Still it will be nice to be home and it means Doug should get some of his birthday with his family even if he smells bad and is very tired. Can't waste water washing now. Lol. A pod of about 10 dolphins popped over to see us at 1705hrs and we took some pics and a few videos. Dolphins stayed for an hour, must have been admiring Maelstroms smooth keel. Nice to have them around always puts a smile on our faces. Put a reef in main for the night passage and started our watches. Quiet night. Wind dropped off to 3 knots and sea flattened. Shook reef out of main at 0850hrs and put up number 1. Had a nice sail for 3hrs then wind came round and dropped off so we took number 1 down and motor sailed towards Ramsey sound. Had a cuppa and sang Happy Birthday to Doug. Also gave him a card and a packet of Ashers, Red Velvet Yummie cupcakes. Through Ramsey and in time to get to Jack sound with favourable tide. Wind dropped now so heading gently towards St Anne's under full sail. Ben and I tiding up a bit. Soon be home. Had to motor up river as wind had dropped and didn't want to miss last orders in club. Bit of a boat tradition having a pint to celebrate safe arrival at port. For the stats people among you our last trip from Bangor took a shade over 36hrs to cover a distance of 230.37nm at an average speed of 6.3 knots. Had a couple of pints before saying goodbye to Doug, Chris and Ben.

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Doug and Maelstrom for once again giving me a cracking holiday and seeing many places I have never been. Also thanks to Chris, Rob and Ben for being great company and fun reliable sailors. I had a great time. Another thank you goers to all our wives for being understanding about what us boys do for fun. I can imagine it is not easy sometimes when you can't communicate due to no phone signal etc. I hope anyone who has read this has enjoyed our journey with us and it just remains for me to say goodbye.

Maybe I will right again maybe I won't. Been fun tho.

Paul

19 August 2012 11:03:00 Categories: Maelstrom

Maelstrom Scotland trip 2012 (part 6) 

Monday

All up by half 7 ready for our start through the canal. Supposed to open for 8am but they are a bit like Pembs up here so it was 9am before the locks opened for business. Very relaxing few hours in flat water motoring at no more that 4 knots. 1st set of lock gates consisted of 5 rising locks which can cause a bit of turbulence if you open the sluice gate a little quickly. A little like white water rafting in a confined space. Stopped for a pint at the Cairnbaan Hotel which is situated next to the lowering locks. Much quicker to navigate. Headed off to the sea lock then at Ardrishaig to continue our planned trip to Tarbet. Quite breezy, and as luck would have it bang on the nose. So up with good old faithful number 3 and full main for a beat to Tarbet. Wind picked up a tad so we reefed the main and that made life a lot more comfortable. 4 tacks saw us freeing off at the entrance to Tarbet and safely in by 6ish. Been for a hot shower and set up a FaceTime chat for Ben and his girls. Think they would have stayed on for ages but had to end the call to go and get some food. Off into town now to feed and water 4 hungry (and sweet smelling) sailors. Plan tomorrow is head to Cambeltown, a trip of approx 30 miles. Had our evening meal at the Sea Bed restaurant in Tarbet and very nice it was too. Plenty of seafood options(sorry James) oh plus a rib eye steak for Ben. Back on boat now for a nightcap of tea or coffee and a bit of planning for our leave time tomorrow. Best get to Cambeltown as forecast for Wednesday is looking bleak so may be stuck for a day or 2. Well enough of me waffling on for now. Speak to you all tomorrow. Sleep well.

Tuesday

Popped down town at half 8 for breakfast and to get some supplies for the boat. Left Tarbet at about half 9 for a 30 mile trip to Cambeltown. Once again our old favourite the number 3 was in play with a single reef in the main. All this because the wind was on the nose again. A cracking sail nevertheless, which meant we actually sailed 48 miles to get here. Cambletown seems a pretty little town with the berthing being one long pontoon. At the moment the pontoon is full with many boats having to raft. Pity the poor boat alongside us as we are in full game playing mode now at 2345pm, maybe a tad noisy for a while. Decided to tow our para vane and spinner today as we saw lots of diving Gannets. This resulted in me catching 1 mackerel and Ben catching 6 mackerel but only landed 4. Still it made for delicious fresh mackerel sandwiches when we moored up. Yum yum. Went for shower at the local leisure centre as we were told it was open till 9pm, so a bit disappointed to get there and be told it actually closed at 8. Time was 8-10pm. Darn. Shower in a can again and out for food. Indian tonight and very nice too even though we were the only customers. He did seem genuinely pleased to see us. Back on boat for night cap and games now so will sign off and write again tomorrow. Sleep well.

Wednesday

Forecast bad for next 2 days so looks like we are harbour bound. Been up tourist information and over to Bluebell cafe for breakfast. Showers are in the local Aqualibrium so headed over there to get clean. Was the same £3.40 for a shower or a swim so Ben, Chris and I went swimming then showered. Passed an hour nicely. Back to boat and sort out a bit before heading to town to find some cable ties and jubilee clips. Popped into some of the local establishments to check their wares before heading to the Bangladeshi Indian restaurant for food. Bit of a shock that they don't sell beer or wine. Nice food tho then back to the royal hotel for a pint before retiring to the boat. Only 3 games of sequence tonight of which Chris and Ben won 1. Then checked boat was secure before going to bed. Night all.

Thursday

Lazy start but a hearty (or heart stopping) breakfast. My turn to chef this morning while Chris and Ben tightened the rigging. Doug sorting stuff at chart table ready for possible early departure tomorrow morning. More maintenance after breakfast with a clean up of galley area, replenish diesel and water plus a trip to the shops for food. Boat all sorted now and up The Black Sheep Pub for a lunch time passage planning meeting. It is a recently refurbished pub directly over the road from the pontoon gate, so convenient too. Have booked ourselves into the Royal hotel for evening meal at 9pm cos didn't fancy Indian again. Nice food in the hotel tonight and wine was ok too. Back to boat for a very quick nightcap then early to bed. Night all.

Friday

Strange ringing in my ears at 6 o'clock until I realised it was Chris's alarm. Yippee a days sailing ahead. Not so yippee now having looked out of the window. Chucking it down with rain and still feels to blowing a bit. Bloke on the boat opposite(Taplice,nice name), who told us he was heading to Bangor this morning, informed us that the met office was giving 5-7 south east today. Checked forecast on IPad and it was correct but due to drop off so we bit the bullet and suited up after a cuppa. Headed out of Cambeltown with 2 reefs and the number 4. Bit lumpy but not too bad. Soon lost a reef then set number 3 after lorn sausage sandwiches. Put kettle on hold to shake out last reef so now sailing well and not a force 7 in sight. Thankfully. Sun has come out and rain gone away so much cheerier teddies on Maelstrom now. Scotch pies for lunch but unfortunately the wind has died as forecast so under engine by about half 3. Hope to make Bangor early evening although tide is against us now. Arrived safely in Bangor NI at 19.55hrs and in marina berth E15. Been for a couple of pints and picked up a fish supper for tea. Ate on boat with a glass of red wine. We are aware that maybe white wine would be a better accompaniment for fish but out of white at the moment so will need to restock both wines soon. Just planning tomorrows trip before a quick shower and bed. Sleep well.

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17 August 2012 11:01:00 Categories: Maelstrom

Maelstrom Scotland trip 2012 ( part 5 the sequel ) 

Friday 10th August.

Early start for the drive back to Glasgow. Picked up Ben at 6 then made our way to get Chris and Doug. Another one way hire courtesy of Europcar. Big thank you to David Silcox and his firm for all their help on our two journeys. Held up by 2 accidents on the motorway but not for too long thankfully. Arrived safely in Glasgow, dropped off car and taxi to Station to catch train to Oban. At station by 4pm and train not till 6-20pm so had a quick pint while we decided what to do to pass time. All of a sudden after much deliberation, and a couple more pints, oops and a meal, the time had suddenly passed so we got on train to Oban. Arrived at half 9 just in time to catch the awaiting ferry to the marina. Glad to see boat again and not too untidy but sleeping kit pretty mouldy, so sorted it as best we could, then off to marina bar to have a last pint before closing time. No whisky tonight as all very tired and mainly cos Chris forgot to bring our Tenby race prize. Early night for some much needed sleep. Night all.

Saturday

Ben up early and off for a stroll but misjudged and ended up on a hike for 2 hours. Rest of us arose and settled down for a brew while waiting for Ben to return. Showers done then ferry to Oban to have some breakfast and get some shopping. Back to the boat early afternoon to start the job of getting boat ready to leave on Sunday. Rigging and mast done. Also reconnect all electrics for mast and refuel. Quick check of engine whilst the decks were washed and pillow cases cleaned and hung to dry. Been a busy afternoon so treated ourselves to welsh cakes with a cup oftea. Seem to have a huge supply of welsh cakes on this trip. Heading in to town to eat tonight before heading off tomorrow morning for Crinnan. Plan at the moment to try and complete trip as per the 1st attempt in June. Just need to avoid rocks. Very relaxing evening in Oban. At the Steakhouse before testing the beer in the Brewery bar and heading for the 11-10pm ferry back to the marina. There was a gentleman sleeping next to his beer bottle at the bottom of the slip way. We kept an eye on him till his wife turned up reassuring us that he was just very tired not drunk. Amazing how tiredness takes the use of your legs away. Good nightcap on boat with dice wins for Ben and Chris. Board game Sequence was a different story and by bedtime Doug and I had delivered a 3-1 defeat of Ben and Chris. Speaking of bedtime it's now 10 to 3 so best get some sleep as off sailing tomorrow. All looking forward to that. Night night.

Sunday

Chris up like an old person at death O'clock. Kettle was on by 20 to 8 and the rest of us were wondering where the fire was. He is now cooking breakfast while we drink our morning cuppa and I write this. Giving 10-15 knot East South East winds today so should have a nice sail. Thought about diving under boat to check repair before leaving, but as no water coming in we have decided to trust in the skills of the shipwrights. Departed Oban marina at 11am and headed off towards the sound of Luing and past that "Darn Rock" . Gave the rock a very cautious berth although that didn't stop 4 pairs of eyes staring at it and maybe some under breath cursing. Had a cracking days sailing with full main and number 3 headsail. Wind anywhere from 14 to 25 knots giving a fetch for most of the day. Particularly breezy going thro the Dorus Mor(The big door), a tight channel between rocks on the approach to Crinan. Arrived safely in the Sea lock at Crinan by half 3. Went up to the local hotel and had evening meal in their Seafood Bar. Very nice too. Back on board now and it's only half nine. All fairly tired tonight so early night planned ready for trip through canal tomorrow. Very hard to find mobile signal here but have managed to get on broadband via BT Openzone. plan to head through canal tomorrow morning and stop at Tarbet tomorrow night. Bye for now.

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13 August 2012 10:57:00 Categories: Maelstrom

Maelstrom Scotland Trip 2012 (part 4) 

Tuesday Heading out from Oban today probably in the direction of Loch Aline no wind forecast so probably a motor but only 12 miles so shouldn't be long. Having breakfast when we get there so more tide entering the Loch. Well lucky for us the forecast was wrong. Had a cracking sail all the way. 14-19knts on the beam for most of it. Bit variable in the sound of Mull where it went from off the port beam to off the starboard beam as we got past Glas Eileanan rocks. Helpfully tho as we could then harden up and sail right up to the pontoons. Now berthed and Rob doing breakfast at 1352pm. Some debate now on what is the appropriate beverage to accompany a full Scottish breakfast at this time of day. Sure we will all be agreed on something. Ok decision was a nice bottle of German beer. Off for a wander to the local village in a bit to have a nose around. Just waiting for Chris to finish his post breakfast nap, well it is 3pm. Chris and Doug just been for swim, darn I was asleep and they forgot to wake me. Water was refreshing apparently. (actually it was bloody freezing), after that we turned the boat to windward and later headed of to the pub for a couple of pints. After advice from a couple of local guys we tried to book a meal in the local pub, unfortunately they were fully booked so we had to go to the local restaurant. Food was excellent if a little pricey.

Wednesday Up late due to late retirement last night. Left Loch Aline about quarter to 2 with a reasonable 10-12knot south westerly breeze. Sailing down the sound of Mull until the wind went right round the other way so still sailing the same way but on opposite tack. Left the sound and wind died completely so fished for a bit then put engine on and headed for Dunstaffnage, arriving at 5pm. Ashore for pint but only coke for me as been a tad under the weather all day. Can't remember why!!! Heading up the Wide Mouthed Frog for dinner as it wasn't open last time Doug and James called in. Ben arrived at 9.45pm and joined us in the pub for a pint. Robs last night as heading back home tomorrow for work on Friday. Our plan is to start heading south via the Crinan canal weather and tides permitting. Bedtime now.

Thursday Had breakfast at Frog and Rob took Ben and I to do provisioning at local shop. Headed out of Dunstaffnage at 1130am bound for Crinan. Nice South Westerly wind so full main and number 1 up for a cracking sail. Took us just past the sound of Mull before wind died and put engine on. Got to the end of Kerrara and wind picked up again so Jenny back up and sailing. Making good speed towards the sound of Luing when things went wrong and hit a submerged rock just off Insh island. Stuck for half hour when finally got free. Taking a bit of water so dropped jenny to check bilges etc. A local dive boat came over to assist after we were off, diver went down and said no holes visible but some damage to bottom of keel. Offered them some cash which they declined but did give us some scallops ( about 20 ) did get them to take 20 quid eventually.  Taking in a bit of water so rang Oban and headed in so they could lift us in cradle to check bottom. Looks like keel seal has cracked so need to ring around tomorrow. Nice crowd of onlookers waiting to see damage, news travels fast here too. Had a nice meal at marina and the chef even cooked our scallops for us. Back at boat for cards and whisky now. Need it too.

Friday Sorting boat and trip home. Very deflated now cos trip is over and Maelstrom is damaged. Priced up trains and one way car hire so heading to Glasgow on the 0811 train to pick up car and drive home. Will be nice to see missus again but disappointing too due to boat problem. Hope to be able to do return journey when boat is ready but for now this blog is over. I thank those that have read it and hope you have enjoyed my short insight into life away on Maelstrom.

To be Continued!!!!!!!!!!!!!

05 June 2012 22:46:00 Categories: Maelstrom

Maelstrom Scotland Trip 2012 (part 3) 

Saturday Another late ish start with a hearty breakfast prepared by Rob. Chris and I stripped the spinnaker winches re-greased and put back together. Getting boat sorted now for today's trip to Crinan. All showered and smelling lovely. Well, as lovely as week old pants and socks get. Lol. Looking forward to a nice sail if the forcast is correct. Easterly winds about 15knts should make for comfy and quick sailing. Ok forecast not quite correct winds  were north easterly anything from 18knts down to 6. So started off with full main and number 3 but were soon up to number 1 and full main. Wind died for last 2 hours so motored and arrived in Gallanach Bay Crinan at 2115. Dropped hook and set upon a glass of wine each. Rob cooked a chicken madras for tea followed by bananas, enjoyed while listening to some classical music. Oops and more wine. Solved the problem we have had with the chart plotter today as it wasn't showing as much detail as last years Scillies trip. Does help if you actually push the memory card into the slot Chris so the plotter can read it. Much better detail available now. Only took us 8 days to sort. Rob and I were Sequence champs last night with a stunning 3-1 victory over the grumpy old men. Late now time for bed.

Sunday Woke up this morning to a gentle breeze and the sun blazing in through the boat windows. Out in the cockpit now drinking tea courtesy of the skipper. Cheers mate. Stunning little bay with 2 other boats anchored nearby. Was 3 when we arrived so 1 left this morning. Listening to a cuckoo not far away, obviously enjoying the morning sun too. Heading off about 2 ish to catch the tide thro Dorus Mhor and down the Sound of Luing to Oban. Good tide with us and only 20 miles so shouldn't take too long. Not feeling too good this morning must have been the chicken madras, couldn't have possibly been the whisky. Ah well as the youngster of the crew I will obviously make these mistakes now and then. Hopefully the old fellas will look after me. Left Gallanach Bay at 2 with little or no wind so motored all the way to Oban where we tied up in the marina at 6-15pm. Quick shower and off on the courtesy ferry to Oban for something to eat. For those that don't know Oban marina is actually on Kerrera island opposite Oban town so a small courtesy ferry is available to get you back and fore. Having satisfied our hunger we caught the ferry back to the marina and had a quick pint at the marina bar. Not a good plan to miss the last ferry it's a long swim. Too many midges about so back on boat for some more non competitive cards and dice. Doug was untouchable at dice tonight winning 3 out of the 4 games. I took the only other win. Well time to top up on much needed beauty sleep.

Monday Lazy day today. Showered, cup of tea ( coffee for Rob ) and over to Oban for breakfast. Very nice too. Bit of a wander about and booked in for the half past 1 distillery tour. Half an hour early for that so popped around the corner for a swift pint. Tour was a fine way to while away an hour and a half and of course the obligatory wee dram at the end always helps. I may have come on this trip as a very rare whisky drinker but I will be able to give distilling  lectures by the time we get home. Very warm again today so decided to have another pint before heading to Tesco to replenish boat supplies. Unfortunately everyone else must have had the same idea as us for evening meal because Tesco had sold out of salad and fruit. Aw well Paella instead. Got some prawns, mussels, chicken and rice. Robs own cobbled together version. Back on board now, had nibbles and wine then sorted the sink tap, which has not been pumping. Water flowing now and chilling writing this while Chris does the DJ job. Think he is looking for Scottish music. Planning to sail off for a day tomorrow and probably back here to meet Ben who is coming up to swap over with Rob. Very good paella, Italian wine and French bread. Very European. Doug and Chris won Sequence again, sure one of them has played before. Time for bed.

29 May 2012 00:00:00 Categories: Maelstrom

Maelstrom Scotland Trip 2012 (part 2) 

Wednesday Foggy morning today. Still, spirits lifted by Rob's full Scottish breakfast. Egg, black pudding, Lorne sausage, toast and instead of beans we had some tinned chilli tomatoes. (maybe Chris should take his glasses shopping with him) . Started with a bowl of tinned grapefruit. Departed Port Patrick a tad later than planned due to the yacht rafted to us. Got away at 11-15am hoping to have favourable tide all the way. Wind was South East so popped kite just outside harbour and carried it for 5 hours. Strange phenomenon where you see no other boats and then in comes the fog and suddenly engines and fog horns are all around you. Cracking sail tho. Nebraska, the boat that was moored in front of us reported 2 kayaks in the water (near him well off shore in thick fog) to Belfast coast guard to which they replied they knew. Apparently on passage from Port Patrick to Larne. Rather them than me. Another boat asked for radio check to be told they were Weak and Barely Readable. Reminded me of a Barbara Cartland novel !!!!!. Arrived at Rathlin Island Northern Ireland at 1900hrs. Lovely little place and cheap £14 for berthing, showers, electric and water. Can see why James likes it. Went ashore for the obligatory pint. Can recommend McCuaig's bar only £11.20 for 3 Guinness’s and a pint of lager. Cheaper than in the club. On boat now cooking evening meal at 2146. Eating late tonight. Just having a night cap then off to bed. Sleep well.

Thursday Up a bit later today and showered. Did some sorting of the boat including washing starling mess from Port Patrick, filling water tank and fuelling . Went out for breakfast and had an Ulster fry. Visited Rathlin museum to discover that Robert the Bruce hid there before his big battle. Lots of Eider ducks around the harbour and saw a seal pop in for a while. Left Rathlin at 1230am and headed off round the west end of the island. Put main up and killed engine so Chris and I could do a spot of fishing. Caught 4 mackerel so that was lunch sorted. Engine back on as forecast was for very little wind and headed for Islay some 25 miles away. Very pleasant day. Even managed a short bit of shirt off sunbathing. Fried mackerel and bread washed down with a Grolsh on a boat in a calm see. Does life get any better ( apart from being with my missus ). Saw a small pod of porpoise on our way, no dolphins yet tho. Arrived safely in Islay at 1700hrs. Lovely little marina. Very hot when we arrived to the point of tar bubbling on th road on our way to check out the local refreshment establishment. Lovely and cool in there. Called into Co-op to replenish red wine. Nearly bought a bunch of flowers for the table but considered the kitty may be better spent on a bottle of Whyte and Mackay. Was a close vote 4-0. Back on boat now for round 3 of Jennie's chilli, tonight will see it all gone. Was lovely chilli but there is only 4 of us. Even with Chris ( the gannet ) here. Tinned herring in sauce with baked bread to start. Me thinks we are spoilt by our chef and can only hope his replacement measures up. See ya soon Ben. Time for our little nightcap the off to sleep.

Friday Late start. I went for wander to try and locate showers etc but failed miserably. Chris found them 50 metres away in a B&B. Showers and toilet, just leave £3 in the honesty box on the floor for the shower. Rob doing breakfast now of kippers and poached egg. Mind you at 11.45am it is nearer lunch time. Staying here tonight and probably heading further north tomorrow. Cracking breakfast and headed off to Laphroaig distillery for the 2.15pm tour. Decided to walk as it was such a lovely day. Cost £4.80 to take the distillery tour but you get a free dram and keep the glass it comes in. Just have to make sure we don't break them for the rest of the trip. Had a couple of pints in the Ardview Inn having got a taxi back from distillery ( walk was further than we thought ). Called into Coop to replenish some food supplies. Back on boat now having eaten a fine meal of Scotch pies, tinned spuds, peas and gravy. Washing up next. Thinking of heading to Crinan tomorrow, weather permitting. Damn arduous this sailing lark. Nightcap time whilst playing dice and best of 3 at Sequence ( a card based board game played in pairs ) which Doug and Chris won 2-1. Just goes to show that age and experience wins over youth and good looks. Sleep time now. Bye.

Paul

25 May 2012 00:00:00 Categories: Maelstrom

Maelstrom Scotland trip 2012 Friday May 2012 

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Departed Hobbs point at 1800 after having a quick pint with friends and family. Heavy drizzle meant the forecast wind didn't materialise so we motor sailed away. Our favourite Chef Rob heated up peppered slices for tea with a nice hot cuppa.

Made good time thro the islands and got to Bishop around 9pm. Had a blocked engine fuel filter at 0300hrs which Doug spent more time than I could have handled in an engine bay smelling of diesel. Filter changed successfully Cheers Skip.  Continued to motor sail thro the night due to north easterly wind till Rob decided to put the number 4 up at 9am. Good winds up to 21 knots meant we were hard on the wind but happily holding 7 knots. Wind died at 5 so dropped number 4 and motor sailed again to maintain speed for the lock in at Peel. Just made lock in and arrived safely at 0030hours. Having a little nightcap now and then some well earned kip. Chris been a little poorly so hopefully a night in the calm and his bed will see him right. Time 0155hrs. Bugger me it's now 0345 and nearly daybreak so time for bed. Night cap indeed. Sleep well I hope.

Sunday Woke up to Chris putting kettle on and wanting food. He must be feeling better. Had a cracking breakfast courtesy of Rob. Took a stroll to yacht club to find they were having their annual regatta. Lovely showers and quite friendly folk. Looking fresh and to be honest  smelling better we had a wander around town and sampled some Davidson award winning ice cream. Late afternoon saw a very civilised couple of hours listening to Neil Diamond and Susan Boyle whilst sipping wine accompanied by crab claws. The sun was up and the mood was mellow.

Evening crept up as fast as the wine bottle emptied so we went to find our evening

meal. The pub Doug and I visited 2 years ago with Sian's sister Linda was full so ended up in the Sunset Bistro. Starter of Queenies and Panchetta was lovely but mains were a tad disappointing. Shame really. Back to our initial choice of pub for a couple of pints before heading back to Maelstrom. Sitting here with a whisky and Welsh Cakes. Cheers Jennie M. Nearly midnight and writing this in my bag. Plan is to head to Port Patrick tomorrow, wind and tide permitting.  Off to sleep soon.

Monday - Woke at 8am and started sorting to leave. Doug and I took a stroll up the farm machinery dealer to try and get a fuel filter. No joy. Another good breakfast, cup of tea and off to the shower. Rang Beta UK to see if they had a dealer on the Island. Eventually someone called John rang us back with a number for Ian. Called Ian on his mobile and he said would drop 2 filters over to us this afternoon. Meant we would miss the lock out but would be happier with spare filters on board. So went for a look round the Mannanan museum. Display of early Manx life. Also 100 years of mountain course exhibition. Worth a trip. Ian turned up with filters so should get away tomorrow. Star man.  Back on boat now having some wine and nibbles in the sunny cockpit. Read books for a while then had a little nap. Last of Jennie's chilli for tea with rice and wine. Yummy. Just chilling now before washing up. Nearly midnight again and a bit chillier tonight. Rob investigating a noisy halyard. Cheers mate wouldn't want that keeping us awake. Off to bed in a bit.

Tuesday Leaving Peel today for the metropolis of Port Patrick. Forecast south easterly 3.Looking good for a sail. Ok, sail started off good with boat speed up to 7.5 knots. Only needed to average 5.5 to make Port Patrick. Pilot book advises not to approach within 2 hours of low water so had to get there by half 6. No problem then except the incoming mist/fog and wind dying to 5 knots. On with the engine then and Genoa stowed on deck. Towed a spinner all the way hoping for a bit of fresh mackerel but to no avail. Thankfully we had the forethought to buy some Manx kippers in Peel. Yummy. Kippers and brown bread for lunch, a cold beer and sun. Does life get any better? Arrived safely and slightly sunburnt at Port Patrick around 5.15pm. Lots of birds nesting in holes around the harbour walls, especially starlings. Decided I should pop up mast to rig courtesy flag halyard after we had sorted a fender for the ladder we had tied alongside. This resulted in Rob opening the cockpit locker and knocking over his own pint of beer into the gas locker. Bless him. Came down from the mast to find a bird had deposited a  little hello package on the skippers cockpit seat. Went ashore to refill water containers and dump rubbish, locate loos etc. Popped to the Crown Inn for a pint and meal. Delicious food. We all had Cullen Skink to start followed mainly by fish except Rob who had Pheasant. Back on boat now for a little nightcap. Lots of bats buzzing about in the harbour. Plan tomorrow is to head to Rathlin Island at the top of Northern Ireland, a distance of about 45 miles. Off to my sack soon after topping up on scotch.

Paul Moseley

24 May 2012 22:42:00 Categories: Maelstrom
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