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.