Antipole cruises

Ireland

We had a good 81nm passage from Milford Haven to Ireland. It was a 05:00am start. After tacking between Skokholm & Skomar islands to avoid the Wild Goose Race, our course was NE and with a W or SW wind force 4-5 occasionally 6. We had a fast passage often at 8-9k through the water. But the spring tide of up to 4k was against us for six hours so it took 15 hours to reach Arklow. It was good to have Dan as an extra hand to take spells at the helm.

In Arklow, we met Mike & Kay who, we learnt, had followed us later from Milford Haven in their Ovni 385 Luciole. It was interesting to visit each others’ boats and compare notes.

Dan was paid off in Arklow to do battle with post-Brexit travel woes. His ferry from Rosslare was cancelled after he had booked two days running. Freight now goes directly from Ireland to France to avoid the complexity of taking it through the post-Brexit UK. It seems that if there is insufficient freight to make the crossing to Pembroke Dock viable, the ferry is cancelled.

We had an excellent and easy sail from Arklow with a nice southerly wind of F4. For some of it we deployed the new stay sail as an additional foresail and then for three hours the spinnaker gave us a welcome lift.

We docked in the vast marina in Dún Laoghaire harbour, just outside Dublin.

Having re-entered the EU, we sought to make an official application for Returned Goods Relief by contacting Irish Customs. We were told by the marina staff not to bother trying. Apparently, many large and expensive yachts are tied up here and have been trying to achieve this for months, even engaging lawyers. Irish Customs are not interested. Maybe there is little will to help sort out what the UK has brought upon itself. There seems to be no EU formal process to undertake this. We will have to rely on the evidence of our marina receipts.

We enjoyed looking around Dún Laoghaire and restocked our supplies.

We visited McKennas bar, for our Guiness. Guiness in Ireland always tastes so much smoother and superior to that available elsewhere. We have heard it said that the export version is an inferior product – the best being kept for the home market.

Dan helming towards Arklow

We had a good sail north from Dún Laoghaire with the spinnaker helping for much of the passage. We made such good progress that we continued to Ardglass in Northern Ireland. Entry here in winds of SE F6 and above is not advised. We were a bit concerned at our wind of SE F5 but it eased at the last moment as we approached the harbour.

We read that much of southern England has had very warm weather. Not so in the north west. A large anticyclone is sitting in the Atlantic and will be bringing persistent northerly winds to our area for the foreseeable future – sometimes stronger than we like and sometimes too weak to sail in. This is just as we need to tackle the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland.

We have decided to take a break until the weather outlook improves, which may be some while. So today we used the last of the southerly winds to cross to Peel on the west coast of the Isle of Man, where we have tucked up in the marina. It rained for the whole passage but at least we have electricity to dry ourselves out and warm up again (in June 🙄).

Our track log is here as usual.

Ynskje & Tony xx

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