Passage planning - working out sailing routes that will avoid horrible wind or sea conditions and will allow us to arrive at sensible times - is a vital part of the navigator's life. We'd sheltered in Falmouth for a few days as strong winds and heavy rain rolled over us but were desperate to head towards Scotland. An ominous forecast for a few days ahead concentrated our minds:
This was for Thursday but ahead of it was the slimmest of weather windows to complete a substantial 2-day passage around Land's End and up to the Solway Firth
So we left Falmouth on Monday evening, just as it was getting dark, to head west. The conditions turned out to be pretty perfect (too little wind at times, if we have to be picky) but we had a brilliant passage up to the little port of Kirkcudbright (pronounced Kircoobree) which is only a few miles from Graham's parents' home.
Again we sailed in company with Bravo all the way:
|Sailing north past Holyhead in Anglesey|
We had dolphin playing in the bow waves of both boats for hours as we headed toward the Isle of Man
|Motor-sailing in the evening light|
|Hard to believe that there'd be a Force 8-9 gale in less than 18 hours!|
We arrived ahead of schedule so anchored off the entrance of the River Dee before motoring up to the harbour at first light on the rising tide. In spite of the early hour, Graham's folks, Helen & Geoff, were waiting for us on the pontoon, camera in hand.
Sure enough, the gale rolled in later that day, accompanied by huge amounts of rain but it has now settled down and dried out so we flew the drone this morning:
|Just enough space for Maunie and Bravo on the pontoon|
It's been lovely to catch up with family after the Covid-enforced absence and, weather permitting, Geoff will join us for the next passage - around the Mull of Galloway and up to Troon. It's going to be windy again, naturally!
Click HERE for a short video of the highlights of the trip