Our main season cruise around the Irish Sea
17th July to 12th August 2009
Our main cruise this year on Dream Weaver was around the Irish Sea and covered 462 miles.
Our route took us from Carrick Castle to Lamlash, Isle of Arran; Carrickfergus and Ardglass, Northern Ireland; Holyhead, Wales; Douglas, Isle of Man; Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland; Sanda Island, Campbeltown, Portavadie & Rothesay, Scotland before returning back to Carrick Castle.
Crew: Douglas Locke and Liz Evans
Diary and Log Book extracts for 2009 cruise.
There are many photographs of the cruise,
see the Gallery (2009 - A and 2009 - B) : -
11.05 Departed mooring Carrick Castle
16.50 Arrived visitor's mooring buoy Lamlash, Isle of Arran - MWF 4
09.50 Departed Lamlash
18.20 Arrived Carrickfergus Marina, Northern Ireland - Good sail MWF 5
19th - 21st July
Unfavourable southerly, strong winds F 5 - 7 delayed our departure south, so we enjoyed our stay in Carrickfergus, going to the cinema to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, listening to the local Brass band giving a special performance by the castle and then a day visit by train to Belfast - a great city.
05.00 Departed Carrickfergus
11.10 Arrived Ardglass Marina, Northern Ireland after a pretty rough crossing. MWF 3 however swell increased 3 - 4 metres the further south we went.
It had been our intention to next go to Malahide en route to the Isles of Scilly, however with continuing southerly winds and strong ones forecast for days ahead we decided to alter course for Anglesey, Wales
06.55 Departed Ardglass
17.50 Arrived Holyhead Marina - MWF 6 with 3 metre swell - very rough crossing...
Holyhead Marina from Holyhead Mountain
24th - 29th July
We decided to have a holiday in Holyhead as we had arrived to the start of the Maritime Festival there and the weather forecasts were not good. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. It started with an ABBA tribute group and hypnotist performance as well, on the second evening, then two weekend days of maritime festivities. Many other yachts were also stuck in Holyhead because of the strong southerly winds. We met up with Tod and Anne Davies who were trying to sail home, so we hired a car for three days and did some sightseeing, the middle day with them. We visited the Almwch copper mines on Anglesey, climbed Holyhead Mountain, visited Beaumaris Castle and the two Menai Straits bridges and the railway station with the longest name; then we went to Caernarfon Castle and Portmeirion in North Wales and finally to Conwy Castle, the Elizabethan House - Plas Mawr in Conway and the Great Orme copper mine. A good stop over!
The longest railway station name...
11.30 Departed Holyhead
18.45 Arrived Douglas, Isle of Man visitor's pontoon - MWF 5
19.00 Departed pontoon for marina bridge lift at 19.15
19.15 Arrived Douglas Marina
31st July - 5th August
We decided to extend our stay in the Isle of Man, again because of strong wind warnings. Low after low had been coming in to the west of Ireland and causing these unseasonal strong winds. This was our third visit to the Isle of Man, however we had never hired a car there before, so this time we did for two days to visit the more inaccessible places such as remote bays and the Point of Ayre. As it turned out there was another festival on in Peel, so we enjoyed our stay there and listened to a fantastic local steel band. We had a long walk from the Point of Ayre visitor's centre to the Point of Ayre and back. You would think they would be close together but not at all! We also visited the Cregneash Folk Village and the Laxey Wheel and lead mine in pouring rain and got very wet! That was really only our third day of rain in the time we had been away. The King and I Musical was on in Douglas so we also went to the theatre and enjoyed that too...
Liz and Douglas enjoying their holiday!
12.35 Departed Douglas Marina with a bridge lift at 12.45
14.00 Finally obtained a rafted up berth on the visitor's pontoon in Douglas after holding off for more than an hour waiting for a boat to go. That evening we had to move five times. We started with being rafted up on the outside, then ended up on the inside with four other yachts on us and eventually gone 11 pm we were in the middle of three yachts, the outer one leaving the same time as us in the morning...
07.40 Departed Douglas pontoon
19.50 Arrived Carrickfergus Marina - MWF 4 - a good crossing and sail.
Rest day in Carrickfergus. We also went to the cinema again and saw The Proposal.
12.10 Departed Carrickfergus
18.15 Anchored at Sanda Island - MWF 4 - We arrived for the Sanda Music Festival Weekend and so whilst eating in the Tavern listened to the Bowling Harbour Band who were very good. In the morning we walked part of the island whilst waiting for the tide.
12.15 Weighed anchor Sanda and departed in thick fog with visability of 200 metres using radar, chart plotter, fog horn and two of us on watch with one on the bow!
14.25 Arrived Campbeltown pontoon - MWF 1 - Arrived to hot sunshine in Campbeltown!
09.20 Departed Campbeltown pontoon
14.30 Arrived Portavadie Marina - MWF 3 - Brilliant sunny weather and very warm... We had an excellent dinner in the new marina restaurant.
09.25 Departed Portavadie Marina
13.45 Arrived Rothesay Marina - MWF 3 - We had a very leisurely sail up the West Kyle and then had to motor down the East Kyle. Met up with friends and had dinner at the Indian restaurant on the front.
13.15 Departed Rothesay Marina
16.30 Arrived Carrick Castle mooring - MWF 5
Summary - It had always been our intension to sail down to the Isles of Scilly on this holiday, however the wind direction and strong force of the wind made us abandon the original plan and head over to Wales. We were not sorry to have done this as we enjoyed our long stays in both Holyhead and Douglas. Sailing is so dependant on the weather and often one has to change course for peace of mind and one's pleasure. We crossed the Irish Sea four times... We were away for almost four weeks and it went very quickly. A good holiday and now we are planning next year's voyage, perhaps north to Orkney and Shetland?