Dublin to Oban. Cruising the Hebrides

After studying the weather in Dublin, we decided that what we really should do was make a dash up the Irish Sea and around the Mull of Kintyre before the wind settled itself in the North West.

31 hours later after a brisk and bumpy sail in SW 5-7 perhaps 8 we anchored in Craighouse in Jura. The North west wind came as promised giving us a lovely beam reach along the coast to Port Ellen. This week was Islay festival week and by huge co-incidence it was Laphroaigs open day. We spent the morning ashore and returned to the boat ready to catch the evening tide through the Sound of Islay

The tide sluiced us through at a max speed of 10 knots and we anchored late at night in West Loch Tarbert. Next day it was off to the sound of Mull and a peaceful anchorage in Loch Aline before ending the week in Dunstaffnage. 288 miles later time to settle down to a game and a whiskey! Pity its a bit blurred. The game is Carcassonne and Jen (on the left) won.

Plymouth to Dublin via Waterford in South East winds

Waterford City marina – a great berth right in the centre of the city.

Our whole programme this summer has been written around each trip having more time and thus giving us the opportunity to visit new places. The unusual south east wind last week gave us a great start as instead of visiting Port Pendennis Marina – our usual stop we anchored in St Mawes instead.

Ideally located for a 5 am start we headed off early with the tide and managed to carry fair tide right around Lands End until 2pm. Just a short close reach left and a couple of tacks at the end until we were anchored in St Ives.

Wind still south easterly ,St Ives proved a great starting point for the trip the next day to Waterford. We arrived at Dunmore East at the entrance to the river Suir a mere 24 hours later just as the tide began to flood. 3 hours later we were tied up right in the centre of the city. I have always thought of Waterford and Crystal in the same sentence and not much else so was amazed to discover more about its history. Ireland’s oldest city founded by the Vikings in 914..

Then for the last leg of our journey – Waterford to Dunlaoghaire – 120nm with the wind on the nose. Great progress when the tide was in our favour, but slow progress when the tide was against – we just managed to not go backwards as it was Springs!!

We’ve now had a few days changeover time ready to head off tomorrow. In the past Dunlaoghaire has only been a pit stop but this time we also managed an afternoon out in Howth for the Dublin Bay prawn festival and an afternoon in Dublin enjoying the sights from a green hop on hop off bus

Where to next?

We can hardly believe that we are starting our 13th summer. We have so many special memories of the places we have visited and the many people we have sailed with.
Our whole programme this summer has been written around each trip having more time and thus giving us the opportunity to visit new places.

The Dublin to Oban trip starts today, with a few new islands on the itinerary and then on to the Caledonian Canal which is totally new for both Richard and Lin. Once in Norway Sognefjord will be the highlight of our summer before heading back through the Hebrides. Spaces are still available – take a look at our Schedule.

What about next summer?

Until we are certain of the outcome of Brexit we will not be publishing a programme for 2020.  We have lots of ideas in the mix, but to avoid letting people down we have to be certain we can do it. Whether it is deal or no deal will have an impact on how much time we are allowed to spend in Europe and therefore which trips we can run

Instead of dashing all the way up to Norway we would like to spend March and April in Portugal, explore the Spanish Rias in June, sail across the Bay of Biscay to Ireland in July and explore the west coast of Scotland in August. The Scillies will also be calling to us as we pass them on our way back south to Plymouth at the beginning of September.

Until then, we just have to be patient. Hope to see you on board.