Thursday, 13 May 2010

Douglas back to Piel Island

This morning we were up at 0630 and had some breakfast. We had to get up this early to make the most of the tide. The boat then departed from Douglas in the Isle of Man at 0710. Last night we had to spend the night attached to an Isle of Man Fisheries boat, to save us getting up every hour to adjust the mooring lines. During the day we sailed for 10 hours and had hot dogs for lunch. We had some fantastic sailing today, getting the boat up to 8 knots, with blue skies. Some of us needed a snooze on the poop deck due to the early start. We arrived at Piel Island (52 nautical miles later) at 1730 for tea; we had fish and chips, then pancakes for pudding. We were then treated to Camerons “Award Ceremony”, I won best driver and best drink maker! As the award ceremony dragged on, some of us went fishing off the boat. We are finishing the night with a game of cards. The boat is running out of milk so I can’t make my award winning hot chocolate.

Scotland to Isle of Man

A quick follow on from last night's blog to start with, the helicopter firing practice carried on until 2.00am, not that it kept anyone awake, but before we headed to our beds we were treated to an impressive display of tracer bullet fire with the bullets ricocheting off the distant headland back into the air.
We were awoken following a very quiet night at anchor by Ian and after a quick breakfast soon had the anchor up and were under way. The wind looked promising so the sails were soon set and we were underway. It looked like the day was going to be a long downwind sail to the Isle of Man and as the sails seemed to be a little underpowered for the prevailing conditions the decision was made to change our Yankee (the small headsail) for the twin Genoas (much larger headsails). This involved close to an hour of dragging sails about on the foredeck which included flaking the Yankee so that it fitted back into the sail locker in the forepeak and also dragging the two big headsails out of the same locker and laying them out on the deck before slowly feeding them into the grooves in the furling system on the forestay, no mean feat in the waves and wind that we had at the time. All the sail changing finished we were off again and heading straight for the Isle of Man, leaping along at close to 8kn boat speed for a couple of hours before the wind abruptly ceased and we were back to using the ever reliable engine.
Lunch of Jacket spuds and cheesy beans was taken on deck and enjoyed by all and shortly afterwards we sighted the Isle of Man in the distance ahead.
Off the Point of Ayre we motored through a very wavy tide rip which was very exciting and felt like a theme park ride, some even suggested that we could perhaps turn around and go through it again. Once through that we entered the more calm waters of the East side of the Isle of Man and motored in the flat calm weather past Ramsey Bay then Laxey Bay, spotting some Manx Shearwaters as we went, and then on to Douglas Bay where we moored up next to a fisheries protection vessel which some of us had a look around.
As we had our tea we watched the ferry Ben My Cree come in and then soon after leave again, we also unsuccessfully had a go at crabbing before going for a brisk stride along the promenade. As we arrived back a second Sea Cat arrived into Douglas, this one called Snaefell, which also left soon after arriving.
Tomorrow we head back to Peil Island and are promised an early start of about 7.00am to make the crossing back to England.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Sailing to Scotland

After an eventful night in Whitehaven, with Paul sleep talking, we woke up ready for another day at sea.

We spent the morning at our berth alongside the Sugar Quay, where the sugar used to be brought into Whitehaven. Just next to this is the lime berth. We cleaned Tenacity throughout making her shipshape! We also made ourselves clean and tidy with a visit to the lovely facilities.

We sailed from port, after filling our water tanks, and saying hello to former headmaster Mr. Wright and his wife. Five hours of a mixture of sailing and motoring followed, on our course to Little Ross near Kirkcudbright. The last hour of our passage was made a little more exciting as we passed near to a firing range being used by the Army. We were asked to steer a certain course so the helicopters could keep their exercise going. We watched and heard the helicopters firing at targets on the land just across the bay from where we have anchored for the night.

After tea we got the dinghy down, complete with its four stroke engine, and used it to get to Little Ross Island. On the way we spoke to the firing range control boat who had directed us today. On the island we thought we were in a Famous Five book and all saw numerous smugglers, bandits and ship wrecks!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Rum Sail

We set off from our windy anchorage at Peil Island at around 10.30 this morning and at around 11.00 we got the sails up and the motor off, to start with we got around 3.3 knots which was ok, but at 1.00 we had to use the motor as the wind dropped but suddenly the wind changed and we managed to squeeze 6 knots out of the sails and stayed at that for half an hour. Gradually the wind came more northerly and so we had to start tacking up the coast. Although the boat was going quite fast we weren’t making much headway to Whitehaven as the tide was against us. As the tide eased we started to make better headway towards St Bees Head until after our evening meal of turkey curry the wind finally gave up. So after a good 3 hours of tacking we turned to the motor to get us to Whitehaven at around 9.30. Overall we had a great time looking at the Isle of Man (could be heading there later) and the West Cumbrian coastline.

How was your day???

Chris and Joe

Current Year 8 Route

Late Night Dash to Peil

We are moored up safe and sound at Peil Island near Barrow.  We escaped from Glasson on the tide and due to a rather small tide only just made it out of the sea lock.  We motored up to Peil in the dark using all of the green and red bouys to show our way, the wind was nice and low and the sea only slightly wavy, all students fared very well and are now tucked up in their berths.  Sorry no pictures today, it was a touch dark although there was a nice sunset that we failed to capture on camera.  More from us on Tenacity tomorrow.