I had started this Blog as “Goodbye, Milford Haven” but after our enforced detour to Arklow – see last Blog ‘Oops! Missed’ – I am forced to begin…
Goodbye Arklow and Hello Howth.
Arklow (sounds like a Yorkshire corner store) was an unexpected but not unpleasant detour. As this was my first time in Ireland, Arklow had become my port of entry and so the Republic of Ireland can go into my list of countries visited.
The day’s sail from Arklow was very enjoyable. Winds of between 16 and 22kts and on a broad reach saw us cover the 40 odd miles to Howth in around 7 hours. Little to report in the way of any major incidences. An accidental gybe whilst trying to steer around a car ferry was about it. The learning part came as we each had to make our ‘fixes’ (i.e. calculate where we were) without using the GPS system. Instead, we had a chart and a hand-held compass and had to triangulate our position using the bearings of buildings/headlands/towers/arial masts/mountains that we could see on shore. A good few lessons learnt. Not least of which was that, taking bearings when on solid ground in a field in Hampshire (with Moyna and Mabel, of course) is most definitely not the same as trying to do it in a pitching, yawing boat in the Irish Sea. But we did. And we knew, after a few tries with the hand-held, that we were, honestly, somewhere in either St Georges or the Irish Sea – we knew that Ireland was on our left and Wales on our right. What more detail do you need, huh?
Neil had been appointed 1st Mate for the journey from Milford Haven to Howth and therefore had to do all the Passage Planning, a core RYA skill and one that we will all have to complete, several times, before the end of RBE2014. My turn comes next and I will be planning the timing and route to the Isle of Man. Given that biking as also a recent, and new, hobby what better place to visit?
That planning will get my full attention tomorrow and, therefore, tomorrow’s blog may simply contain the words “Planning not travelling. Do Not Disturb” and little else.
Meanwhile, today, as soon as we had moored in Howth YC Marina (a lovely spot) we decided, unanimously, that we were going “Out Out” for a Guinness or three. We did, although we left our indoor slippers at home.
Day 18 April 23rd