As the annual Dun-Loaghaire trip got downgraded to a jolly to Holyhead, Mick, Deano (Rocknrolla) & I decided to go it alone. So last Friday night, we made the trip down to Ty-Calch in the Friday night Manchester traffic
Deano had to cancel at the last minute due to family matters, so then there were 2. We had been watching the weather for the previous week & it looked "Ok'ish" for the Saturday & improving for Sunday, with a blow passing through on Saturday night. The forecast for Saturday am, was 3-4 sw, with significant wave height around 0.7m, yeah right
Saturday morning saw us knocking on Chris' door at 07.30, we were on the water & heading to Caernavon bar at 07.50. We negotiated the bar & reached the (non-existent) safe water mark, & off we went, straight into a 5-6 westerly. The crossing to D-L was "interesting" to say the least, not particularly big seas, but lots of it; the confused, short sharp, hard seas that are difficult to read & the boats never get into their groove. We were down to 13kn for about 20 miles. The sea started to ease at about 30nm out from Caernavon & we upped the speed to around 20kn. We didn't make the traditional cake & coffee stop at the mid point due to the conditions
We eventually made it into Dublin bay, some 4.5 hours after departing. After negotiating the yacht regatta we were safely in D-L Marina, where the staff couldn't have been more helpful. We refuelled, I used 63l for a 70nm crossing in difficult conditions, which I can't complain about. Unleaded was 1.60euro/l which is around £1.20/l, so no complaints there either. The marina staff ordered us a taxi (25 euros from D-L to the city centre) to take us to the Jury's Inn in the centre of Dublin. All the hotels in D-L & Howth were fully booked due to the regatta, so we decided to go for the touristy bit & stay in the city centre. We were checked in, showered & hit the streets for 3pm. A quick call into the "Winding Stair" restaurant by the Liffey had us a table booked for 6pm, so just time to nip down Temple Bar to sample the best that Dublin had to offer. We had a very good meal at the Winding Stair (Highly recommended) & by 8pm were dead on our feet, we wandered the streets & stuck it out until 10pm & had to admit defeat, we were knackered.
Sunday morning saw us back in the marina after a full Irish, & we were on our way by 11. What a difference a day makes!!!, we cleared Kish Bank & it was flat seas all the way. We averaged 25kn
all the way back, hitting 30kn in places. Mid way we had a coffee & cake stop, we could see both Ireland & Holyhead from the mid-way point, wall to wall sun & blue skies. A couple of dolphin'ish type creatures were briefly glimpsed as we sped by.
We were back at Ty-Calch by 14.45 & thanks to Chris' usual efficiency were on the road by 15.30, good time had by all.
Thanks to Mick & Hannah for their good company & many thanks to Chris at Ty-Calch for looking after the cars & trailers for us overnight.