It is not a relaxing sail

After having a few hours rest in the Isle of Man we continued on our journey to the Isle of Man. With the previous two days we have been motoring through fairly flat seas. Well the journey on was anything but gentle.

We left Port St. Mary at 23:00 for a night passage, with the journey taking place at the end of May, there was still some light at we left Port St. Mary. Certainly enough light to see any stray buoys that are close to the entrance there. When we are on a night passage Beverly and I take it in turns, but I was up on deck doing my stint at one of my favourite times of the day and that was the sun coming up. When the sun came up the sea state was a little bit bouncy but certainly nothing to worry about. However, as we continued on our journey, the winds direction turned to straight on our nose with a force 6 in addition to the sea building. We considered our options at that time and they were, go East taking the waves on our starboard side, we did give this direction a go but the final direction that was sailable was North East and with no ports of refuge in that direction, we decides to head South instead. With this direction to get a sailable wind we were going South West, but Anglesey is to the South and with pinching we could get to Anglesey. The final direction we could of gone was back to the Isle of Man and they would of been fine with that even with their current quarantine restrictions, but we decided to press on rather than go backwards.

Once we changed direction, we could moderate the waves and moderate the wind and we could sail, which was fantastic, but I couldn't relax, for the most part we were sailing with a lean of about 7° which is not much, but we would occasionally get hit and our lean would be a lot more that 7°. I think also we were pushing ourselves, there was bad weather coming and I wanted to be in Liverpool by that time so we needed to push ourselves to the limit and although I know I can do that you are on edge all the time which in itself can be quite wearing.

About 20 miles away from land we picked up a racing pigeon. She was absolutely exhausted. so we gave her a drink of water and left her under the spray hood to recover. Once we got close to land it was time to evict her but she had other ideas, which meant the solar panel, the boom, before returning to under the spray hood, so we left her there for a bit longer before evicting her at the very North East corner of Anglesey. From there it was down the Menai straights where if felt like a different world as the sea state was so calm and people were playing and just enjoying the weather, which was wonderful. We soon got to the free moorings in Menai, which are huge, but it was great to know that we could have a rest there. Beverley beat me to the rest, but after 17 hours on the go, it is understandable.

The next day we were up just after the crack of dawn and were once again on our way. In the Menai straights it was beautifully calm, but as we went up the straights it became a little bit more interesting which just meant that the sails went up and the engine off. Once again it was a heck of a sail, and we had hoped to come in via the rock channel, but unfortunatly the wind was coming from that direction so we decided to sail down the channel instead, because this is a longer journey, the tide was in our favour for about half of Queens channel before it started coming out, but we sailed that channel like pros. working as a team on the sheets and traveller. We also had commercial traffic as well so there was a lot to keep us busy. At some point we had to put the engine on because we were fighting the tide but our fuel supply was very low so we were using the wind as much as we could, the engine to help us as well, but by the time we got to the moorings at tower cardinal we were tired out.

The mooring at Tower Cardinal are not the best and need to be serviced, because what we brought up on deck was a fine collection of muscles, certainly enough to have a small meal if we were in to that sort of thing. On top of that there are lots of boats that go past you with no consideration of their wake, in fact we were nearly thrown out of our bunk as one particular boat wake went past us at 4:00 in the morning.

As the fuel was so low, we decided to go off and get just 10 litres of fuel so I went off and organised a taxi to get the fuel while Beverley looked after the dinghy and drew pictures in the sand. Getting Salty Sausage back up on deck was a bit of a challenge too, but it was much easier on the leeward side. When it was time to go we went down the Mersey and into Liverpool Marina, where we stripped Salty Lass of her sails so that we could go straight to Bluepoints yard.

We have had a gruelling time getting to Liverpool and it looks like we will have a gruelling time as we go on the hard

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