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The East coast - down the Irish Sea

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Fairwinds Round Ireland - Balvicar to Craighouse (Jura)

Monday 28th June Balvicar Loch Melfort

Departed Balvicar at 14:45 and beat down to Degnish Point in a Southerly F5 - pouring rain as soon as we got out into the Sound, but as we rounded Degnish Point the rain eased and we had a pleasant run up Loch Melfort with the wind on the beam f.3-4

Fairwinds on her mooring at Balvicar

Picked up a mooring at Melfort Pier and went ashore to meet Ros, an old friend we hadn't seen for 30 years, who has a timeshare in Melfort Village. Other old friends Jack and Cath Gillespie were also there, and a good time was had by all to excess by some, - we didn't get to bed until half past five. Slept onshore in the apartment.

Tuesday 29th June Loch Melfort Craighouse (Jura)

Slipped the mooring at Melfort at 12:20 and had a pleasant sail down to the mouth of the loch then the beating began! Across the flood running from the Corryvreckan to the Dorus Mor then from side to side down the Sound of Jura, often in rain and poor visibility. Wind initially S. F4 then rising to 5 by mid afternoon two reefs in, but hanging on to the full genoa to make decent windward progress. Later the wind dropped for a while and we put the engine on and tried out the 'new' autohelm which worked fine. Wind came back SSE 3-4 after half an hour.

By eight o'clock we had lost the fair tide and Gigha was still directly to windward with the GPS predicting a midnight arrival so we hung a right and reached over to Craighouse, enjoying a wild reach across until the wind dropped and we bobbed around wildly in big lumpy seas a mile from the entrance to Craighouse. Motored in.

Just as we wentered Loch na Cille the crew noticed that the anchor was no longer in its normal place on the pulpit but was trailing in the water . . . exactly when this happened was not known. It was trailing on 5-6m of chain, and did not appear to have been knocking holes in the hull. We retrieved it ready for use, as all the moorings were taken. (Boats on the way N. for W. Highland Week, I suspect).

Anchored off the pier in 3m at 10 o'clock, ate and retired exhausted. Severe swell set in as it so often does in Craighouse, and we were unable to sleep for about three hours until it died away somewhat and we eventually dropped off.

Leaving Scotland Glenarm Bangor Ardglass Howth Kilmore Quay