Monday, 3 June 2013

We finally leave Wales for Scotland, via the Isle of Man, on Friday 1 June.  It's about 36 hours to our destination, Largs, in the Firth of Clyde. Largs boasts the largest marina in Scotland which in itself is reason enough to give it a wide berth; but it's convienient for Glasgow Airport and our new crew - Rose.  Also Ian has friends in Largs where he plans to have a night recovering and telling salty tales before heading back to Wales.

Not much wind as we motor out of Holyhead and past the Skerries lighthouse - what wind there was, is of course.....a northerly.

Towards late afternoon and into the evening the wind increased to force 5 and we put in a reef as we battle to windward - something we are well used to by now!  At about this stage we decided to wait out a foul tide in Ramsey on the north east shore of the IoM and the famous hot dogs are served up to boost morale.  Ian is now an expert at operating in the galley at a 20+ degrees (angle certainly not temperature!).

The IoM is a huge island when you are moving at 5mph!  We eventually drop anchor in a bumpy bay off Ramsey at midnight.  We ate a well cooked moussaka (it's been in the oven for nearly 3 hours!) is washed down with a famous gamebird before we make the most of a short night.

Up at 5.00am and away with a favourable tide around the north of trhe IoM and across the Irish Sea to the Mull of Galloway which can be seen...due North. Once off Scotland we sailed close to the shore enjoying the coastal scenery in sunshine and our first lunch (very appropriately) in Scottish waters. 
As we entered the Firth of Clyde we had a fantastic sail (the wind has moved around to the north west) past the spectacular island of Ailsa Craig which is the home of thousands of Gannets feeding in the sea around us and nesting on every available ledge.

We were making for an anchorage at Lamlash on the eastern side of Arran, sheltered by Holy Island.  We had a wonderfully peaceful night with only the occasional sound of sea birds.  Next day, Sunday, we left Lamlash Bay in sunshine and (at last, a light southerly!).  The main event of this final passage to Largs was to get the topsail up - always a challenge when done for the first time in the season.   Success after several attempts and an extra half a knot on the log.

The largest marina in Scotland presented Capraia and her skipper the usual challenges and stresses of manoeuvering in tight spaces!  At last safely tied up, a tired gaffer amongst a miriad of shiny white hulls.  Farewell to Ian who has been a brilliant crew and welcome aboard Rose for a Scottish cruise!

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