Cruise in Company No 4 

Sailing in Covid19 lockdown, to Porth Dinllaen 

1st-2nd August 2020.

Summing up the weekend, I would say it was as varied and exciting, and occasionally challenging, at least to my own standards, indeed arguably as good as it gets.

Three crews, five persons total on board…includes junior helm Steffan with his dad John on Black Velvet (Hurley24). Al and Liz aboard Soulmate, myself aboard Lionheart.

Social Distancing: Excellently managed individually. Separate families, each with their own tenders.

This really happened on the way down, the VHF squawked, not from one of us…………

“Coastguard, Coastguard, I’m Full Monty… help!” To which came the appropriate reply…”Are you all wearing life jackets”. (I think I’ve heard that one before, yet it still raises a laugh), reminds one  how they must always be worn correctly.

To continue……….

We, as members of Holyhead’s Sailing Club in Lockdown Cruise in Company no 4, had a great sail down to Porth Dinllaen on a broad reach Westerly 3 to 4. Returning on a NW 4-5. Twenty-two  miles each way.

No serious mishaps over the weekend, maybe a few niggling issues, involving dragging anchors, (x2) and one becoming entangled with their own anchor’s tripping line (Soulmate), their BBQ ashore not easily lighting, Al’s birthday cake being polished off by junior crew from another boat.

Later that evening  I awoke hearing the rumble of Lionheart’s anchor dragging, maybe I was dreaming, but it kept me awake for an hour…..then it happened again, a few feet perhaps, wondering what plan B might be (ideas?) as all the scope chain by then was out. Anyway the fresh breeze and rain overnight passed over, tide went out and all was quiet until……..until 5am, time to rise and shine as dawn broke for the return.

Porpoise, gannets, auks by the hundreds. (just one of the former only twenty feet away)..this whilst reducing sail; a slab in the main and down to to 33% genoa…we were then reaching to windward….occasionally weather-helming in a lively force five.

On reaching Abraham’s Bosom, (a notorious spot as the name suggests) the Coastguard VHF squawked very loudly and clearly…”PanPan, PanPan anyone vessels in the vicinity of Porth…. ‘so and so’ …”are you able to assist?”, looking landward at this time was seen a sail-less vessel (possible problems with an engine, thought I)….so putting  two and three together, I dutifully replied to the PanPan call ….”this is Lionheart…..where is said location”….” “It’s Moelfre, the other side of the Anglesey!” came the reply!  So no help was needed from Holy Island….Then back to rounding the ever challenging waters off the Stacks and onwards dead running in a more westerly gentle breeze towards the harbour entrance.

I heard that on the way back Steffan discovered there’s more than one way to enjoy someone else’s birthday cake, with the additional fun of watching seagulls feed at the same time.

Lessons from the trip: Use all the chain when anchoring in PD, in the very best location. 

Sleep in weather gear as the front passes in darkness at high water….not that relocating an anchor at night would have been easily entertained. 

Retrieve trip lines with care.

Learn all the names of the nooks and crannies of Anglesey’s shoreline? Possibly not, but then the coastguard might announce a panpan with roughly where a shout is located. 

All good fun....and with thanks to Mark Rosenthal for arranging it.

Tim Hopper 2020-08-03

Cruise in company 4a - Sunday 2nd August 2020

While the crews returned to Holyhead Flair IV and Katanya II were planning to go for a day sail but first we sat and had a chat over coffee before dispatching Luke to do a mast climb on Katanya II for Trevor. Colin ferried Luke, Trevor and John to Trevor’s pride and joy while I carried out some much needed maintenance of small things. 

Once the mast climb was successfully completed Katanya II motored over back to A4 and Luke transferred back onto Flair IV. 

As I waited I watched as the two Squibs crossed the old Club FInishing Line

With the crews re-organised we left the moorings and headed out on a passage to circumnavigate the Skerries going clockwise against the remaining ebb tide so that we came back between the Skerries and Carmel head at pretty much the slackest tide. 

The scenery around the outside of the Skerries is a wonderful sight especially in the brilliant sunshine before the next weather front started to build from the west. As we rounded the eastern side of the island the current took us steadily out and down past Bolivar. 

The google photo album for the weekend is on this link:

Cruise in Company #4

Mark Rosenthal

2020-08-04

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