Friday night briefing with 7 skippers, looking at a very confusing weather forecast, showing a “thundery complex low” coming through the Irish Sea on Saturday morning. It was decided to go for an early, 04:00 start and try to make it across before the worst of the weather came through.
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HSC offshore cruise 20th 21st May. Cruise Report with Dance lessons in Conwy!
With a forecast for strong winds over the weekend we still had 5 skippers at the briefing on Saturday morning. Maldwyn Griffith and family on Tiwmrviel his Rivel 34, Steve Turner and his partner Sue on New Horizons, his Bavaria 42, David & Julie Bridges on Swansong their Westley Discus, Steve and Matt on Explore and myself on Madam Wen with crew Simon Hill, Kim & Wendy Argyle and Sue James.
We all left together at 11:30 and with the tide on our side we had a fast downwind passage to Point Lynas but with the wind building from the South West the close reach down to Puffin, was well reefed and exhilarating. After Puffin the wind funnelled down the Menai Strait at a top end force 5 hitting us on the beam – more reefing! We enter the Channel at about 16:00 with the others not far behind, a very fast trip for us all. Conwy Marina had allocated berths, unfortunately not altogether. Nevertheless we still managed to meet up over the course of the evening with the Mulberry offering a very convenient vitalising stop with a very good live band.
This band was so good, it very soon had Steve and Sue (New Horizons) on the “floor” doing a very impressive Jive, and they were applauded off the floor by most of the room! It turned out they are both very keen amateur dancers. Steve partnered Wendy for the next dance followed by Sue James, having some tuition on the finer points of Steve’s moves a few minutes later. A very good night was had by all but with the prospect of our early start, not a late one.
With not a breath of wind at the Marina next morning, 4 boats left at 7:30 with Maldwyn following later. Half way out of the channel the predicted wind came rolling down off the mountains and soon built up as we crossed towards Puffin, topping out at 34kn over Madam. This allowed a lunch stop at Porth Wen which helped to avoid arriving at Carmel Head too soon. We shared the anchorage with 7 boats of the North West Ventures’ fleet who had been there since the day before.
A slow beat back into Holyhead, against a strong wind and the start of a foul tide but all boats back by 17.30. The consensus of opinion – challenging but rewarding sailing, with a good night out in Conwy.
Thank you to all who took part.
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HSC offshore cruise 27th to 29th August.
The mystery cruise destination of Howth and Malahide was revealed in the 7:00pm Friday briefing at HSC and much to my relief we filled the committee room with 11 yachts represented.
With the prospect of fine weather everyone set about checking facts and making plans and checking fuel tanks for what looked like extended engine use. The prospect of light winds and concerns over his engine Hopco 2 elected to sail closer to home.
So bright and early on Saturday morning we had a line-up of Invictor, Incantation, Jura Haze, Mirandae, myself on Madam Wen, Cristal, Palias, Elandra, Day Light Robbery and Explore. Many thanks to the HSC launch crew who turned out at 06:30 to help ferry skippers and crew to boats, helping us get the boats away early. With Hierro meeting the group at Howth this still represented 11 boats from HSC taking part.
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