Amazingly, Al woke up by 0800 on this gray-looking last day of our cruise. He grabbed the now recharged VHF and got the forecast: cloudy, rain in the late afternoon, winds E 5-10 knots changing to light and variable later in the day. Eeeek!
Heartlessly, I roused
Doug to his hangover. But with 20 miles of sailing to
do (see chart below) and the threat of dying
headwinds, we had to get going. We tiptoed up the hill
to whisper our good-byes to Rick who was also hung
over and who, like Doug, had gone to bed at 0400. But
Gina insisted we have some bagels and cream cheese to
start our hangover cures. Just what the doctor
We finally went down to Whirlwind, with Rick and Gina who wanted to take pictures of us departing (above). Of course, this called for the spinny (below) which we hoped to carry all the way out of McGregor Bay. We waved our heartfelt thanks - and were off.
Once clear of Pathfinder Bay though, we had to douse the spi as the wind had veered to SE. So we settled in to a nice beam reach in a healthy 8-12 knot breeze. We each had only 6 cigarettes left and began to get an appreciation of what it must have meant to old-time sailors who had to ration their water...
|The wind held all the way
past McGregor Point and even increased a bit as we
sailed close-hauled on port for the end of Badgeley
Point where we planned to cut through the “Hole in the
Wall” (see chart above) between the Point and
Creak Is. This would be our 2nd "Hole" after the “Hole
in the Wall” near Killbear Park.
We made it through the narrow, shallow part (above) with only three strokes of the paddle. As anticipated, the wind inside Lansdown Channel was backed to ESE and we spent the next three hours doing long starboard and short port tacks. We got occasional rain but the wind held, and by 1500 hrs we were within sight of Killarney.
Since the fresh breeze seemed to have cured our earlier malaise, we were totally ready for the challenge of short-tacking into the current and the heavy traffic of the channel into Killarney. Even Doug’s tender ankle did not prevent us from doing a dozen or two neat roll tacks (although we did make one sixty-foot yacht a bit nervous. He suddenly hit full power so that we wouldn’t run him down!)
At two minutes to four, we made our landfall under rather threatening skies. While Doug rushed off to get the van and trailer from the municipal lot, Uncle Al quickly dumped all the gear onto the dock. A man with three youngsters came up to tell me he’d gotten some shots of us beating up the harbour (if you’ll pardon the expression!)
Just as Doug returned with the van and smokes, the rain began in earnest, but with the help of the photographer and the kids, we got everything stashed in time. Now we could relax - starting with another much anticipated trip to Mr. Perch. Yes indeed, they were still the world’s greatest Fish and Chips...
By the time I had waited for our “lunch”, Doug came in to report that several impressed boaters had come to ask him: “Was that you who was tacking up the Channel just now?”
The drive back to Huntsville was done at a safe speed, especially while Al was learning how to drive Doug’s van so that the latter could get a bit of rest after his tough night. We finally arrived shortly after 2100 hrs and Julia very kindly proceeded to feed us a late dinner once she, David and Joanna had gotten over the shock of seeing the weary travellers in eight days’ worth of beards.
Are we going again? Of course! Doug and family likely next year but Doug and Al for sure in ‘99 (In ‘98 it’ll be the International Wayfarer Rally and Wayfarer Worlds X in Denmark for Uncle Al!)
P.S. This started out as
a serious cruise log but somewhere along the way, I
think it has become something more personal - a
reminder to Doug and me of eight glorious days and the
absolutely magnificent time we had. A thousand thanks
to any of you who contributed to that in any way - and
most especially to the Cantwells and to our lovable
cruise organizer, Tim France!
Tues 5 Aug 97
Wed 6 Aug 97
Thurs 7 Aug 97
Thurs 7 Aug 97 - 2
Fri 8 Aug 97
Sat 9 Aug 97
Sun 10 Aug 97
Mon 11 Aug 97
Tues 12 Aug 97