a travel log
From France to Scotland by sea.

Thursday, August 1, 2002

Departure from Swansea at 10:50 AM. Arrived at Caldey Island anchorage at 7 PM. Conditions: E to NE winds F2-3 dying down to <2 knots at about 5 PM. Sea was a smooth as a mirror for a good 3 hours. Tidal currents with me all the way, 1-2 knots.

Today's departure was a little sad. It feels like it was only a couple of days ago that B and I were pulling into harbour together. Hopefully, she may re-join me in September.

Swansea marina is a "locked" harbour - it sits behind 2 locks, so that the water level remains constant while the tide rises and falls (can be up to 8-9 meters difference from low tide to high). So today's first task was to get myself out to sea. Filled up with diesel, and went through both locks in about 25 minutes. Here is a picture just as the outer lock doors were opening up.

I left late on purpose - the tidal currents can get very strong in the Bristol channel, and there is really very little point going against it. So today I sailed from about 11 to 7, with good current my way from about 12:30 to 6:30. Had a nice little breeze to get out of Swansea bay, and when I set to the day's course, realized I had some niice tail winds. Took about 20 minutes to get the spinnaker all ready. I've never tried it on this boat, and the conditions were just perfect; was very excited!!!!

Well, it was a perfect hoist - it went up quickly, and was about to fill when I saw the whole thing drop in the water... for some reason the shackle at the head of the sail decided to open!!! Quickly ran up front to try and pull the sail in before it started trawling. Got the sail up OK, but it's now completely salted, and it hasn't even been used yet!!! The most annoying thing is now the spinnaker halyard shackle is stuck at the top of the mast. My next crew is going to have to pull me up there.

The rest of the day was very smooth; managed to read 1/2 a book, eat a snack, have a couple of naps.The wind gradually died down until 3pm, at which time the sea turned into a giant wabbly mirror. At about 4:30, I decided to head for Caldey island. I had originally thought I would go straight to Milford Haven, but since I don't have to be there for another 2 days, I though I would take it easy, and my stumach was getting very excited at the thought of tonight's dinner. 3 freshly caught mackerel, some nice potatoes, hollandaise sauce, an avocado, fresh fruit and some ginger snaps for desert!

Tomorrow morning I'm planning on exploring the island, and setting off around lunch time to arrive in Milford at about 7.
10:51:02 PM    
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Arrived in Swansea yesterday - plane was a little later than expected, so arrived about 2 PM at the marina. Did some shopping (food, thermometer to test the water here and there), filled the boat up with water, tidied a little, called to say I'd arrived safely, and went to bed about 11. Slep a full night. By tomorrow I should be over my jet lag.
10:23:53 PM    
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© Copyright 2003 Thomas Degremont.

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