Wednesday, 14 August 2013

And Now for the Weather Forecast...

Team Tarbert tying up Temptress after Ardrishaig Sealock
Angus, Kevin and Scott sailing down Loch Fyne
Having decided to stay in Tarbert…Yes we finally reached to the HQ of Team Tarbert thanks to yet more of their wonderful assistance on Saturday. As I was saying, having decided to stay in Tarbert until at least Tuesday we discover that north westerly winds are predicted for Monday and Monday only. There after being west or even south west. North westerlies are ideal for the sail south along the east coast of the Mull of Kintyre and across the North Channel to the ancient town of Carrickfergus. Ah well plans were made to be changed!



Precipitation in sight, alternatively known as Scottish Sunshine, is very common in these parts; there has to be a reason why everywhere is so amazingly green and the trees are covered in lichen and moss. The wind too is usually contrary being on the nose wherever you are trying to go. Come what may the Coast Guard (CG) delivering the Met Office summaries every four hours is probably the only predictable thing about the UK’s weather forecast and even that occasionally doesn’t happen when they are “emergency working” (ie responding to a Mayday)! Our trip south included lots of bands of rain but little reached us though we were privileged to see some amazing rainbows.

We’ve also been practising with wider weather pictures for some time too in preparation for ocean passages out of range of the comfortable voices of Stornaway and Belfast CG.  On Sunday morning the skipper tried his hand at requesting a MailaSail weather grib – it’s a bit techie to set up the initial email format but once done and the resulting download content interpreted by our navigation software it is useful. We are now confident that we’ll be able to acquire ocean weather patterns and predictions when Temptress is many miles from land via our (sheepishly blushing) satellite phone.


Welcoming Committee, Tarbert
Yes we know that we said we wouldn’t have one, didn’t need the expense etc etc BUT we found a cheap lightly used older model on eBay and so for the peace of mind it will give those we leave behind (as long as we remember to provide them with the phone number) we decided it was probably worth it. In addition for five hundred or so pound a year we’ll be able to download weather forecasts at sea as well as provide family and friends with brief updates on where we are so benefits all round and far cheaper than an SSB (single sideband radio, Susie’s long wished for but extremely out of our price bracket, boat toy).

Our neighbour in Tarbert arriving, watch that bowsprit!

Norman Keep, Carrickfergus


Harbour view
Anyone for chess?
Temptress in Carrickfergus Harbour
So now we have changed country and really have headed south too - the historic town of Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland and are temporarily moored across from the most perfect Norman Castle waiting for the tide so we can move next door to the more convenient marina.

Tarbert to Carrickfergus - 85nm,  939nm total

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