Once we settled our minds on staying in Belfast some more weeks until favourable winds came our way, it all changed in a moment. Jens was out working on attaching the new stainless steel mesh to the bowsprit and I decided to check the weather forecast before heading out to enjoy the sun. And there it was. The day after XCWeather promised Northwesterly winds. Even though Metoffice didn’t quite agree, we decided to make a run for it. The afternoon and evening became incredibly busy getting the boat sorted, after two months in harbour there is a lot of things to stow away! We were incredibly tired when we went to Stephens boat for a night cap to say goodbye to our neighbours before leaving our home away from home.
When we woke up, the weather forecast had changed to WSW winds but our mind was made up and we took off, a little bit emotional waving goodbye.
Before we left the harbour, there were two seals popping up and looking at us, and we thought it as a good sign. It was a cloudy grey day with some mist lurking around. The sun barely shined through the clouds but if was a great feeling raising the sails again even though we had to support them with the motor. I tried taking a nap down below to cure my hangover as Jens steered us out of the Belfast Lough.
We made it through the Copelands (where the accident stopped us the last time), this time just some small waves as the tide was with us and the wind was weak. I decided to celebrate it by making one of our favourite treats – banana chocolate balls. Just mix two ripe bananas with 3 dl rolled oats, 2 tbsp cacao, 1 dl shredded coconut and maybe some cinnamon or peanut butter for some extra spice. Yummy!
As the forecast said that it would only be 4 knots of wind we didn’t really expect to be able to sail without motor, but for an hour or so we could turn of the engine and just sit down to relax in the sun as the wind and tide combined pushed us ahead in 6 knots. Definitely the best part of the day. As the sun set, it was Jens turn to rest down below. I had forgot how much I enjoy sailing in the sunset.
As soon as the sun set it became very cold, even the floatation suits didn’t warm us enough so we took turns by the helm and warmed up below. Sailing in the winter can be a challenge. After 10 hours and 49 nautical miles, we reached Ardglass harbour after motoring with help of the generator under the stars. Did any of you follow us via the AIS? Also here a seal welcomed us into the harbour as we tried to figure out how to navigate between the buoys. After a good nights´ sleep we woke up to a sunny day and decided to take advantage of that!
The marina lies opposite the harbour which is fairly busy with fishing boats. In between lies a tiny victorian bathing house. As we walked along the harbour we found a small ship chandlery with everything the fishing boats might need and some warm socks for us. The lady in the chandlery recommended us to continue along the water and take a walk by the golf club. What a lucky strike!
It’s nice to be out by the sea again, and this walk was just what we needed after a long sail yesterday. We spotted some seals sunbathing by the cliffs, the fishermen out working and great views of the coastline. There were even some flowers still blooming!
Maybe we have already seen the best of what Ardglass has to offer, but if not we will probably discover since the forecast promises strong southerly winds that will not get us anywhere the coming week.
We’ll keep you posted!