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Glenarm to Ardglass 27th June 2007

The weather report was good this morning, with the wind still from the north and with a ten plus hours voyage ahead, I was keen to leave in reasonable time. I will have the tides just about cancelling themselves out, and its neaps plus 2 days which is good too. I have told my wife Linda that I will be in Holyhead at the weekend, and she is going to travel over to see me. Trevor, Linda's brother is also coming. Linda was born in Holyhead so we will be seeing her two remaining Aunt's as well as her cousin Allan and his wife Barbara. I  plan to have a short break in Holyhead untill Tuesday 3rd March, when Malcolm is also travelling to Holyhead, and bringing my good friend Tony Masseralla, who is joining me for the rest of the week.

 10:30 and I say my farewells to Fred and Gladys and head out of the small harbour. My next port was going to be Bangor, but I lost a day in Port Ellen so I will press on to Ardglass. I am soon out into open water, and reaching under full sail for S Hunter rock off Larne. There is a high speed ferry between Stranraer and Larne, so I will have to keep a good lookout as I near the entrance to Larne. 12:40 and I am past the entrance to Larne with not a ferry to be seen. The Isle of Muck is ahead and there looks to be a passage between the Island and the mainland, but it's deep enough to pass through, and I stay outside the island in the deep water. Once past Muck, Its further offshore across Belfast Lough, and I set a course for Mew Island on the south side of the Lough. There are high speed craft in and out of Belfast too but I don't see any ships at all, it seems I am all alone today. I am making good time with a boat speed around 5kn over the ground, and by 03:10 I am round Mew Island, and keeping an eye on the water surface as I am passing close to the Ram Race. The next waypoint is South Rock Light, 18 miles away. As I head south. Skullmartin rocks about eight miles ahead are the next visual marks with a lateral buoy Red on the rocks, and a safe water mark red & White with Yellow light flashing 1. 10secs, There are various points on land that I can use to check my position with, as I reach down the coastline.

I have had some tea, coffee and snacks so far today, but I think I will cook something more substantial to keep me going untill I reach Ardglass. Steak and kidney pudding with two veg, and a steamed sticky toffee pudding with tinned custard hits the spot, and I feel quite full. 19:10 and I am passing between South Rock Lighthouse, and South Ridge buoy, and alter course for the safe water buoy off Strangford Lough, about six miles away. Fred said that the strong tide will suck you into Strangford Lough if you get too close, so I check the tidal flow, and don't need to worry as the tide will only just be running out from Strangford Lough at the time I am due to pass. 21:35 and I have reached Ardglass, and as I enter the entrance to the marina the daylight is failing, and I am cautious following the leading w r g in the white sector untill I am past the inner breakwater where I can follow the port and starboard channel marker buoys into the marina. I find a spare pontoon finger and come alongside. There is no one on duty, but the showers and toilets are open, so I can have a shower etc before turning in for the night, after supper of course.   


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