Who's doing all this sailing?

It's Vince and Malcolm

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Why?

For charity of course

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Port Ellen to Glenarm NI 26th June 2007

The wind that was forecast on the 25th has arrived, so I will not be leaving today, and so I have the unenviable task of unblocking the heads, there is nowhere suitable to dry out so I will have to stay afloat for the task. The heads seacock is the Blakes 1.5in type, as picture. I removed the heads together with all pipes, and also the sole that the heads sits on, as the valve isn't accessible for service with the sole in place. I tried to rod through the seacock with some stiff wire, and to blow out the blockage with the dingy pump, but me efforts were in vain, so I decided to bite the bullet, and remove the centre cone. I first removed the two locking nuts on the bolts holding the retaining ring, and loosened the bolts, allowing the centre cone to be pulled up slightly. There was no ingress of sea water, so I removed the bolts and carefully removed the centre. The valve was clean, so the blockage was at the bottom and couldn't have been very thick, so I replaced the centre while I sorted out the waterproof grease, I greased the valve, and holding the centre in one hand and a screwdriver in the other, I plunged the screwdriver through the valve body. There wasn't much sea water enter the boat before I had the centre in. Brilliant!! what a relief. I cleaned the whole of the bilges, and replaced the heads, which I had already cleaned on deck, and went for a shower, before getting something to eat, I hadn't had anything since breakfast.

I had met two couples from N Ireland earlier in the day. Ronnie & Lorna on Shannagh from port Rush, and Fred with his crew so I went to tell them the good news, and celebrated with a few drinks. Later in the day I walked around the bay, and over the hill to view the passage I had taken from Ardfern. On my return to the pontoon, I discussed my plans for the next day to sail to Larne weather permitting, Fred said he was going to Ardglass which was closer, and there were better facilities. He suggested we sail together, and as my destination ports were not crucial I agreed, and we all had some more drinks.

The wind had dropped for our departure the next day although Ronnie said he was going to wait another day to let the sea calm down before returning to his home port, so it would be just Fred and me heading south. Fred suggested that the first boat home would prepare dinner, so it was agreed. We both motored out of Port Ellen and into open water before raising sails, and I knew as soon as Fred's main went up that dinner would be ready when I arrived. Fred had a nice crisp fully battened main, and a light boat that had very little luxury's added but great for racing. I don't know whether he was hand steering, as I was but he kept his boat dead straight, and was soon stretching ahead. Fred had said there was never any traffic in the TSS at the North East tip of Northern Ireland through the North Channel, but as I was approaching there were three cargo ships entering so I had better be careful as they have right of way. There wasn't too much trouble, as I was sailing parallel  to the ships and didn't need to cross before they had all passed.

I could see Fred's sails in the bright sunshine at some distance and was confused as I approached Glenarm, as I had been watching Fred's progress, although from a distance of some miles, and was convinced he had entered Red Bay, and followed. It doesn't pay to guess, and I soon realised my mistake when I checked the chart, and had to sail further on to Glenarm. As I entered the port Fred was on the pontoon waiting to guide me to the berth he had reserved for me, I came alongside and we put on the springs and fore and aft lines  before I grabbed a bottle of wine and we headed for Fred's boat where Gladys had prepared the meal. We had Mackerel, and pasta mostly fresh Mackerel, with some tinned, added to make up the quantity, followed by Rice and of course some wine to wash it all down. Fred said he had scrounged the fresh Mackerel from a fishing boat he passed on the way here.

Fred had kindly arranged the berth at no charge so Martin House has some more money to be added to the fund, as I am paying any freebies into the fund, Because this circumnavigation is at my cost, and the charity receives all monies collected.  The fund is now over 10,000 which I am completely amazed at. 

Next port of call. Ardglass 54 NM  

Vince.  

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