The forecast today is 10 – 15 kn from the ESE, tending easterly. Good enough for us. We left the marina about 10.30am, an hour before high tide; with tides as big as they are up here (up to 5 metres) the tidal flow mid-tide is very strong and we didn’t want it against us. First sail after a long time off the water is always stressful, particularly for me. As soon as we cleared the marina breakwater we were hit with a 1 metre beam swell which had us rolling around – not fun! Anyway, engine off and sails were very soon up, and once we could turn towards our destination the swell was manageable.
The next few hours were really lovely. Still a swell, but it settled a bit, and the wind was 7 – 13 knots which made for great sailing. There was a fair bit of phytoplankton in the water creating slicks of red and resembling coral spawn. Despite keeping a whale lookout we were disappointed.
St Bees Island is the destination – 15.6 nautical miles away (31km). It took us about 4 1/4 hours and we averaged 3.6kn arriving at 2.20pm.
Decided we’d go inside the fringing reef and anchor over sand to dry out at low tide. Great idea, except our boat has a skeg bottom, ie not flat and she now rests over on her port side. Fortunately with the incoming tide she should float again around 8pm, but be high and dry again about 4am – that’s 8 hours to get some sleep! We won’t do that again overnight.