We originally had planned to have Gee/Dom along for a final 'proper' sail before the end of the season. Unfortunately, Gee dropped out, but Kev stepped up into his place. Maybe he knew something we didn't :-)
1/11/03: After having a look at the weather, and talking over our plans with the Marina office, we headed out around 11am, but decided to stay reasonably close to home, so that we didn't end up getting stuck anywhere - after all, we've all got jobs to go on Monday! There were four pretty major low pressure's mulling their way over the scottish coasts.
Some good weather for our first leg from Troon to Brodwick Bay though! We turned off our GPS, and our skipper decided it might be a good trip for me to get some blind nav experience. So, out came the charts, plotter and dividers, and off we went. Pretty easy going. I kept track of our current location, and called up to the guys every so often to get a three point fix. We arrived in Brodwick Bay around 3pm, but found our mooring buoys sitting on the beach- not much good. Instead, we dropped anchor below Brodwick Castle, and got stuck into our well deserved lunch/dinner.
The wind was picking up, so rather than battle the weather across to Largs, we decided to stay where we were. Unfortunately, by about 10pm, the wind had increased from 6's, to 7's, and was now blowing 8's and 9's. I went up to let some anchor chain out, but Jen thought we were slipping. Rather than risk getting swept onto the rocks, we lifted our anchor, and set sail for the protection of Lamlash.
The winds were pretty strong, Force 9 (gusting 10s) - pretty serious. We brought out a tiny amount of sail, and prepared ourselves for a night sail down the coast of Arran. This was my first night sail, and although the weather was a little bit much for a first attempt, it was actually great fun/experience. In weather like that, you really begin to trust your skipper, your yourself, and most importantly, your boat.
We finally arrived in Lamlash, after a seemingly endless 2 hour sail. Our attempts to drop anchor didn't quite go according to plan, and we were swept onto a sand bank. After some assistance from the Lamlash RNLI guys, we wriggled free, and picked up a mooring buoy for a good nights sleep!! I was absolutely shattered, and buried myself in my bunk at about 2am.
02/11/03: An unadventful trip home thankfully. The weather was the best, so whilst we all hid under the comfort of the spray hood, Kev did a great job of helming us through the F7 winds, pretty much all the way home!! For a guy only on his 3rd weekend away, its amazing the stuff he can do :-)
Our arrival in Troon was looking to be quite interesting, as we were still experience quite strong winds. Thanks to some lovely helming from Jenny, we arrived textbook style :-) Of course, as always in the world, nobody around to see it!!!