Archive for the ‘Isle of Man’ Category

Port St Mary to Aberystwyth

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Aberystwyth Mooring

We reckoned the best time to leave would be 1800 but the sun was out so we left at about 1500 with a very gentle southerly breeze. The wind gradually veered to become a westerley generally around force 3-4 but with a couple of light patches which meant a few hours of motoring. We sailed through the night, passed Bardsey Island and had our destination in sight. Sadly, once again, my Lopo light caused radio interference and I had to resort to a handheld radio in the cockpit. This is now my forth Lopo Light and I think I will have to give up. They look beautiful but just don’t work! Aberystwyth only has about .5m of water at MLWS so the pilot books advise new visitors to arrive two hours either side of high water. So it was rather unfortunate that we were going to arrive about an hour before low water with and onshore breeze. Luckily it was neeps. I had a chat with the Harbour Master who was very helpful and basically said proceed with caution. We knew there would theoretically be enough water so long as we found the channel. Care should be taken as you near the north pier  because the leading line of 133 degrees leads you very close to the aptly named “Trap” and a slightly more southerly approach would be advisable. A J29 was lost on the trap not so long ago according to the Marina Manager. The huge floods they had earlier in the year have actually improved the entrance by scouring away some of the banks. If you are thinking of a low water approach (neeps only) I would suggest a call first to the marina or Harbour Master. Waves break on the trap and I would imagine an onshore force five wind would be tricky. The problem is that the next port of refuge would be Milford Haven!

We had about 0.9m under our keel at the lowest point (2.3m deep). We motored up to the marina and found an empty pontoon berth with no trouble. I am leaving Sumara there until mid August so we later moved her in to a snug berth nearer the gate.

Time to sail to Wales

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Castletown Harbour

While we were having lunch in Douglas I spotted a wooden mast which needed further inspection. We strolled over to discover another Vertue! It was V25 with Richard Coates sitting in the sun in the cockpit. He kindly invited us on board his beautiful 1949 mahogany on oak Vertue. We chatted for a while and exchanged phone numbers. Jannicke and I never made it to Snaefell as we missed the electric train to get us halfway up. To make up for it we walked out to Calf Sound this morning. A breathtaking coastal path. We have just had a massive lunch in Patchwork Cafe and soon we will row back to Sumara a set off for Wales. Patchwork Cafe is a great find, super friendly, top rate food and good prices. They show films there from time to time.

The winds look a bit variable so I’m not sure when we will arrive in Wales. We have enjoyed the Isle of Man, Castletown looked like a great spot to moor up. The Island would make a great destination for a long cruise around the little ports. Maybe even try a passge through Calf Sound?

The Isle of Man

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

What a friendly place! Everyone is so kind and relaxed.


Yesterday we went to watch the motor bike road racing which looked pretty dangerous. We sat on a gate post at a road corner hoping no one was going to hit the cottage on the corner. It was a 4 mile walk from the boat and we were hungry by the time we left. Alas the Shore Hotel had stopped serving food so we ate a Chinese meal on a bench in the rain. I was really tired by the time we got back to Sumara as I had only had a few hours sleep sailing down.

Sitting on the Comfy Steam Train

Steam Train with Jannicke









This morning we took the lovely steam train into Douglas. That’s how trains should be, with windows you can open and secure with leather belts.

Act Drop Gaiety Theatre

As we were going to Douglas I phoned Seamus Shea from the Gaiety Theatre to see if we could get a look backstage. He was having a half day but very kindly arranged for Ted to show us around.

Corsican Trap in the Gaitey Theatre

The Gaiety has the only working Corsican Trap in the world plus some large bridge lifts salvaged from the Lyceum in Edinburgh. The front of house is by Frank Matcham and is in wonderful condition.

There is an impressive Act Drop and loads of beautiful touches. I liked the pegs for holding the side masking in position – I’ve never seen anything like it before. Simple and effective. I’ll try to put some photos up later. This afternoon we may climb Snaefell, or part of it. There is a mountain train to help us on our way.

The weather looks OK for us to set off on the back of an approaching depression. It should provide a nice northerly airstream so we hope to arrive in Aberystwyth on Saturday .

Port St Mary – Isle of Man

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

We’ve arrived after a fast but cold sail in a north west wind about force 4. There were patches of rain mainly falling on Jannickes watch which took some careful planning. The sail took 24hrs to cover 100nm which is pretty good for Sumara. The harbour entrance is straightforward. We picked up an empty visitors mooring (GBP9.82) and rowed ashore. Tonight we will watch some motorbike racing if we can get to grips with the buses.