We decided to play it safe, and are now moored up in Douglas on the Isle of Man

 

Position 54° 08.84 N 004° 28.94 W Douglas Inner Harbour, Isle of Man

We played it safe, and are now moored up safely in Douglas on the Isle of Man. The one overriding reason for this is the weather for the weekend took a dramatic turn for the worse this morning, when the forecast went from light seas to possible force 6s and 7s.

Had we therefore stayed in Belfast Lough, we would have had to chance that the forecast was wrong. It wasn’t a chance worth taking, Neale decided this morning, and he informed crews of this at a midday briefing.

So with a 75-mile passage ahead of us to the island, we departed at 1pm. The going was good in the early stages. It was millpond flat until about halfway through the journey when the wind picked up and we hit force 4s on the beam.

Upon arrival in Douglas we were forced to moor on the waiting pontoon in the outer harbour to await the lifting of the bridge which bars the entrance to the inner harbour and the town’s moorings.

At 6pm the call went out to disentangle ourselves form our two rafts and make for the bridge, which lifted at 6.15pm. Then it was just a case of negotiating the narrow channels that run both sides of the inner harbour’s central pontoon moorings.

We have a few days now to explore the island, which, from the limited wandering we’ve done, looks great. It will also give cruise leader Neale ample time to study the weather and decide when we’re going to make the 40 or so mile passage back to Conwy.

Finally, a special mention should go to the harbour staff here, who were unfailingly helpful when we turned up a few days early expecting moorings.

Oh, and the sun was out!

Photos:

Seascape IV and Jolica II just after leaving Carrickfergus
Sea 02
Our first raft in Douglas’s outer harbour