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Date: 24 May 2014 12:30:00
Title: Off to the Emerald Isle

Entry by Franco

Well, we are off at last! Currently anchored in Oysterhaven, West Cork (51:41.79N
8:27.04W).
In Holyhead we met a couple who are preparing to repeat the Atlantic circuit they did ten years ago. On our last evening there, Gale got their boat book out and said "You can be our first entry on this trip". I looked at the last entry of their previous trip and there was a card from my brother who they met in Horta in the Azores. Small world, isn't it?
So we finally set off to leave the UK at 6am on Thursday 22nd May. Despite the crack of dawn start we were amazed to find well wishers to see us off! Nigel, Eila, and Bethan on the pontoon and Marcus blowing his vuvuzela at the end of the breakwater.
Leaving Holyhead. Photo: Marcus Demuth

The light northerlies pushed us along nicely for most of the day but increased considerably as the night wore on. As we rounded the south east corner of Ireland we were down to two reefs in both sails and by mid morning we were down to just the front sail with three reefs. By this time the wind was force 5-6 gusting top end of 7. After sailing between the two islands that guard the entrance we furled the sail and motored into the lovely, quiet anchorage in Oysterhaven. Dropped anchor at 1 pm on Friday 23rd, after a passage of 171NM by the log.
After a bumpy night passage of 3 hours off and 3 hours on watches, we spent most of Friday afternoon sleeping, slept right through Friday night and after the forecast went back to bed till 10 on Saturday morning.
The warm, cosy smell of freshly baked bread tells me that it is lunchtime. This afternoon crew assigned to 'make and mend' and skipper to quiet reflection.



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