Wet, Wet, Wet and Cold, Cold, Cold 55 54.38N 05 13.82W
Howth was our last port of call in Eire. We left aiming for Ardglass across the border further north. We had already decided that the Isle of Man was now off our itinerary due to delays caused by bad weather and a poor forecast for getting there. It was planned to move further north to Larne Lough after Ardglass and from there cross to Scotland's Isle of Arran.
Setting off it was windy but the forecast was okay. However, it got windier and the sea kicked up plenty of white horses as the force 5 ramped up to force 6 & 7. 50 miles on it was obvious that we wouldn't get into Ardglass as the entrance was too rough and 5 miles on the entrance to Strangford Lough was downright dangerous. There was no option but to carry on to Bangor in Belfast Harbour, the next viable anchorage which would offer some protection from the wind. Unfortunately this was another 40 miles and 6 hours further on thus in 13 hours we ended up sailing 94 miles arriving very cold and tired but at least, because of the season, we arrived before dark which is about 22:00 here.
Bangor has an excellent marina but in contrast to the thriving ports we had visited in Southern Ireland the town seems run down with many empty shops. Our impressions were not helped by the continuing poor weather. The locals told us it had been the worst summer in 20 years. We bought a fan heater for use in marinas!
We stayed for 2 nights and then off across the North Channel to Scotland. We had a fast and pleasant trip to Arran where we anchored off Lamlash, and the next day moved to Lochranza seeking a bit more shelter. Lochranza is an attractive anchorage and we managed a short walk between showers.
Now in the Kyles of Bute the weather remains awful but we did find this wonderful anchorage....oh for some summer!
Anchored at Burn Islands, East Kyle, Isle of Bute