Crossing the Void - Tresco to Irish Republic

Slipstream Web Diary
Bill Cuthbert
Thu 9 Jun 2011 21:32
The crew of Vicky, Nic, Anna, Shumps, Alison (Queen of Gugh & Tresco) and Bill had a mixed morning. Simon and Bill repaired the main track and fitted a new set of jam cleats and.....unblocked the female heads. Some jobs are just too much fun. The remainder of the crew went shopping and coffeeing on-shore. The forecast was 5-7 with 4-5 later but the rider of "Rough" or "Very Rough" was also in the mix. Alison met a man in the coffee shop with a skippers hat on. He declared that "later is best". This delayed our departure for Ireland by one hour. Such is the respect with which Bill holds his spouse.
It was blowing a hooley in New Grimbsy Sound around noon but Bill seemed happy to set off into the void. He was muttering something about deadlines, hull integrity and "flights on Saturday". So... after a nice round of sandwiches and salad - on deck in the sunshine,,, we let loose the Harbour Master's mooring buoy opposite the village quay and set off out of thew Sound.
Video footage will confirm that the entrance to the Sound was a maelstrom with wasjing machine water breaking over rocks left and right. We were soon through and off and away North. At this stage we had no fixed destination but the options included Milford Haven (if NW wind) or Kilmore Quay in the Irish Republic if a bit more westerly.
The passage lasted 22 hours. Anna & Alison formed a breakaway movement and spent the first 17 hours below decks. They emerged at around 05.00 Thursday to the new dawn and the dolphins....
The rest of the crew had a very different crossing. The wind blew 25-30knots most of the day but permitted a heading that more-or-less bisected the Irish Sea. As night fell the wind backed W and "Ireland" was the call from the skipper. The working members of the crew suffered a little through the passage with huge seas, constant struggles at the helm and not a little mal-de-mer. Nic defined the crews feelings about the passage when he declared: "This IS fun. I can, however, think of a million things that are MORE fun than this."All four were pleased, however, to see Alison and Anna so rested as dawn broke. Land was sighted around 08.00 but with the wind dying, and directionwise on the nose, we turned on the motor and chugged into Kilmore Quay around 11.00. Anna was a stalwart at buoy and channel-marker recognition. (Note the wooly hats in mid-June) The roughness of the woyage had precuded contact with her boys, Will & Tom, and she was anxious to bet back in contact through Eireann Telecomm.
After 155.1 nm we were glad to tie up and rest easy. They are very welcoming in the Marina. What a wonderful country. We finished the day off, glad to be tied to a pontoon, using landside heads and after a fantastic crab, scallop and fishy supper at the Crazy Crab with Madeliene and Sian.