Passage 30, Belfast to Bangor

Oh dear. I'd left Belfast with every intention of reaching the Isle of Man. By the time I was getting into the open Irish sea it became clear that this plan was untenable. Mainly because the wind was from the South directly instead of the South-West as was the forecast (I was going South-East). This meant that I was going to be beating into the wind the whole way there. I was also banging into on-coming waves. I was only making 4 or 5 knots but the tide was about to kick in which I'd planned would give me an extra 1 or 2 knots. But this situation would develop into a nasty wind-against-tide situation which would make the sea horrible to sail into and any tidal advantage I might get would be nullified by the boat slamming into the waves. Thus the sail was going to be very unpleasant with a severe risk that I'd make painfully slow progress.

So it was not a hard decision to turn tail and head back again! Frustrating but realistic. Once I'd reversed direction it was a fast following wind sail back to Bangor which is towards the beginning of the Belfast estuary. So not much gained on this passage for quite a lot of sailing - 10 miles progress having sailed 35 miles in 7 hours! A little frustrating.

Bangor marina is large and faceless. So faceless in fact that I did not even bother asking for them to consider donating my fee to Honeypot. This was one of a chain of marinas and it was clear that the poor clerk at the desk would have been given absolutely zero decision making powers.

I took a walk into town and quickly decided that I had more things to interest me in the boat. For me, at least, the town seemed to contain any number of dubious clubs, gaming venues and fast food outlets. Not my kind of place at all.

Winds and tide suggest I leave very early tomorrow morning (3am) and this venue did nothing to encourage me to delay this exit.


Left Belfast at 9am and by 1:30pm it was clear the strong Southerly winds were not going to allow my intended passage to Peel, Isle of Man. Turned tail and got in to Bangor by 4pm, having sailed 35 miles in 7 hours (6 of which was motoring out ofBelfast port).

Passage 31, Bangor to Port St Mary