Passage 32, Port St Mary to Holyhead
My final passage of stage 3 and boy was it delightful. I'd donned most of my layers before leaving expecting the usual cloudiness, but come lunch time the sun was blazing and I actually felt a bit hot. Better take my sailing jacket off, thought I. Did that and was still pretty warm. Blimey, off comes my sailing trousers and jumper. Sat for a bit like that and I was STILL warm. OK, in for a penny in for pound, I took almost everything off (no, not the full monty - that would be pervy) and stuck some shorts on. It was warm. YIPPEE.
The wind was light and from behind me, the sea was gentle and I decided to get a deck cushion out to lie out on the front of the boat staring up at the clear blue sky collecting some rays. First time I've been able to do that!
Sailing wise, it was also almost perfect. It was a very light wind and a couple of times I had to fire the motor up to press on (tides to catch, things to do). But mostly I was able to waft along with the wind at 4 or 5 knots. It was glorious. I had to cross a 2-way shipping lane (and had to perform a delaying tactic to avoid a potential altercation with a large container vessel) which was fine and I sailed quietly into Holyhead Harbour at 5pm in bright sunshine.
I'd timed my tides rather nicely. Generally they were going across me one way and then the other, but towards the end the tide would veer more and more in my direction and that gave me a little extra boost that I needed to keep the speed up.
If only they were all like that.
I tied the boat up on a Buoy with Holyhead Sailing Club as arranged so that it could be left there for my 3rd break. I took a quick ride to shore to have a celebratory beer and chill out before returning to the boat and giving her a good scrub and bedding it down for the break.
The next morning I did a final tidy up operation and, satisfied that the boat would look clean and tidy on my return, took the launch to shore, got a taxi to the station and was on the Virgin train home by 9am. Homeward bound, hooray.
Left at 7am in light following winds and managed to sail the majority of the 48 mile trip arriving in Holyhead at 5pm. The day cleared to bright sunshine and it was warm and lovely.