'Ay Up’ is a really good description of the day. The sails went up; the winds went up; the seas were up; and for a significant number of the voyage crew-everything came up.
We had motored overnight from the Scottish Isles to the coast of Northern Ireland. From around midnight to 8am we picketed the coast line waiting for the days plan of action. We sailed in between Ratlin Island and the Irish coast to make a point of sail for Islay. Topsails, fore course and a jibe and a mizzen staysail were set, but we were moving far too quickly towards our safe haven, and the course was reeled in soon after settings.
It was a grey, stormy and cold day, and the voyage crew were a little tired. Some took to their bunks, others braved it out on deck. But all were happy to anchor up in a bay outside Port Ellan (with a view of an unknown Dutch Topsail Schooner). Ali the Chef cooked a great roast pork dinner with a cider (or is that a cidre) soaked cake and cream. Yum!
After dinner a couple of friends of Ali gave us a talk on the history of Islay. It seems it’s always been a tourist destination of sorts, but they have a couple of distilleries now that attracts a few more holiday makers!
We’re on watch now, and I’ve got a real yearning for a lovely slice of water-melon and bed. Hope Mike’s watch is on time.
Declan on behalf of Aft Port Watch.