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29/08/12 - Lord Nelson
LN824 Well on our way now up the North Channel, with a fair sou'westerly wind and topsails on both masts: foremast adding course and t'gallant, and both staysails. More sails were hoisted, before a warning of wind change and necessary change of tactic. By the time the wind had veered to north (i.e. dead against us) all sails were down and we motored into a beautiful moonlit night. Time to learn about lighthouses (5 flashes in 30 seconds: find that on the chart), and identifying vessels on the radar and with the naked eye. Lookouts were never more important, as small vessels didn't show up on the radar. By morning, with a change of course it was possible to set the fore topsail and mizzen staysail, and the sun shone.
However, this couldn't last for long. In order to make Greenock by Friday we had to stow sails and motor. Young and fit crew went aloft to hand the sails, while the Leadership at Sea and officer cadets conducted a confined space evacuation drill. Lunch (as always, much appreciated) followed promptly, and then a peaceful cruise along the Firth of Clyde, with the Isle of Bute to port and Great and Little Cumbrae to starboard. We admired the Sleeping Warrior and Ailsa Craig on the horizon. Finally we docked in Holy Loch. Evening celebrations, we are told, will follow.
Heather for Aft Port