Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

3 rd to 4 th of June 2012 - To Peterhead

Crew : Helen, Andy, Angeliki and Alberto
Destinations : Inverness and Peterhead.
Distance : 99 miles

Sunday 3 rd - Monday 4 th June

We spent the morning sorting out the boat and showing Alberto and Angeliki the ropes. We were ready to leave by 1300 to catch the ebb out of Inverness Firth and through the narrows at Fort George. Of course we weren't going to leave without some last minute mishap. With me on the helm, we managed to get out of our berth nice and smoothly, given the wind. Unfortunately as we turned around to head down the fairway the wind came onto our beam and, as it was high tide and we had no protection from the marina walls, Speedwell got pushed more to port than I had anticipated. This led to our port stanchions catching on the anchor of another boat. We got a couple of bent stanchions again! We also did a little bit of damage to the other boat's anchor...... not to mention my bruised ego. Anyway, we quickly moored again so that Andy could report the mishap and were then finally on our way.

The weather forecast wasn't great, particularly over the Norwegian side of the North Sea so we decided to head for Peterhead to give us a chance to get used to sailing and wait for the weather to improve. The wind was on our nose and took some time to go north as promised. However, we got the mizzen sail up and were ready to go with the sails when the time came. We were on a north east course initially, however as we turned more to the east we were able to get the mainsail up and make good time motor sailing, until the tide turned. Eventually, around 10 pm, the engine was turned off, just in time for me to get some sleep.

As we headed around Rattray Head, the sea state increased, making for a very bouncy and unpleasant sail. The waves were a good 4 metres and as we turned southward for Peterhead we were on a dead run, so the main and mizzen were dropped. By the time I was back on watch around 4am the sea state was quite uncomfortable and we were only making 3-4 knots over the ground. At one point we lost the forward Dorade vent over the side so Andy had to go forward with a cover to stop the water going straight into the forward cabin. We were all very careful to keep clipped on throughout the trip.

We sailed through the harbour entrance under genoa at about 8am very happy and feeling very welcome with two people to take our lines in the wind and a very friendly marina manager called Bruce. Alberto, Angeliki and Andy made the boat nice and tidy whilst I prepared porridge to settle our unsettled stomaches.

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