Day 1 – Fleetwood to Pen-y-Parc, Wednesday 20 April 2022

Miles logged: 75
Total miles logged: 75
Days since leaving Fleetwood: 1
Days at sea: 1

Bubble ready to slip her berth at Fleetwood at 2 am

Our first day was blessed with sunny weather but, alas, very little wind. In order to make the challenging tidal gates of the Swellies and the Caernarfon Bar we were compelled by the tide-times to start early. My alarm was set for 0130 but I needn’t have bothered because at 0120 Mike came over to wake me. The marina was like a millpond as we slipped out to start our adventure. There was a fresh breeze in the Fleetwood channel so on reaching the Fairway buoy I raised Bubble’s sails. The engine would not be silent for long; it is a long way to the Menai Strait from Fleetwood and Mike reminded me that we would have to make about 6 kts over the ground to have any chance of passing through the Swellies before the tide made the transit risky and possibly dangerous.

So, not for the first time, the engine was started. A mid-morning breeze allowed a really good sail for an hour-and-a-half but, of what turned out to be a day of over 13 hours at sea, barely over 3 hours was under sail. Our engines enabled us to get a good start to our trip, put 75 miles behind us and, importantly, they ensured that we could pass through the two tidal gates comfortably.

The passage ended at 3 pm at a beautiful bay on the south coast of Anglesey. Pen-y-Parc is surrounded on two sides by small rocky outcrops and on the other by a perfect little sandy beach. Mike and I desperately need some sleep; we know that we must sail again tomorrow and in the course of the next few days have all three of Bardsey Sound, Ramsey Sound and Jack Sound to take on. There is a tentative plan for Bardsey for tomorrow but have agreed to talk in the morning before setting out because the wind is expected to freshen.

So a good start, if with rather too much motoring, but our anchorage is pleasant with the prospect of a peaceful night.

Our anchorage at Pen-y-Parc

There is some video footage of our passage through The Swellies at Yacht Bubble’s YouTube channel.

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