DAY 3 – Friday 22 April 2022 – Aberdaron to Ramsay Sound (Porth Melgan)

Miles logged: 61
Total miles logged: 165
Days since leaving Fleetwood: 3
Days at sea: 3

The pilot book noted that the holding at Aberdaron is not great and Mike had trouble setting his anchor, but mine bit straight away and I went to bed confident that all was well. Of course, the anchor alarm wailed at the time that anchor alarms always wail … in the dead of night when the wind is at its cruellest. So I rushed up on deck in my pyjamas but all seemed well. Pagets Lady was still lying as she was earlier and my anchor seemed to be holding. But we had indeed drifted a bit so I powered up the windlass and let out a further 10 metres of chain. There were no more issues, but such occurrences do not make for a peaceful night’s rest.

We had decided to set off for Ramsay Sound at 0400 and agreed to talk on the radio at 0350 to check that we were both still happy with the decision. In the event we decided to depart after sunrise, at 0600, instead of 0400 because we had both noticed a large number of lobster pot buoys when entering the bay and knew that snarling the line of any one of them in either or both of our propellers could mean disaster. We played it safe and did our best to get a little extra sleep.

By the time we shaped a course for Ramsay Sound the sun was up but the forecast wind was not. We motor-sailed at first but very soon there was a stiff breeze. That, along with a couple of knots of favourable tide had us clipping along at 7 knots or more. Unfortunately the late start meant that the favourable tide did not last and half way through the trip we had to push against the tide coming at us from the south-west. As is so often the case when yachting, the wind was not right; the amount of wind – 20 kts or so – was ideal but the direction presented challenges. Wind on the nose – from dead ahead – is always a problem but so, in a conventionally-rigged sailing yacht, is wind from dead astern. Many yachts, and Bubble especially, do not run before the wind well so we knew that we were in for an uncomfortable day at sea. Mike had a lot of trouble getting Pagets Lady settled but I found that Bubble sped along quite well under genoa alone. But the endless collapsing of the sail, followed by dramatic and expensive-sounding refillings with 20 kts of wind, did not make for an enjoyable passage. I, too, gave up when 12 miles from the Sound and fired up the engine. Both yachts then entered the Sound together. Despite being a couple of hours ‘late’ we slipped in easily and found a good anchorage under steep cliffs in a bay called Porth Melgan which lies to the north-east of the Sound.

Entering Ramsay Sound, after a long and tiring passage. Pagets Lady leads the way

We decided during today’s sail that the moment has arrived for a break. We have made an excellent start to the circumnavigation and with just three days down we are close to completing the Welsh phase of the trip. We plan to spend a night or two in Milford Marina and should be able to get there by late afternoon tomorrow, weather permitting, after a much-needed lie-in.

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