2nd Report from TANIWANIís Summer 2002 Cruise:

 

Today is Tuesday the 25th of June; Taniwani has just dropped anchor in a tiny fishing harbour on the island of Innishbofin. The younger crew was right off the boat and to the pub, to see the soccer match between Germany and Korea. So there is finally some time to write this second report:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last report we sent from a nice little anchorage in Lough Swilly, where we picked up Felixís friend Dominic. That same Sunday night, the expected depression moved in and the coast guard reported force ten winds right at our shore. We only saw up to 44 knots of wind in our cozy little anchorage, but certainly didnít sleep that well with the gusts rattling on our two anchors.

 

This depression also slowed our progress: We didnít even think about leaving our Lough on Monday, and even on Tuesday when we tried to make it to the next bigger bay, we turned into another shelter after sailing 10 miles with 40 knot gusts and an unhappy crew.

 

Apparently there was a good pub in that shelter and the younger crew didnít show up back at the boat, until well after midnight. So, on the next day, Wednesday, when we moved on to Sheephaven, the night at the pub and the still strong winds had their effects on part of the crew.

 

Sheephaven has beautiful sand beaches. The landscape definitely beats the Caribbean, but there is significant need to work on the weather.

 

By the time the extreme depression  (968mbar) had moved to some place east of Iceland, another not so extreme, but complex system of depressions had built up to the west and north of Ireland. So winds never really relaxed and of course, they did come from the wrong direction.

 

We spent a day, Thursday, beating into 25 knots of wind to make it to yet another Aran Island. Not the one in Scotland where we had been, but one of at least two with the same name in Ireland. There is a well-protected sound between this island and the mainland with several small islands giving shelter. Also a small fishing harbour was only about 2 miles away, quick to reach by dingy to get some supplies.

 

Since we had to cross Donegal Bay next, and the wind was straight against us and still around force six, we decided to stay in this nice place for another day, (Friday). We bought a big salmon from the local fishermen and had a great day with great food.

 

We started early in the next morning, Saturday, around 4 am, with just Beate and I quietly leaving the anchorage and starting to head down across Donegal bay. Wind was still perfectly against our course, but it had gone back into the 10-15 kts range, given the old swell was still running, we ended up with a mix of motor-sailing and beating. The 70 miles became a bit more that way, but we still managed to drop anchor in Broadhaven Bay by 4:30 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday we had another 50 mile run to the south entrance of an estuary that separates Achil Island from the mainland. For the first time winds were a bit more favorable and we could just about lay the course. Nice sailing with impressive scenery passing by. By the way, for the whole week we had only seen one other sailboat, but on this Sunday we met two more boats coming up from the south.

 

At the entrance to the estuary of Achil, we were received by a group of Dolphins, which played and toyed around our boat, while I was nervously trying to avoid the sandbanks.  They were following us way in, into only 4 m deep water. Really great to watch.

 

In Achil sound the tide runs with 4 kts and the tide differnce is also around 4 meters. We first tried to keep the boat aligned by using a kedge anchor, but the strain was too big and we gave in and let her swing. That went fine for a day, but last evening a sudden shudder went through the boat and we all thought we had touched ground, despite the echo sounder reading 4 to 5 meters. We now think that just the chain had come tensioned so sudden.

 

The dingy crew also had their experience with tides when they went out for some shopping near the inner end of the estuary: They took off near low water and had to carry the dingy quite a way. They were however smart enough to wait at the pub before attempting to return.

 

We decided to stay for the Monday in that place and have our fun watching the lifeboat doing exercises. I also wanted to write this report yesterday, but when we where wrestling with the tide, I found out that the bow-thruster didnít work and fund another distraction for many hours.

 

Somehow miracously we get water into our forward locker. The deck hatch looks perfectly watertight and sitting inside and flooding the hatch, nothing can be seen. Yet, in bad weather we get loads of water into it and most of it flows through a tube to the main bilge and gets pumped out, a smaller rest then vaporizes around the solenoids, relays and switches of the retractable bow-thruster and makes them fail. So I fixed the electrical problems, but I still donít understand how the water makes it in there. Some day I hope to figure this out.

 

Today, Tuesday, we were woken early by the tide rattling on our chain, so we left Achil Sound by 7 and sailed to our current anchorage at Inishbofin.

Inishbofin is a nice and well sheltered bay at a small island a bit off the shore. The safe entrance channel is very narrow, but well marked by a leading line from two stone towers.

Once inside we enjoyed watching the local ferry getting stuck at low water, just a few yards from the yetty.

 

 

 

 

We need to be in Bantry Bay by Thursday, so that Dominic can get to his flight on Friday. This means we will either sail all the way through to Castletown, some 150 miles, or start very early tomorrow morning and sail till Valentia, some 100 miles and then the rest on Thursday. Depends a bit on the final forecast.

 

We will keep you all posted.

 

Best wishes from the Crew of Taniwani

Report 3:  From Inishbofin to somewhere in the Atlantic