Then a selection of images from the city life:
With a nice forecast, we opted to head north and tuck inside the Mull of Kintyre for a few days. The departure from Bangor to head up to Scotland was another one of those where leaving before daylight would help the overall passage time. Only we didn't. We left just as you could see a little, to avoid any rogue pot markers. It was a 4:15am rude awakening though.
Not a long run ahead to worry about - only 65 miles out to sea. The route is simple enough as you can see from our track:
Heading out from Bangor was a lot like heading off from Dun Laoghaire. Anchored illuminated ships to dodge around:
then some incoming ferries too. We also had the cruise liner Oriana heading in to Belfast. The radio conversations between the Oriana bridge and Belfast Vessel Traffic Service were rather more polished and formal than those we heard between the VTS and the cargo ship "Thun Gemini" guys. Being able to speak English probably helped of course. The cargo ship struggled with the Norn Iron accent from VTS. VTS struggled with the thick Asian accent of the watch-keeper and it was a nightmare ready to happen, as Oriana was trying to overtake him, being forced to take a nice wide turn:
Luckily he finally understood "anchor" and turned towards the anchorage area after Oriana asked VTS what the cargo ship's intentions were.
Oriana happily headed past the cargo ship and us:
Personally we prefer the old all white livery that we used to see going past our house when she visited Southampton. To make up for that, the sunrise was pretty good:
and the gentle run across to Scotland was most enjoyable. Calmish, no significant waves to bother us and only the odd ferry about that we had to avoid. You can see that from the route above. Less pleasant was hearing about the search for a missing diver on the radio. Missing since the day beforehand, the search was getting underway again at first light with lifeboats, dive boats and helicopters involved. You kind of expect it to end badly.
Heading over, there are a few very deep spots:
We ran at around 1600rpm to get over to the Scottish side of things and optimise the tides then, as the tide turned at just the right moment up the coast into the Clyde, we eased back a little to our more normal 1475 rpm. Ailsa Craig, the iconic big lump of rock looked welcoming as we passed by:
To add to our lighthouse / light tower library, here is the little one on Lady Isle, just off the Troon harbour entrance:
As it is a bit shallow we didn't get too close, hence the remote picture! We ended up in Troon harbour on a nice little mooring, just one that is very short of shorepower connections. We have a huge extension lead that was pressed into service.
The trip took just over 10 hours. Nothing to report on the maintenance side, everything ran well (OK, apart from the crew who slept a lot after the early start). We were greeted in Troon by the biggest jellyfish we have ever seen in these waters - the top was over 2 feet in diameter: