Porthmadog to Barmouth
Following the arrival of Zephyr, we decided that the strong Easterlies, although cold, would provide an easy passage South to Barmouth. And so it proved. We motored down the channel with the Easterly F5-6 behind us and after a fair bit of choppy wind over tide at the mouth, turned South towards Mochras Spit. We started with a single reef and staysail, but the gusts were a bit much, so reduced sail further to second reef. A very pleasant leg ensued in the sunshine, admiring the magnificent snow-capped mountains.
As we turned South East close along the shore of Morfa Dyffryn towards Barmouth, the wind swung South of East and so ended up almost close hauled, much less enjoyable in the stronger cold apparent wind. A prolonged lull encouraged us to increase sail, but we made the mistake of unfurling the Yankee, which gave us more speed but left us overpowered when the full wind returned. We then had great difficulty furling it away and whilst Niki was fighting the furler and the sail was flogging, the snap shackle securing the sheet to the sail parted company. I then had a bracing time on the foredeck bringing the Yankee onto the deck and securing it down with sail ties. Lesson learned: wind more than 15kt, no Yankee!
We motored into Barmouth after a journey of 4hr to be greeted by the Assistant Harbourmaster, having radioed ahead. He could not have been more helpful and indeed his assistance was important as the mooring rings were six feet up the wall when we arrived! Having lent us large fenders to keep Aurora off the wall, Zephyr rafted onto us.