trip logs

Holyhead Traditional Boat Festival – Sunday and Monday

This year, we have been very lucky with the weather with clear skies and fair winds for nearly the whole time. Talking to Sally and Rob, of Mary (a 30 foot pilot cutter), we decided to do some ship-to-ship photography and during the preparations, Alice saw their son in the bosun’s chair and asked to go aloft too. Alice and Aimee both went up, Alice seems to have the best head for heights.


There was much going on ashore, but the main event for us were the parades of sail. These spectacular procession is tremendous fun, especially for the kids. All kinds of gaffer, from small open boats to the larger craft take part, ex-working boat and yacht, gaffer and square rigger. The event is timed for high water, so all the boats can sail very close to the promenade, sailing club and main marina pontoon.

Two of the larger boats had cannons fitted for the event and were firing off volleys as boats passed them (only smoke rings fortunately!) and these shots were answered by cannon on the promenade too. Lots of water squirting and splashing is involved too, so the washboard was definitely fitted and sadly no photos.

Monday was too nice a day to spend ashore, so we went for a sail in the afternoon, across Holyhead Bay to Porth Trefadog, where we anchored for a swim. The day was rounded off with drinks aboard Vilma, during which both the girls were delighted to be offered the chance to be winched to the top of Beltane’s 50 foot mast.

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