The day was a little. Overcast, light winds but the clouds cleared up and we were off.
It takes me a while to get a Bilbo ready. I have a 33 step list that my good friend and sailing instructor, Hugh Poore gave me. I regliously go through this and then I set off.
Getting out of Little Killary is an outboard job, unless the wind is coming from the east, there is no way to sail out. I didn't care, I had a full outboard and a tank of petrol spare.
What I hadn't realised was that my gas for the cooker was almost out. Coffee was quarantined for the day and no chance to cook any mackeral.
I fished for a while but got bored. So I looked at the charts. I have been to Cramp Island once before, see my other blog for an upcoming tale about that.
So off I head to InishTurk. So far InishTurk has eluded me due to light winds or winds on the nose. I don't want to use the outboard unless necessary.
But the wind veered slightly and off I went on a close reach with the wind averaging 7 knots with the odd gust into double figures.
One thing about Bilbo, is she flies. Once she gets a wind up in her sails, she takes off like a scalded cat. It doesn't take much extra to get her going.
So after a pleasant sail, I finally landed at Inishturk. They request that visiting sailors leave the Dock to the ferries and islanders as it is very small. There is a pleasant mooring just outside the pier and was good practice for sailing up to a mooring. Sadly I judged my boat hook position wrong and bent it slightly on the pullpit.
Last of the gas was used to make a coffee and a local rib owner was passing and stopped. Very nice bloke. And very informative about the island. Definitely bringing the inflatable the next time I sail over.
As it was late in the day, after 5pm, I headed off, motoring to get out of the Lee of the island. Then out with the head sail to discover that the winds had veered to the south west so I was on another close reach.
Dropped the lures out and ended up with 5 decent mackeral for the sail back. And a small pod of dolphins chasing them away.
I enjoy watching the dolphins and sadly didn't get any decent photos of them. Especially as they jumped out of the sea.
It took the best part of 3 hours to sail back, and the winds died about 2 mm from the mooring. No problem, outboard in and this time, again, had the mooring first try. I am remembering all the tricks that Hugh taught me. I do enjoy sailing to the mooring and picking it up without using the outboard.
Quick cleanup and bagged the mackeral and with the dieing light rowed back and the day was done.
All in all, about 21 nautical miles to my log for my next course and also good training for my circumnavigation of Ireland next year for the Clifden RNLI