Dun Laoghaire to Malahide

Blue Opal needs a good scrub and antifoul, so I booked her in at Malahide Marina to be lifted this morning. Was awake at 5:30, and outside of Dun Laoghaire harbour just around 7 after tea, porridge sourdough, and two scrambled eggs. Nice morning overall, but very unpleasant sea south of the Bailey Lighthouse – 1 – 2 metre swells, intermittent, slapping the side of the hull and causing a good amount of roll. Made it from Dun Laoghaire to Malahide in just over two hours, topping out around 6.8 knots over ground. Given I can’t get Blue Opal to do more than 4.5 knots inside the harbour with no tide and wind, a 2 – 3 knot lift up past Howth Head was very welcome.

For my own reference, front sling goes just ahead of the shrouds, and rear sling goes at the scuppers.

Malahide’s not hard to get in to, though a 20 metre wide channel entrance with a rip tide is interesting. More scary is the fact that 3 hours before high water you pass between two spits of sand, and you’d swear you can reach out and touch them from the boat – yet it’s 4 – 5 metres under the keel. There’s a pretty good tidal current running all the way up the estuary too – the video below is with the engine in idle, and I was still doing 2-3 knots over ground!

Getting in to the slings is also an experience, and I’m grateful to Tim @ MM for hopping on board and giving me guidance into the lift bay – on a flood tide you basically point your nose at the pontoon and crab across the tide, and at the last moment you put the helm over so she slides into the slings, just missing the concrete piers that the lift sits on. Not for the faint of heart, because screwing it up means you either ram the concrete pier on port with the bow, or the put the starboard side of your boat into the pier on starboard.