The original intent of this leg was Arklow to Kilmore Quay, but the forecast wind didn’t go as far into the west as expected, and the sea running up the coast was not pleasant.

We left Arklow around 10 am, aiming to catch the south-bound tide from Dublin, shooting ourselves around the corner. Unfortunately, the tide didn’t really materialise, and we were forced to call in to Polduff for a few hours while waiting for the wind to ease off. The CQR gave us grief, refusing to set properly off of Polduff (archive), requiring a re-lay. The bay is marked as an anchorage, but you have to get right up behind the small pier, and even then the swell is rolling around Cahore point into the harbour.

We were anchored out in the 3m line, not knowing the area. A local boat came out of Courtown, and popped themselves right up in behind the pier, showing how it was done. Alas, not enough room for two boats with the swing that was happening. The anchor dragged at least twice as well, so not a nice stop – but enough to get lunch into us.

Around 1530, we stuck our nose out into the north end of the Rusk Channel, and promptly turned around back into Polduff – far too rough.

At 1730, we noticed the sea state had greatly reduced, and made the decision to move onwards, with the intent of anchoring to the west of Rosslare Harbour. As we got in to the Rusk Channel, the tide that should have been there, running south, wasn’t, or at least was not noticeable. 2+ metre waves, but the wind was down into F5 territory, and we decided to make a go of it.

The sea state in the Rusk Channel

The idea was to run south at 6 knots with the tide, and get into the anchorage before dark. Alas, the sea state in the channel was bringing us to an average over-ground speed of about 3 knots, until I decided to leave the channel and head for shore. This calmed the sea drastically (still lumpy, but more like 1 metre or less and wider apart), and we were able to get some boat speed back.

With night drawing in, we picked the alternate stopping point – North Bay, just north of Raven Point outside of Wexford. We could have pushed for the South Bay anchorage, but with darkness coming, and fish pots with no flags, the prudent choice was to get the hook in the ground. We knew the forecast was for the wind to die away to nearly nothing, and so this was an easy choice (and what wind there was was an offshore wind, so no lee shore).

Swell from the SE, but wind from the SW – our anchorage for the night

Blue Opal ended up lying sideways on to the swell, so I ended up trying a technique from on of my books – attached a long rope with a hitch to the chain, pay out a few more metres of chain, and take up the slack on the rope at the stern. This let us sit across the tide and wind slightly, and more into the swells, easing the roll dramatically. With anchor alarms set, we went to sleep.

Total distance: 29.98 NM
Average speed: 4.04 knots
Total time: 10:32:35
Download file: Arklow to Rosslare North.gpx
A Sailing Holiday – Arklow to Rosslare
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