Our stay by little island did not get off to an auspicious start. Around midnight, as the ebb current got stronger, I woke to hear the sound of chain grinding. Worrying that we were dragging somehow, I went up on deck to feel the anchor chain and look at our position. What I found was the dinghy of the other yacht (and that yachts stern) right next to our bow. Fearing they had dragged, I used the boat hook to tap on their rail, and then someone came on deck, and I indicated that I thought they’d set down on me. Their anchor watch software said they hadn’t moved, so the only conclusion was that I had anchored a bit too close on the flood, so more rode was paid out. This then led me to worry that we would set down on them when the flood happened, so I set an alarm for 0420 and endeavoured to get some sleep. Up before the alarm went off, and discovered that the stream in the channel changes at least an hour after the slack, so ended up standing in the companionway reading until I could see that while we were closer, we had not set down on the other boat. Back to bed for a bit after this.

With that out of the way, the day turned out to be lovely and warm – had the awning up for part of it, and compensated for the fridge compressor drain with the solar panel. K made us spaghetti with feta and tomatoes for lunch, quite nice, and also made up a batch of biscuit dough.

In the afternoon, we lobbed the dinghy over the side, and went exploring along the channel. Quite a lot of bird life, and very peaceful bar the noise of the outboard. I think I’ll sell it, and get an electric one instead. That’d remove the need to find petrol (which was hard to do on this trip), and make for much quieter dinghy use. Dinghy is packed away now, as we won’t be using it for the rest of the trip.

We chose to go out in the dinghy when the tide was close to changing from ebb to flood; this meant we couldn’t go too far downstream if the engine failed (plus we had oars and an anchor), and we’d just have a flood tide to bring us back up. Noticed some interesting tidal stream behaviour on one of the river bends, where the tide was still going out on one side, and coming in on the other.

The anchor chain has been grinding at every tide change, so I can only assume that while I probably dropped in mud, there’s a lump of something down there that the chain is getting dragged over. Anchor watch circle in OpenCPN shows we’ve never gone outside our 25m radius circle.

Planning now starts for the return home. We’ll go to Kilmore Quay tomorrow, tank fuel and water, and eye up the weather. I think Monday is the best looking day at the moment – the prevailing winds are not prevailing, so we will be going into wind. Again. Can’t wait for the prevailing winds though, as K has a flight to catch and wants to do the trip home. Should be a nice easy trip down the Suir and Barrow; no need to be away at the crack of dawn, we’ll catch the ebb tide around 11 AM.

A Sailing Holiday – Little Island
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