When Suwena glided out from the Troon marina on 7th of May it felt like the summer has finally arrived. According to an old seamanship belief the sea voyage should not start on Friday and by departing on Thursday we started in a good standing with sea gods.
On Thursday morning before the departure I fastened the jacklines because the wind have been blowing for over 20 knots during the last three days and for sure there would be some old waves playing with us.
We have three separate jacklines: one on each side of the foredeck and the third going around the saloon roof. We can clip the tether to either one directly from the pilothouse door. We use the jackline on the deck when going out to foredeck and one on the roof when going to the cockpit. The sea was somewhat umpy and the jacklines had a good use immediately. Andrus has made a separate story about the length and tightness of jacklines.
During the morning the wind was variable between 8 and 15 knots. For a while we had a fantastic sail and made a summer’s speed record of 7.9 knots. Just a moment later the wind died, there were no thrills in our speed of going forward and we started Perkins. Andrus was quite frustrated as the wind was playing with us and we were continuously adjusting the sails. In the afternoon the wind settled and we motorsailed in light wind most of the trip until it completely ceased in the evening.
The sea was lumpy and during the early season we get some seasickness. After the first signs of nausea we quickly put on our Sea-Band wristbands. We’ve been using the nausea relief bands now for two years at choppy seas. As the season is progressing our body adapts to constant swaying and there is no need for bands except in really bad conditions.
This chemical free alternative really works for travel nausea. There is a plastic button on the flexible wristband that is positioned over the Nei-Guan point located on the anterior forearm. By having acupressure on the Nei-Guan point the stomach magically settles itself. They are definitely worth giving a try.
It was also a time to make the summer’s first change of a courtesy flag as Scotland was left behind and we could see Northern Ireland in the horizon. Thus we changed the St Andrew’s Cross into the Red Ensign. In total we sailed 71 nautical miles and when making her fast in Bangor marina we had been exactly 12 hours at sea.
Bangor is the sailing centre of Northern Ireland and it shouldn’t be wondered why. It is located on the southern shore of Belfast Lough and well protected from prevailing winds, still only a daytrip away from major cruising grounds in West Scotland.
There are 560 pontoon berths in the marina. The boats from Royal Ulster Yacht Club, Ballyholme Yacht Club and all other boats together with visiting yachts made quite a buzz with boats departing and arriving constantly.
General Eisenhower travelled with us from Scotland to Northern Ireland as the outer breakwater of Bangor is named in his honour to Eisenhower Pier. During our visit there were celebrations of 70 years since the World War II and Eisenhower Pier was one of the festive places.
Bangor is one of the most sheltered places in Ireland and it had been a popular holiday resort already starting from the 1850s. Before, it was an important hub of linen industry. However the railways brought changes and new opportunities for Bangor. Nowadays Bangor is still a holiday resort and the commuter town of Belfast. Quite a few people from Bangor commute daily to Belfast. It is only 22 km and it takes 25 minutes by train. We passed the train to Belfast, as we’ll to next by Suwena there.