City Livery Yacht Club member Tim Fooks completed a marvellous 1500 mile cruise over Summer 2022 and we are delighted to share his report and stunning photographs
During Summer 2022, I took Gryphon, my Nauticat 385 sloop, to the West Coast of Scotland via the West Country, the Isles of Scilly and the Atlantic Coast of Ireland. It was a cruise of almost seven weeks and 1500nm. I was accompanied by one or two crew.
The structure of the cruise was as follows:
Part 1: West County Cruise including Salcombe, Yealm River, Plymouth, Fowey, Helford River Plymouth and Isles of Scilly
Part 2: Tresco to Dinge via Crosshaven, Kinsale, Glendore, Baltimore, Schull, Crookhaven, Bantry, Glengarriff, Derrynane, Great Skellig, Valencia and Dingle
Part 3: Dingle to Portrush via Kilrush (Shannon River), Aran Islands, Inishbofin, Broad Haven, Teelin, the Cruit Islands, Mulroy Bay, Lough Swilly, Bann River, Rathlin Island, Portrush
Part 4: N Ireland to Loch Shuna via Port Ellen and Ardmore Islands (Islay), Loch Tarbert (Jura), The Gulf of Correyvreckan, Achanarnich Bay, Craobh Haven (Loch Shuna)
Part 5: Circumnavigation of Mull: via Puilladobhrain, Lismore Island, Tobermory, Treshnish Islands, Staffa (Fingles Cave), The Sound of Iona, Tinker’s Hole Anchorage, and back to Croabh via the Gulf of Correyvreckan.
The weather conditions during the late Summer were kind to yachtsman this year and I was weather-bound for only two days.
Highlights were numerous:
- Spectacular 20 hr 135nm Celtic Sea crossing in a SW F5-6
- Taking the dinghy through the tidal rapids to enter Lough Hyne in Cork County, SW Ireland
- Visiting the Fastnet Rock in calm conditions
- The beautiful garden on Garnish Island, Glengarriff, Kerry
- The Derrynane natural harbour with its narrow rock strewn entrance (and excellent Guinness in the nearby pub)
- Landing on the 218m tall Great Skellig (no anchorage) to visit the 8th Century monastery set on a cliff edge.
- The beautiful island of Inishbofin off the Connemara coast in County Galway.
- Sailing North with the Atlantic Swell on the beam in a F5
- The 2000ft high cliffs of Slieve League, Donegal
- The interlinked sea loughs of Mulroy Bay, Donegal with a very complex tidal pattern – we were told we were the first yacht to visit the anchorage in Rosnakil Bay in living memory.
- Rathlin Island – North Ireland’s only off-shore island
- Delicious whisky at Lephroaig and Lagavulin distilleries, Islay
- Spectacular sunset in Loch Tarbert, Jura
- Passing through the Great Race of the Gulf of Correyvreckan for the first time with a 7kn tidal stream under my keel.
- The 360 degree view of the Highlands and Islands from Barr Mor on Lismore Island
- The Fish Café in Tobermory
- Tinker’s Hole anchorage amongst the pink granite of the Ross of Mull.
- Sailing with my ensign at half-mast day and night in honour of the Queen
All in all it was a journey along spectacular coastlines in largely good weather. I had great crew, some wonderful sailing, fascinating pilotage and a very splendid yacht. I have been a very fortunate yachtsman this year.
Winner of the Maclennan Cup for the best boating achievement, 2022
Main photo above: Loch Tarbert, Jura
Mill Bay, Salcombe
Broad Water, Mulroy Bay