The past few days working on the aft cabin have been hard on my back and knees. It is a confined space, the floorboards had to be up which means you are always standing on a slope and stepping over beams while crouched over. Plus lots of ladder climbing.
So I ended up with a very stiff and achy back and a pulled something behind my right knee.
Today has therefore been about recovery. We had a nice brunch, lots of sleeping and a lovely walk along the “Swellies” which is the stretch of very fast moving water in the Menai Straits with lots of rocks and islands.
This evening we spent some time in the NWVYC reading pilotage and charts and it all made a lot more sense. With our plans we can be sensible and cautious which basically means
- From the North East, go through the Swellies 2 hours before high tide Liverpool. (this direction seems a little more forgiving)
- From the South West go through the Swellies 2.5 before high tide Liverpool
- Make sure we have updated your chart very recently before crossing the bar at Caernarfon, the channel can move by a mile in winter storms. Also check that all the channel buoys are in position as they frequently drag.
Absolutely no need for us to ever go through the Swellies at less than ideal tide time, we have nothing to prove.
As with our cruising from Chichester Harbour in the past, crossing a bar like Caernarfon is a chalk and cheese issue. In good conditions you wonder what all the fuss is about. Try to push it in bad conditions and you can easily be utterly terrified at best and lose your boat at worst. When it comes to these choices we are pretty risk averse. So we would divert or heave to, waiting for safer conditions. This is the kind of thing that puts me off racing. So while taking part in the Three Peaks race appeals in many ways, I’d also be useless at it 🤣
No way am I going to cross a bar or go through the Swellies, even in a race, except at the right time and conditions. We would probably lose 24 hours just from my caution by the time we were past Beaumaris 😊